Bush Scandals List

260. Proposed DHS use of flawed Social Security info to weed out undocumented workers

In August 2007, the head of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff announced a new rule to curb illegal immigration. The Social Security Administration (SSA) would send letters to employers of discrepancies in employees‚ SSA records. If the discrepancies were not rectified by the employees within 90 days, employers would be required to fire them. The idea was that illegal immigrants often use false Social Security documents. The reality is that the SSA database is not very reliable and produces a lot of false positives. A December 2006 report by the Inspector General for the SSA estimated that of the agency’s 435 million records 17.8 million have errors that would generate a discrepancy notification. 12.7 million of these are in the files of American citizens. On October 10, 2007, federal judge Charles Breyer of the Northern District of California issued a stay on the grounds that the DHS had not made a required analysis of the rule’s impact on businesses. The DHS under Chertoff’s leadership continues to combine vast intrusiveness with even vaster incompetence.

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