Late today, a California judge granted a preliminary injunction barring the government from distributing letters to employers notifying them of social security number discrepancies. These are known as "no-match" letters. The order also prevents the government from enforcing a rule that would have required employers to terminate employees whose discrepancies weren’t resolved within 90 days.
The New York Times does a good job summarizing the decision.
Judge [Charles] Breyer chastised the Department of Homeland Security for making a policy change with “massive ramifications” for employers, without giving any legal explanation or conducting a required survey of the costs and impact for small businesses.
If allowed to take effect, the judge found, the rule could lead to the firing of many thousands of legally authorized workers, resulting in “irreparable harm to innocent workers and employers.”
Judge Breyer found that the Social Security database that the rule would draw upon was laden with errors not related to a worker’s immigration status, which could result in no-match letters being sent to legally authorized workers. “There is a strong likelihood that employers may simply fire employees who are unable to resolve the discrepancy within 90 days,” even if they are legal, he wrote.
Even though the decision is in California federal court, the injunction apparently applies nationwide. In other words, the order enjoins the Social Security Administration from sending notifications to approximately 140,000 employers across the country notifying them of the new rule, which could affect about eight million workers.
Thus, Connecticut employers — for the time being — should not be concerned about the key provision in the new "no-match" rule but should stay tuned for additional developments as the case progresses. Of course, that does NOT mean that employers can ignore immigration rules; the standard verification rules still apply.