Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fire 'Em First, Ask Questions Later

The article's title is:

New federal push to fire illegal immigrants

But the Feds know this isn't how it's going to play out. Unions know this isn't how it's going to play out, and US District Judge Charles Breyer knew when he placed an injunction on DHS' new rules for the handling of social-security "no-match" letters.

And what are these letters? These are DHS notifications sent to businesses when an employee supplied social-security number doesn't match Social Security Administration records. Prior to DHS' changing the rules, it was sufficient for a business to investigate the issue without fear of federal reprisals.

No more. The new rules (currently under injunction), specify that the employer has 90 + 3 days to resolve the situation with a new, verifiable, SSN. And after that? The employee must be fired for the business to avoid prosecution and imposition of fines and other penalties.

"So what's the problem?" you might ask. "These tactics are needed to find and eradicate illegal workers." Well, for starters, DHS sends out "no-match" letters all the time and many are the result of clerical errors. Judge Breyer knew this and cited it when he imposed his injunction. Second, DHS is rewriting the rules to get around the injunction, and third...if DHS is successful, businesses will adopt a "Fire 'em first, and ask questions later" policy just to keep the Feds off their backs.

But then...maybe this is what DHS wants. Welcome to the brave new world of employment folks.


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