HR Management & Compliance

Immigration: Judge Halts No-Match Rule

In the current issue of the California Employer Advisor, we report on a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulation mandating the steps an employer must take to verify an employee’s Social Security number (SSN) when the employer receives a “no-match” letter from the DHS or the Social Security Administration. Under the rule, employers would be required to fire employees—or face government legal action—if the SSN mismatch could not be resolved within three months. The rule was slated to go into effect on Sept. 14, 2007.

Last week, on Oct. 10, 2007, a federal court in San Francisco issued a nationwide preliminary injunction barring the DHS from implementing the new rule. The injunction comes as the DHS was planning to send out 140,000 no-match letters this fall; those plans are now on hold. In the weeks leading up to the preliminary injunction order, judges had issued two temporary restraining orders to postpone the new rule.


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The injunction was issued in response to a lawsuit filed by labor and immigrant groups arguing that U.S. immigration laws don’t allow the government to require additional verification after hiring, beyond the routine I-9 Form process. The lawsuit contended that the harsh new rule could result in the firings of U.S. citizens and documented workers.

The government can appeal the injunction order to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Otherwise, the injunction will remain in effect until the lawsuit goes to trial. We’ll keep you posted.

Additional Resources:

Immigration: Strict New Rule for Handling No-Match Letters (Start your guest access and get this now)

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