The Department of Homeland Security’s renewed push to require employers to use Social Security numbers to verify that their employees are in the country legally is not a bad idea – in theory. But it is being implemented at the wrong time, in the wrong way and without proper regard for the harm a premature enforcement action could do to untold U.S.-born workers and the U.S. economy.
As employers, we understand and accept that we as a nation will never get control of the border unless we also get control in the workplace. We understand and accept that we have a vital role to play in this process. And we look forward to the day when the government provides us with the tools we need to determine whether the workers we hire are authorized or not.
But the Social Security No-Match system is an unworkable and ineffective tool: an inaccurate database combined with a cumbersome vetting process, overseen by an unpracticed bureaucracy.
Congress and the Department of Homeland Security can do better – they must do better.
It’s not just our businesses that are at stake – it’s our workers and the health of our economy.