Articles Posted in Legislative Update

Published on:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a rule in 2007 setting forth “safe haven” procedures for an employer to complete upon receipt of a Social Security Administration (SSA) “no-match” letter. A “no-match” letter is a letter from the SSA to an employer that a particular employee does not match the SSA database. The DHS rule created the “safe haven” rule that allowed safe haven to employers if they followed a short and harsh timeline for verifying the person’s employment with consequences that could lead to many immigrants being fired. The AFL-CIO and various organizations succeeded in getting a court to stop the rule from going into effect for the time being.

The DHS proposed on August 19, 2009 a rule that cancels its prior “save haven” rule. The DHS is currently accepting public comments on the August 19, 2009 rule until September 18, 2009, after which it will issue the final rule rescinding its “safe haven” procedures.

Please note that the SSA will continue to issue “no-match” letters, but the DHS will not require that “safe haven” procedures be followed. Employers should simply follow the instructions on the SSA letter as presented. Please feel free to contact our office with any questions.

Published on:

According to a June 25th press release out of Washington DC, President Obama has indicated that he and his administration aim to change the dynamics and tone of the immigration debate. The President, Vice President Biden, and several crucial cabinet members met with Republicans and Democrats from Congress to discuss immigration reform philosophies and solutions, after which the Obama administration released a statement that described the discussion as the “launch” of a new kind of political approach. The President said that the immigration debate has long been characterized by “overheated rhetoric and demagoguery on all sides” and that he intends to set a more responsible course.

President Obama also announced the formation of a high profile working group to consider the problems associated with immigration. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been tasked to lead this group and to work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to arrive at practical, non-ideological solutions. A spokesman for the Immigration Policy Center lauded the President’s refocusing of the debate, saying that “the public should be reassured that we are finally moving forward in a genuine bipartisan fashion on comprehensive immigration reform.”

Obviously, it remains to be seen whether the Obama administration’s aggressive push to change the timbre of the debate will bear fruit. But reactions from various camps have thusfar generally been positive. Even ideological opponents of the President’s agenda appeared taken aback by his inclusive approach to problem solving.

Contact Information