The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has officially dropped the controversial “no-match” rule, which required employers to fire workers if there was a discrepancy between a worker’s Social Security Number (SSN) and official government records. The rule also imposed penalties on employers who didn’t fire employees if the discrepancy wasn’t quickly explained.
Employers’ groups nationwide are praising DHS’ decision to scrap the “no-match” regulations, noting that the rule—originally enacted in 2007—has caused serious headaches for employers, and has resulted in many legal employees losing their jobs because of inaccurate and outdated government record databases.
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The good news, however, may be a little bittersweet. DHS has stated that dropping the “no-match” rule doesn’t mean that the agency is easing up on immigration enforcement efforts. To the contrary, DHS has stated that it plans to put more inspectors into the field to investigate illegal workers.
This will very likely mean that, instead of focusing on catching individual workers who don’t have valid SSNs, the agency will put more employers under the microscope in an effort to find those companies that routinely hire illegal immigrants. The result will be that more law-abiding employers will have to undergo immigration inspections as part of DHS’ new enforcement efforts.
We’ll have more on what employers now have to do to verify employment eligibility in an upcoming issue of California Employer Advisor.