Judge Delays Ruling on Illegal Labor

By Juliana Barbassa, Associated Press
October 1, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. government plan to crack down employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants was delayed again on Monday as a federal judge said he needed more time to issue a ruling.

The Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security were to send joint letters in September warning businesses they'll face penalties if they keep workers whose Social Security numbers don't match their names.

The restraining order was necessary in the meantime because "it's clear ... there could be irreparable harm to plaintiffs" if the government went ahead with its plan as it stands, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said.

The new rule would require businesses to sort out any Social Security mismatches within 90 days of being notified by the government or to fire the employee involved.

The government has 140,000 such letters ready to go as soon as the judge grants permission, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Tom Dupree said.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs, which include the AFL-CIO, the American Civil Liberties Union, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and numerous other business and labor groups, claim the rule would put a heavy burden on employers.

It also could cause many authorized immigrants and U.S. citizens to lose their jobs over innocent paperwork snafus, they said. Employers who were trying to comply with the government's mandate could in turn be exposed to discrimination lawsuits brought by employees who got wrongfully terminated.

The plan, unveiled in August, is an example of a government agency overstepping its jurisdiction, said ACLU attorney Lucas Guttentag.

"The Department of Homeland Security does not have the authority to hijack the Social Security Administration's data for immigration enforcement," Guttentag said. "We believe this rule is a massive violation of the law."

Immigration control advocates, meanwhile, remained hopeful the judge would see this rule as they do — as a late, but welcome effort to enforce immigration laws that have been on the books, but overlooked for years.

"It's those people who want to continue to use cheap, illegal labor that do not want this rule enforced," said Rick Oltman, with Californians for Californians for Population Stabilization.


Also appeared in:

Fox News
Daily Reflector
Pr-Inside
North County Times
The Washington Post
SanLuisObispo.com
Marshall News Messenger
Los Angeles Times
El Paso Times
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
WTOP Radio
News-Star
Townhall.com
Sun-Sentinel.com
Beaufort Gazette
WacoTrib.com
ABQjournal
WRAL
Bay News 9
Democrat and Chronicle.com
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
MSN Money Central
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Philadelphia Daily News
Tacoma News Tribune
The Columbian
Modesto Bee
Spokane Spokesman-Review
TheWorldlink.com
AT&T WorldNEt News
The Conservative Voice
Tuscaloosa News
1010 WINS
HoustonChronicle.com
The Hannibal Courier-Post
Enquirer-Herald
Centre Daily Times
The Baytown Sun
OregonLive.com
Maysville Ledger-Independent
MyrtleBeachOnline.com
Bellinghan Herald
KCBS 740am
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
The Baltimore Examiner
Press-Telegram
The Sentinel
Herald & Review
Charlotte Observer
Anchorage Daily News
BusnessWeek
Denver Post
The Herald-Zeitung
York News-Times
Tri-City Herald
San Francisco Examiner
Earthlink
Findlaw Corporate Counsel
Kiplinger.com
Rochester Post Bulletin
RBC Dain Raucher, Inc.
Journal-News
Las Vegas Sun
Internet Telephony Magazine
AOL News
iWon.com
Interactive Investor
Philadelphia Inquirer
Breitbart.com
The Seattle Times
Netscape
Atlantic City Press
Santa Barbara News-Press
Plain Dealer
The Press Enterprise
KCBS 2 News
The Item
Orange County Register
Inside Bay Area
KTVU TV 2
The Daily Journal
San Mateo Daily Journal
International Herald Tribune

Top