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'No match' means no job?

The news:

Elvira Arellano, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who spent much of the last year holed up in a Northwest Side church, was deported in August. Arellano had been given a deportation order after she was found to have used a fake Social Security number to obtain employment at O'Hare International Airport.

Behind the news:

Between 2003 and 2005, the U.S. Social Security Administration sent out an average of 129,333 "no-match" letters a year to employers with 10 or more workers whose Social Security numbers didn't match federal records.

Pat Reilly, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said there is no way for her agency to determine how many of the no-match letters were sent to undocumented immigrants like Arellano. But in August, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a new rule that imposes fines if employers fail to respond to these no-match letters within 93 days.

According to a 2003 survey by the University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Urban Economic Development, nearly 54 percent of employers responded to no-match letters by firing their workers.

Firing workers without giving them a chance to rectify the no-match would constitute firing without cause, Reilly said. Furthermore, the recent "crackdown," which is now temporarily on hold, is just a new framework on an old responsibility.

"It's a 20-year-old law that you don't hire illegal aliens," Reilly said. "As long as it's our job to enforce the law, we're going to try to do it to the best of our ability."
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:SPINOFFS: Keeping Current
Author:Petersen, Brittany
Publication:The Chicago Reporter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2007
Words:256
Previous Article:Community reacts.
Next Article:Ethnic toys aimed at diverse consumers.
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