Feds Ask Court for Time to Rewrite 'No Match' Letter Rule

November 26, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Bush Administration has asked a federal judge to freeze legal proceedings over the controversial "no match" letter program while the rules that would have punished employers for hiring illegal immigrants are rewritten.

Lawyers for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made the request for a stay to U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

“A stay will prevent the waste of judicial resources in litigating over a rule that is in the process of being revised,” the U.S. Justice Department lawyers wrote in their request.

Between now and March 24, 2008, the government expects to rewrite the rule and conduct the small-business survey on the policy’s impact which Breyer called for in his October 10 ruling blocking the rule’s implementation (See  Judge Blocks No-Match Letter Program, Cites ‘Serious Questions’ ). Breyer complained that the government did not follow proper procedures in issuing the regulation, including polling small employers about the impact the rule would have.

Issued in August, the policy would have forced employers to fire workers within 90 days if their Social Security information could not be verified. In Breyer’s October order, he said that since the Social Security database the government would use to verify workers’ status was full of errors, the rule could lead to the dismissal of many thousands of workers who were American citizens or legal immigrants.

“Defendants hope and anticipate that the amended rule will fully address the Court’s concerns,” the lawyers for the DHS declared. The government request for a judicial stay is here .