The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a supplemental proposed rulemaking for its no-match rule that was put on hold by a federal court in California last October.
According to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, “this supplement specifically addresses the three grounds on which the district court based its injunction. We have also filed an appeal and are pursuing these two paths simultaneously to get a resolution as quickly as possible.”
Last October, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer issued an injunction that stopped the federal government from using Social Security no-match letters as a way to force employers to identify and terminate illegal workers. A coalition of groups sued the federal government over its plan to use no-match letters and asked for an injunction until the case could be heard. That case is still pending.
According to DHS, the proposed supplemental rule does not create new legal obligations for businesses. It simply outlines clear steps an employer may take in response to receiving a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating that an employee’s name does not match the social security number on file.
The proposed supplemental rule was published in the March 26 Federal Register and DHS is requesting public comment on the supplemental proposed rulemaking for 30 days after its publication. After the 30-day comment period, DHS will consider the feedback and issue a final rule, according to Laura Keehner, a DHS spokesperson. At that point, Judge Breyer could lift the injunction if he’s satisfied the supplemental rule addresses his concerns or he could continue the injunction if he’s not satisfied with the rule, Keehner said.
To read the proposed supplemental rule, go to www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/press_nomatch-snprm.pdf.