Immigration Issues Never Far from Courts and Headlines

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The Department of Homeland Security is revising and reworking a new regulation forcing employers to release any employees that have Social Security numbers that don’t match with the Social Security Administration’s database. The revisiting of the structure of the regulations was forced by a lawsuit filed by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center and labor groups. According to the ACLU, the lawsuit charges that the 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.”

Last month, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction against the implementation of the new regulations and last Friday stayed a challenge to the implementations until March 24. Meanwhile, the department will revise and rewrite the regulations.

The new regulations were intended to take effect in September and required employers to resolve any discrepancy with employees and Social Security numbers within 90 days or face fines up to $10,000.

According to the ACLU, the regulations could affect more than eight million workers. The ACLU is concerned about the dependability of the Social Security Administration’s records. A report from the administration’s inspector general found that 12.7 million of the records of United States citizens in the database contained errors that could cause them to be fired under the regulations being proposed.