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Social Security “No Match” Letters Could Affect More than 1.5 Million Workers

Press Release
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Social Security “No Match” Letters Could Affect More than 1.5 Million Workers

Court Case to Decide if Homeland Security Guidance Letters Can Be Sent

WASHINGTON  -- A U.S. District Court Judge is expected to rule this week on whether a new Department of Homeland Security regulation regarding Social Security Administration “no match” letters can be implemented.  DHS wants SSA to include guidance on new procedures for employers who receive “no match” letters because they have submitted worker records that do not match the SSA database. The DHS guidance letters detail new actions employers should take that demonstrate they have complied with requirements to hire only persons authorized to work in the United States.

A new MPI Backgrounder shows that there is a strong correlation between the states that receive the most no-match letters and those that have the largest numbers of unauthorized immigrants.  Based on 2006 information, more than 1.5 million workers would be affected by the new DHS procedures, with approximately 1 million concentrated in ten states. The estimates are based on the fact that no-match letters are sent to employers with more than 10 and up to 500 workers with no-match records. 

Top Ten States with Employers Receiving No Match Social Security Letters in 2006

State

Total Number of EDCOR Letters, 2006

Percent of Total  EDCOR Letters, 2006

Minimum Number of Employees Affected*

Total Unauthorized Population (Estimate)

Percent of Total US Unauthorized Population

California

35,474

25.6

390,214

2,830,000

24.5

Texas

12,713

9.2

139,843

1,640,000

14.2

Florida

7,378

5.3

81,158

980,000

8.5

Illinois

6,455

4.7

71,005

550,000

4.8

New York

5,688

4.1

62,568

540,000

4.7

Arizona

5,542

4.0

60,962

500,000

4.3

Washington

5,002

3.6

55,022

280,000

2.4

North Carolina

4,705

3.4

51,755

370,000

3.2

New Jersey

4,676

3.4

51,436

430,000

3.7

Georgia

4,669

3.4

51,359

490,000

4.2

All other states

46,099

33.3

507,089

2,950,000

25.5

Other areas

46

0

506

NA

NA

United States

138,447

100

1,522,917

11,550,000

100

* The minimum number of employees per state referenced in 2006 EDCOR “no-match” letters was calculated by multiplying the total number of EDCOR letters sent out to the state by the minimum number of names in each EDCOR letter (11 names). Source: Social Security Administration 2006, Bureau of Labor Statistics 2006.

”If the judge decides the new DHS procedures are legal and if employers implement them, substantial numbers of unauthorized workers could be terminated,” said MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner. “At the same time, SSA is prohibited from releasing no-match information to DHS for enforcement purposes. So the regulation would not make it any more likely that an employer who receives a no-match letter would be the target of a DHS investigation.  Instead, the initiative attempts to lead employers to take actions themselves that could reduce the overall numbers of unauthorized immigrants working in the country.”

The Backgrounder includes data on the number of “no match” letters to employers in each state.

It also includes an overview of the SSA no-match system and the legal arguments in the case. It is available online.