Sunday, July 16, 2006

Social Security Numbers and Those Illegally in the USA

From BizzyBlog comes this piece from the Washington Times:
Since 2003, the SSA has issued Social Security numbers, dubbed “non-working,” to foreign nationals who need them to collect state or federal benefits, such as public assistance.
The problem is that the SSA isn't allowed to tell an employer that the person they just hired using that SSN is not authorized to work in the country. From the article:
Privacy concerns prevent the Social Security Administration from notifying an employer that a hired foreign national is not authorized to work in this country, including someone who may be a potential national security risk, says a government audit.

The audit, by the SSA’s Office of the Inspector General, also found the agency fears employers will improperly terminate the illegal workers who have been issued Social Security numbers, leading to “adverse publicity.
Hell's Bells! The SSA fears adverse publicity!

This also puts a crimp in my proposed "match/no-match" system for determining whether a proferred SSN matches the name and birthdate of the applicant. In the interest of doling out more Government welfare, people who aren't authorized to work now HAVE Social Security Numbers.

Well, digging a little further, I found the "How do I get a Social Security Card" page. It details three different kinds:
# The first type of card shows your name and Social Security number and lets you work without restriction. We issue it to:

* U.S. citizens; and
* People lawfully admitted to the United States on a permanent basis.

# The second type of card shows your name and number and notes, “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION.” We issue this type of card to people lawfully admitted to the United States on a temporary basis who have DHS authorization to work.

# The third type of card shows your name and number and notes, “NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT.” We issue it to people from other countries:
I'm thinking the businesses that routinely hire illegal aliens aren't going to actually ask the guy standing in the 7-11 parking lot to fork over his card. (Hell, Mr. Contractor isn't likely to ask him to fill out an app.)

So if the SSA won't inform the employer that the number that was given--provided the employer even bothered to collect that number--what is the purpose of having three different cards? A search of their FAQ didn't turn up any references to "Undocumented Worker" or "Illegal Alien", so it could be fair game for their questions page. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for an answer.

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