The Trump administration is continuing its commitment to address the significant problem presented by porous borders and decades of sanctuary policies. Companies continue to hire illegal aliens some unknowingly due to fraudulent documentation, and others because of deliberate attempts to seek out lower compensation by hiring illegal aliens at a lower rate of pay.
The Trump administration is cracking down with plans to begin notifying employers when their employees’ tax paperwork does not match Social Security Administration records beginning in 2019. The aptly named “no-match” letters will be issued when a name and a social security number combination provided by an employee does not match the record held by the Social Security Administration.
This is a reinstatement of a longtime practice suspended in 2012 under the former Obama administration. The process is intended to be used in an effort to identify when an American citizen’s social security number has been stolen and used as proof of authorization to work in the United States.
This could potentially have a significant impact on the hiring and employment practices of some businesses and open borders proponents argue this will simply force illegal aliens further into the shadow economy.
However, to the Trump administration, these are simply further examples of where the American government under prior administrations has stopped enforcing immigration laws.
Bloomberg Law reports –
“Employers that don’t correct the information on the tax forms could be subject to Internal Revenue Service penalties.
Aside from the potential tax penalties, the letters have been viewed as evidence that a particular worker could be an undocumented immigrant who’s using someone else’s Social Security number in order to work.”
“The Trump Administration is committed to ensuring a more efficient and effective government for all Americans,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said in a Sept. 14 email to Bloomberg Law. “This includes protecting Americans from identify theft, and ensuring illegal aliens are not taking advantage of the benefits of American workers.”
The SSA alerted employers in July that it was resuming the practice, and will start sending the letters in 2019, agency spokesman Darren Lutz said in a Sept. 13 email to Bloomberg Law. The letters “will request that the businesses and employers take steps to correct this information on our records, using our free online services, within 60 days,” he said.”
As the no-match letter policy is resumed, it could have significant implications the identification of as many as 75% of the approximately 7 million illegal aliens who are utilizing a social security number that is not their own committing identity theft in stealing the social security of an American citizen.
According to the Daily Caller – “No-match letters can be considered preliminary evidence that a worker is an illegal immigrant who appropriated a social security number to gain employment, according to a September report from the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). Using government records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, IRLI found 39 million instances of social security number mismatches between 2012 and 2016.”
Historically speaking letters were not sent as a means to discourage the employment of undocumented immigrants, but rather to allow for the opportunity to correct any potential clerical errors that may keep Social Security funds from being credited to the proper account. In fact, the Social Security Administration was issuing letters even prior to the 1986 law that made it illegal to knowingly employ illegal aliens.
Some instances are repeat mismatch reports involving the same number. Others have been caused by name changes, clerical or human errors, or identity theft against Americans committed by non-aliens. However, a significant portion of the total number is thought to be related to the stolen identities of American citizens on the part of illegal aliens specifically for the purpose of faking employment or healthcare records.
Yet the Social Security Administration has “never notified the true owner of the Social Security number so that that individual can take steps to protect themselves.”
The former Obama administration quietly suspended the practice in 2012 with little fanfare citing lack of resources. Prior to the suspension of the program, no-match letters were being sent directly to employees, not employers.
The Daily Caller adds – “The termination of no-match letters has resulted in a thriving black market where illegal aliens can obtain the Social Security numbers of U.S. citizens in order to gain employment,” IRLI, the legal wing of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said a news release on Sept. 11. “The Social Security numbers of young children are especially sought by illegal aliens, as this theft is likely to go undetected for years.”
The Obama administration halted no-match letters eight days after it began accepting applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in August 2012. Due to the timing, some immigration policy analysts concluded the move was made to reassure DACA applicants they wouldn’t be prosecuted for identity theft.
“Since awareness that they had been ‘flagged’ as identity thieves might well have dissuaded them from disclosing their whereabouts in a DACA application, suspension of the SSA program was a logical add-on to the other actions taken by the administration to prevent fear of identity-theft prosecution from depressing DACA applications,” Temple University law professor Jan Ting wrote in March.
Historically, the primary aim of no-match letters has been to inform companies and employees that their social security contributions were not being credited because of mismatches. In tax year 2016, there was $1.5 trillion in the SSA’s earnings suspense file, where the agency holds uncredited wages it can’t definitively match to its database of social security numbers.
More than $409 billion of that total was added from 2012 to 2016, the period when the Obama administration stopped sending no-match letters, according to IRLI.
Following a Freedom of Information Act request and lawsuit, records obtained by the institute revealed 39 million instances of Social Security number mismatches between 2012 and 2016.”