Last week, the Department of Homeland Security repealed controversial regulations issued by the Bush administration that would have governed employers' response to Social Security Administration "No Match" letters. Their letters indicate that an employee's SSN does not match their name in the SSA database. The regulations would have imposed criminal penalties on employers that did not fire employees who were unable to quickly correct the discrepancy. The DHS rules were the subject of multiple lawsuits, and had been repeatedly delayed due to these legal challenges.
In announcing their repeal, the Obama administration indicated its intent to move forward with mandatory use of the E-Verify system as the alternative to the No Match rules. Employers and immigrant rights groups contend that the E-Verify system still contains the potential for errors due to an inaccurate database. Despite these concerns, employers can expect a legislative push for mandatory E-Verify use over the next several years.