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Immigrant Workers

In October 2007, the federal district court ruled to continue to protect workers from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) illegal plan to use social security records as an immigration enforcement tool. The DHS plan to use ‘no-match’ letters, which notify employers if their employee forms do not match the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) error-prone data, is a misguided way of threatening employers and causing the senseless firing of countless workers.

If the no-match rule had been implemented, all workers’ rights would be in jeopardy. Employers could fire workers for trying to organize a union and justify the firing based on a no-match letter.

These ‘no-match’ letters would result in an employment crisis in California, as employers unreasonably terminate both authorized and undocumented workers in order to avoid any penalties. By upholding the restraining order that prohibits the distribution of such letters, the court is protecting the rights and jobs of workers nationwide.

The SSA database was never intended to document immigration status; many SSA no-match letters simply reflect inaccuracies and errors in the system. We cannot in good conscience hand over the fate of millions of workers to a flawed computer database.

The DHS plans to release a revised version of the “no-match” rule in the coming months. The California Labor Federation will continue to vigorously oppose this unfair rule.

Contract Provisions That Protect Immigrant Workers

SB 1818 (Romero) requires the State to vigorously enforce our labor laws, regardless of a worker's immigration status. This law mitigates the effects of the Hoffman Plastics Supreme Court Decision , which denied back pay to undocumented workers who are victims of unfair labor practices.