Leadership Journal Archive
October 12, 2007 - January 19, 2008

December 4, 2007

To Enforce the Law: The No-Match Battle

Sometimes wishful thinking can lead to embarrassing flights from reality.

A case in point was a recent ACLU press statement with a giddy headline that blared, “Government Abandons Current No-Match Rule Harmful to Legal Workers.”

What prompted this rejoicing was the government’s decision to issue a supplementary rule in response to a recent court decision temporarily halting our no-match rule. The rule gives businesses guidance on handling letters from the Social Security Administration informing them of workers whose names and Social Security numbers don’t match government records. It provides a safe harbor for honest employers while discouraging dishonest ones from knowingly keeping illegal aliens on their payrolls.

So why is the ACLU celebrating? It’s because it opposes virtually every measure – including this one – to enforce America’s immigration laws. But was its headline correct? Has the government abandoned the fight for the no-match rule? And is the rule harmful to legal workers?

Not at all.

Far from abandoning the rule, we’re going to fight hard to make it effective. To that end, we are pursuing two approaches. First, we’re addressing the discrete concerns the district court raised in October in our forthcoming supplemental rule. Second, we have filed an appeal of the district court’s order to the Ninth Circuit. We’re pursuing both options at once in order to get the quickest possible resolution.

Another ACLU myth is that the no-match rule hurts legal workers. False. It specifically tells employers that they should not fire employees on the basis of no-match letters alone. The lack of a match could reflect a clerical mistake or some other innocent explanation, rather than a nefarious attempt to evade our immigration laws. The no-match rule shows employers and workers how to correct this discrepancy – and it gives them a full three months to do it. Businesses that follow the procedures in the rule will have a safe harbor from enforcement action. Those that ignore no-match letters place themselves at risk and invite suspicion that that are knowingly employing workers who are here illegally.

The ACLU’s lawsuit has helped put this vital protection on hold. That’s bad for immigration enforcement, bad for America’s law-abiding employers and their legal employees, and good for dishonest businesses who deliberately hire illegal workers. And that’s why – contrary to ACLU fantasies – we’re not going away. We will continue to fight to enforce the laws on the books, as the American people expect us to.

Michael Chertoff



  • THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Mr. Chertoff,
    this is the greatest news I have heard so far! That the DHS will fight for U.S. citizens and America and not let the ACLU and special interest groups run our country against the majority of Americans will!
    American citizens want all our current laws against illegal immigration enforced! We're not going to back down from that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 5, 2007 5:19 PM  

  • I have often thought the ACLU should be named a terrorist group for the simple fact they seem to spend most of their time thwarting any attempts at enforcing our laws; at the cost of hurting the citizens of the United States.

    I think they should remove the “A” from their name. It no longer is valid.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 5, 2007 7:03 PM  

  • Your continued fight for what is right is most appreciated.
    I do believe mailing out all those "No-Match Letters" not only provides a good public service for citizens (gives them a chance to clear-up any problems!)But is a vital link in enforcement of our immigration laws.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 6, 2007 12:32 PM  

  • From what I've read in the press, part of the court's concern over harm to US workers came from the j90-day timeframe for correcting errors. Is that really reasonable for SS? And if not, could you not simply make the timeframe longer, say 6 months?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 6, 2007 3:08 PM  

  • Thank you, Mr. Chertoff. The US citizenry needs folks like you on our side. Wages of the unskilled will rise, the wage gap will decrease, and families with unskilled breadwinners can have a comfortable standard of living and raise their children to rise up the economic ladder.

    By Blogger RobertHume, At December 6, 2007 3:53 PM  

  • This taxpaying U.S. citizen is glad that Secretary Chertoff is moving ahead to implement employee verification program in spite of the actions by those with a continuing agenda to allow the disrepect of our immigration laws.
    They may not see it in Washington but, the lack of enforcment of illegal immigration is hurting U.S. citizens at the local level in communities such as mine 1500 miles from the southern border.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 6, 2007 6:58 PM  

  • Say what you want. I am still looking for information on how I can make sure that my employer doesn't get a "no-match" letter.

    How do I look myself up on this database?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 25, 2008 12:32 AM  

  • I just hope you dont starve families and hard working people with this law.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At September 8, 2008 3:51 PM  

Create a Link

<< Home