Joint Announcement: DHS re-affirms its implementation of the SSA no-match rule WITHOUT CHANGE!

March 24, 2008

DHS re-affirms its implementation of the SSA no-match rule WITHOUT CHANGE!

Joint Announcement by:
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
Korean American Resource & Cultural Center, Chicago
Korean Resource Center, Los Angeles
YKASEC – Empowering the Korean American Community, Flushing

On March 21, 2008, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) released a supplemental proposed rule that purports to clarify its August 2007 final rule that would use the Social Security no-match records as a tool for immigration enforcement. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register sometime this week with a 30 day public comment period. Implementation of the August 2007 rule was preliminarily enjoined by the Northern District of California on October 10, 2007 based on court’s findings that i) DHS failed to show a reasoned analysis to justify the use of receipt of a no-match letter to impart “constructive knowledge,” ii) DHS exceeded its authority by offering employers “safe harbor” from government discrimination claims so long as they followed the procedures outlined in the rule, and iii) DHS violated the Regulatory Flexibility Act by not conducting a final flexibility analysis concerning the impact of the rule on small businesses before implementing the rule.

Despite the legal setbacks, the supplemental proposed rule provides that the department intends to “repromulgate, without change,” the 2007 final rule that was halted by the court. The supplemental rule only offers a lengthy defense to legal issues and undoubtedly fails to redress real concerns raised by the court and public that the rule would hurt U.S. citizens and lawful workers.
The threats of no-match letters remain the same. The rule will contribute to widespread cases of racial profiling, discrimination and unjust termination of authorized workers. The U.S. economy will be devastated by pushing over 7 million undocumented workers further underground and creating an unregulated cash economy.

What’s Next?

Following DHS’ re-affirmation of its implementation of the SSA no-match rule, the Ninth Circuit will review and decide on the legality of the preliminary injunction. To put pressure on DHS and Social Security Administration and stop the no-match rule, NAKASEC and its affiliates will pursue effective legislative and administrative advocacy efforts with other grassroots organizations throughout the nation. Also in response to the rule, we will continue to collaborate in collecting stories of Korean American workers who have been adversely affected by the no-match letters and will submit written comments to DHS.