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Immigration Law

Ruling Could Slow Social Security Claims

Posted Sep 7, 2007 1:14 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The Social Security Administration is warning that a judge’s immigration ruling could cause a backlog of work for agency employees at the same time of a significant increase in their workload.

Last Friday U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney of San Francisco temporarily barred the agency from sending letters to employers warning them about employees whose Social Security information does not match agency records, the New York Times reports. The letters say new rules require the employers to fire the employees if they cannot prove their information is valid.

The rules are designed to battle illegal immigrants who submit false Social Security information to land jobs. Plaintiffs, including the American Civil Liberties Union, contend that thousands of legal workers will be fired if the rules are followed.

The Social Security Administration said in court papers filed on Wednesday that delaying and revising the letters could create a backlog that affects processing of routine retirement and disability claims, the Times says.

The agency asked Chesney to move up a hearing in the case from Oct. 1 to Sept. 19, but the judge refused.

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