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Federal judge extends restraining order on illegal immigrant employment rules

[JURIST] US District Judge Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California extended a temporary restraining order [JURIST report] Monday blocking the implementation of a new US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations [PDF text] intended to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to obtain US employment. The stricter rules, announced [JURIST report; DHS transcript] in August and originally slated to take effect in September, require employers who receive notices from the Social Security Administration (SSA) [official website] informing them of non-matching records between an employee's name and social security number to resolve any discrepancy within 90 days, dismiss the employee, or face up to $10,000 in fines for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. Breyer said that he was concerned about the large burden the new rules place on employers.

The lawsuit [ACLU materials] challenging the new regulations, brought by employers, unions, and the American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website], argues that errors in the SSA's database may cause legally employed persons to lose their jobs and that the rules impose a substantial burden on employers. In August, US District Judge Maxine M. Chesney said that the lawsuit highlighted the fact that there was "serious question" about whether DHS overreached in making the rules, and directed the SSA not to send out a mailing to approximately 140,000 employers advising them that there were discrepancies in their particular employment records. The New York Times has more.

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