back to article Ruling allows US tech firms to dodge an immigration bullet

Technology firms in the US just won a last-minute reprieve from a fusillade of new, and potentially devastating, immigration rules. But the government is almost certain to reload and try again in a higher court. Judge Charles Breyer of the Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction on Wednesday that put …


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  1. Jon Teda
    Gates Halo

    This story should be inverted...

    What this report should be saying is that labor and special interest groups are styming the legitimate attempts to prevent identity theft and subversion of government services and funds.

    What is wrong here - apart the from the writer's desire to form information into an outcome he desires - is another story of govenment inefficiency and outside special interest groups taking advantage of the system to profit over the needs of the nations citizens.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    you must be new here

    this is an industry rag attempts at inconveniencing tech companies must be avoided at all costs.

  3. Iamfanboy

    *sigh* Teda, Teda, Teda... re: inverted

    YOU actually have it quite backwards: The US government doesn't give a rat's arse about SSNs; they're using this as a smokescreen to increase their own control over the flow of who can work in this country.

    How do I know? Well, think about it... who's in a better position to tell if there's more than one person using the same SSN to work in the country illegally? Hm, could it be... maybe...

    THE IRS ITSELF?!? *gasp*

    It ALL goes through the same bottleneck. Ponder for a moment this fact: The IRS knows when two people with the same SSN pay their taxes. Or can cross-reference when two different employers use a stolen SSN to get their immigrants legitimate work. Now, why don't they do it as a policy?

    Because that way, they can collect more taxes. If the person were working illegally with no SSN at all, the IRS would get stiffed. The reason, the real reason, that serious identity theft prevention attempts don't go through the government is because it would reduce their revenues.

    Remember, taxes are just a bigger man standing over you and saying, "Pay me or I hurt you." It was true when we were all serfs under a baron, and it's true today.

    This was just a blatant power grab, and thank the Maker that SOME people in this country are well-informed enough to recognize it, even if you aren't.

  4. Eric Olson

    Conspiracy Theories Aside

    That was quite laughable lamfanboy. The IRS is only the mouthpiece of the Executive Branch, who currently are on a "starve the beast" brand of politics, in hoping to force through debt a reduction in government size, outside of the military-industry complex, that is. Reagan demonstrated how you could nearly bankrupt yourself by spending it all on military, but as long as there was a goal, it was just fine...

    Anyway, the issue the writer brings up is legitimate. I believe other news reports indicated that the government admitted audits reveled errors that approached 5-10% of the total database... and most were US citizens, not guest-workers, not legal residents, not tax ID numbers for estates and tax shelters.

    The AFL-CIO and other trade and union group had legitimate issues. The average wage-slave isn't going to be able to survive termination due to the SSA keying in a SSN incorrectly, and the average small business (which employs a large number of people) don't have the money, time, and resources to pursue all the No Match letters that they get.

    Yes, in theory this seems like a wonderful plan, as every citizen, legal resident, and guest-worker gets a 9 digit code that is then used by the SSA to identify the earnings and place them into a trust (which will be bankrupt soon) to pay for retirees. Problem of course, besides the careless processes that companies use when handling SSNs, is that there is human intervention required to record all these numbers. And as a wage-slave in the bowels of the SSA, seeing thousands of SSNs and TINs day in and out will probably result in you missing a couple, or keying them wrong, or whatever. Human error should not be the basis for denying, deporting, and/or insulting someone. The possible benefits at this point do not even come close to outweighing the bad. And it would just take one US Citizen terminated from his/her job for a lawsuit to start, and the Government having to make an out of court settlement (they'd never let it get to court and expose just how many other people could sue them) that would result in legal bills in excess of any possible benefit.

    Not to mention that this is just a band-aid that hides the real problem: there will soon be a huge wave of retirements. There are not enough people my age (Anyone born after 1968) to fill all those jobs, and not all of them can be shipped overseas. It's going to hurt, because demand begets wage raises which beget inflation which beget recession. Oh, and all the debt that was racked up by baby booming morons who are currently controlling the government....

  5. Stuart Van Onselen


    I have heard that the SSN is the textbook example of how NOT to implement a unique identifier.

    There are no checkdigits that could validate that any given number of the correct length is even valid, and the numbers are even recycled!

    If I am wrong, please correct me.

    If I am right, then no bloody wonder the "wage-slave in the bowels of the SSA" makes some mistakes!

  6. tony trolle
    Paris Hilton


    You can check a SSN and found out the time/date span in which it was issued and if its on the dead list.

    i.e. ELVIS PRESLEY SSN 409-52-2002.

    There is no check digit.

  7. Brad Hutchings

    Bass ackwards

    Bush and DHS Secretary Chertoff don't actually want to enforce this. They're playing this gambit now to put the immigration restrictionists back into their place so they can pass comprehensive immigration reform before Bush leaves office. Absolutely nobody likes the uncertainty of the current situation, where immigration law is unenforced. Well, maybe the lawyers do... But the answer isn't to enforce the laws we have, because they've proven to be unenforceable and completely at odds with the labor needs of the US economy. Heck, even the so-called "illegals" picked up in the recent Reno area McDonalds sweep were being paid a competitive wage above the minimum. There aren't enough workers in service, construction, and agricultural sectors. And the H1B situation in the tech sector is ridiculous. At any rate, pay attention to how this ruling is not appealed to understand what the Bush Administration is really up to. In the long run, it will be good for everyone except the people who hate Mexicans.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple solution

    Increase the amount of time, that the company has to find the information, say 3 months, end of problem.

  9. kain preacher

    There aren't enough workers in construction,

    THats bold face lie. As person that has had 3 gens of his family in construction I can tell you thats a lie. IF thats true why do carpenters shave slow periods?? I'm not talking about the rainy season either.

    What I see is a an influx of illegals that are scared to report unsafe working conditions and used like slave labor

    Constructions is also one of the few jobs in America that you can have a checkered past and still make decent money. You want to tell me there is a shortage of Americans willing to do construction jobs come out here and i'll show lots of them that are .

  10. Matt

    Has anyone complaining how tough this is worked in the U.S.?

    "Gee, I have a letter from the SSA for Doe, John."

    Walk over to filing cabinets"...D...Doe...ah, here we go, John Doe." Pull file with hiring paperwork out.

    There's a W4 and whatever that INS form used since 1988 or so that in 99% of the cases has a driver's license and social security card photocopy with it.

    Look at SSA letter, look at W4 & INS paperwork...

    Now either do A or B

    A) "Hi, SSA, we got a letter from you about John Doe, but the SSN you were questioning doesn't match our paperwork. You had 123-45-6789. It's actually 132-45-6789. Ok. Have a nice day."

    B) "Uh, John...we have problem. SSA sent us this letter saying the SSN you provided us doesn't match. I've double checked, and the number you gave us matches the number on the photocopy of the SS Card you gave you have to call SSA and straighten this out. And don't wait, because as of today we have 90 days to get this straightened out or we have to let you go."

    Wow. Oh my god. That is so overwhelmingly onerous, it will cause the economy to screech to a halt.


    Yes, we've tolerated wink-wink nod-nod with immigration and other issues for years. Yes, IRS benefits with increased tax receipts that aren't filed for refunds. Yes, SSNs are not unique identifiers (you can't ask for a copy of "your" credit report by SSN...since all the credit agencies realize it will likely reveal confidential information about other people).

    Where do we pick and choose? Is using someone else SSN more or less of a crime then using an RNC email address to get around Freedom of Information act requirements? Do you enforce laws based on your poltical opinion du jour? Or is Cheney ignoring one like deleting emails down right evil, but you're a racist if you enforce immigration and tax laws?

    I think what you're supposed to do is your best to enforce & follow the existing laws while filing legislation to fix what is broken.

    While I also used to subscribe to the starve-the-beast theory...let's face it, it ain't working. War and all and the deficit is continuing to go down, and the Democrats certainly don't care about it either (gee, let's tax cigarettes -- not that it's regressive or subject to purchasing habits, we'll count it as an offset! Or my favorite..."The deficit is out of control! Why with what we're spending for ____ we could have done ______ instead!" Huh, but what does that do for the deficit? )

  11. John A Blackley


    "War and all and the deficit is continuing to go down"

    Is it really, Matt? In the US? That's great news - please point me to the reference you used for this.

  12. yeah, right.

    @Blackley re @Matt

    References? REFERENCES? We don't need no steenkin references! This is a comments section. We'll make things up when we feel like it. Just like regular journos. So there.


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