Judge blocks U.S. illegal worker crackdown

One of the long-overdue enforcement steps undertaken by the federal government against the use of false Social Security numbers by employees has been overturned by a Federal District Court Judge in California. The procedure was to send so-called “no match” letters to employers who submitted employee information where the name doesn’t match the submitted SSN. Leonard Anderson has the story for Reuters:

A U.S. federal court judge on Wednesday blocked a key part of the Bush administration’s stepped-up efforts to crack down on illegal immigrant workers and those who employ them.

Judge Charles Breyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction against a program that would force employers to verify Social Security numbers and fire workers whose numbers did not match official records.

The federal program developed by the Department of Homeland Security is at the heart of a new crackdown on the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the country, after Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

But the “no-match letter” program was challenged in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, the AFL-CIO and other labor groups claiming it was unlawful and hurt all workers, including legal ones affected by errors in the data base.

Read the rest at the above link. This was a temporary injunction, but the permanent injunction depends upon the same Judge, so the ACLU and the “workers groups” who sued are celebrating.

This decision is so mind-numbingly stupid that even the vapid 9th Circuit will likely reverse it. What “harm” comes to legitimate workers? They get to correct an error discovered in their paperwork which, if left undetected, could cost them a lot of money down the road (or extensive time and trouble getting it corrected).

Of course, if you don’t have a “correct” Social Security number, you are either using someone else’s or one unassigned. Why would you NOT want to know this? (Unless, of course, you know darned well it isn’t your number because you don’t HAVE a number, or can’t use your real number because you are a fugitive, in which case I understand very well why you might rather not have anyone asking questions).

Judge Charles Breyer, if anyone is interested, was appointed to the federal bench in 1997 by President Bill Clinton.

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