Thursday, September 06, 2007

Court delays ID verification for workers

Employers got a sudden reprieve from tougher worker identity rules, at least for a while. A federal court in San Francisco issued a restraining order delaying a Bush administration plan to crack down on illegal immigrants, set to begin September 14.

The court order temporarily prevents the Social Security Administration from sending out the new rules along with letters to companies whose employees' names do not match the Social Security numbers they used when they applied for their job. Each letter was to list at least 10 workers names, some more than 500. About 8.7 million workers would be affected by the initial mailings.

'The Bush administration is finally doing something right, only to be stopped by the federal courts,' said George Grayson, a professor of government at the College of William and Mary, and a board member of the Center for Immigration Studies. 'As a taxpayer and as a citizen, I want to make sure that people who hold jobs in this nation are legal residents, and I think this court decision is a step backward in that regard,' he said.

The Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and other unions sought the stay. In granting the restraining order, in effect until Oct. 1, U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney said the union and other plaintiffs raised serious questions about whether the administration's crackdown on illegal workers is authorized by law.

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