Feds drop "no match" rule that threatened 12.7 million legal jobs
The Department of Homeland Security privately dropped its proposed "no match" rule over the Thanksgiving break, according to a statement issued by the ACLU:
SAN FRANCISCO – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) abandoned its attempt to enforce its proposed "no match" rule that would improperly use social security records for immigration enforcement. In a late Friday afternoon court filing the day after Thanksgiving in federal court in San Francisco, DHS requested that a lawsuit challenging the rule be put on hold until March 2008. The government plans to publish a revised rule in December 2007 that it claims will pass legal muster.
The lawsuit was brought by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and labor groups to block the proposed "no match" rule which would require employers to penalize or fire U.S. citizens and legal workers whose social security numbers don't match up with the Social Security Administration (SSA) database. The lawsuit charges that the SSA database is fundamentally flawed and error-prone, and that the rule would result in the firing of countless legal workers as well as discrimination against those who look or sound "foreign." (emphasis added) [ACLU]
The government opted to take its plan back to the drawing board, rather than fighting to justify the flawed proposal in court:
The government’s proposal was a response to an indefinite delay to the rule ordered Oct. 10 by the judge, Charles R. Breyer of Federal District Court in San Francisco. Judge Breyer found that the government had failed to follow proper procedures in issuing the rule and that it should have completed a survey of its impact on small business.
He also found that the Social Security database the government would use to verify workers’ status was full of errors, so the rule could lead to the dismissal of many thousands of workers who were American citizens or legal immigrants. [NYT]
These errors are not trivial. Nearly 13 million legal workers could have lost their jobs because of errors in the database:
Some businesses welcomed the rule because it clarified what they had to do to avoid immigration raids. But the labor unions cited a report from the inspector general of the Social Security Administration finding that 12.7 million of the records of United States citizens in the agency’s database contained errors that could lead to them being fired. (emphasis added) [NYT]
The immigration authorities are zealots.
Estimates vary, but there are probably only about 6 million undocumented migrants working in the US today. So, DHS was willing to threaten 12.7 million legal jobs in the hopes of penalizing 6 million undocumented workers!
Now, remind me again, who's trying to take jobs away from Americans?