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Social Security Checks Called 'Silent Raid' On Illegals
Salt Lake Tribune ^ | July 14, 2002 | Dawn House

Posted on 07/14/2002 3:28:24 PM PDT by Tancredo Fan

Social Security Checks Called 'Silent Raid' On Illegals

Sunday, July 14, 2002

BY DAWN HOUSE (c) 2002, THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

The 30-year-old Mexican immigrant fights back tears as he talks about what awaits his family now that he has been fired from his job because his Social Security number didn't match federal records.

"There is nothing there for us," says the Salt Lake City man as he puts his arm around his daughter and talks about his possible deportation to Mexico.

The former welder is among the 500 to 700 Mexican nationals who have contacted their country's consulate in Salt Lake City this year for help after receiving notices from bosses that they have been or will be fired because their Social Security numbers are invalid.

"The number is astounding," Mexican Consul Martin Torres said of the calls.

"Unfortunately, we must tell people that if their documentation is improper, there is nothing we can do except make sure that employers do not take advantage of the situation, that they pay whatever wages are owing."

The Utah cases appear to be a small manifestation of what Angela Kelly, deputy director of the National 15 Immigration Forum, fears is -- in effect, if not intent -- a nationwide crackdown on illegal immigration.

So far this year, the Social Security Administration has mailed 750,000 letters to the nation's employers that said some of their workers' names and Social Security numbers didn't match the federal database. The number of "no match" letters sent out this year is up dramatically from the 110,000 sent out last year, according to Social Security spokesman Mark Lassiter. He said the initiative is simply part of a longtime effort to catch mistakes that could deprive U.S. workers of Social Security benefits.

"Concerns about national security, along with the growing problem of identity theft, have caused us to accelerate our efforts," Social Security Commissioner Jo Anne Barnhart said last month.

But Kelly said the stepped-up effort amounts to "a silent raid against undocumented workers."

"This is a high stakes policy that the Bush administration is pursuing," she said. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know a lot of the people with invalid Social Security numbers are working here illegally. This will have a ripple effect that people across the country will feel."

It is estimated that 8 million to 14 million workers in the United States are undocumented, including 4 million Mexican nationals.

"The initiative is not about undocumented workers," said Bill Bates, Social Security Western states employer liaison officer. "It's about eligible workers getting all the money that is rightfully coming to them."

The Social Security Administration cannot match 7 million to 10 million numbers, he said.

The Social Security form letter clearly states the information should not be used as the basis for discrimination or firing, and that it is not a determination of an employee's immigration status. Marital name changes or even typographical errors can result in mismatches.

The Social Security Administration has no enforcement powers, and it cannot share information with the Immigration and Naturalization Service -- but the IRS can. Under Section 6721 of the Internal Revenue Code, employers can be fined $50 for each invalid Social Security number, up to $250,000 a year.

IRS representatives in Denver and Washington, D.C., refused numerous times to comment on whether the agency is stepping up enforcement against employers whose workers have invalid numbers on tax forms, except to say that fines have been imposed in the past. But employers -- many of whom never received notifications before -- are taking the notices seriously.

At a May meeting of the American Payroll Association in San Antonio, Jerry Michael, chief of the IRS Information Branch, "shocked the audience by saying that these penalties would actually be applied" against employers whose W-2 forms have mismatched names and Social Security numbers, according to a newsletter from the 21,000-member group.

Tom Burger, IRS program manager for employment taxes, was also quoted as saying that penalties would start for the 2002 tax year and that employers could expect IRS notices by mid-2004.

IRS spokesman Jesse Weller would not confirm the report and refused to comment on the issue.

But Norm Goldstein, a Social Security senior financial executive who attended the Texas conference, said that "while what may have been quoted in the newsletter was accurate, the individuals' comments may have been premature." He would not elaborate.

In June, Social Security Employer Liaison Officer Bill Brees told 250 attorneys at the American Immigration Lawyers Association's meeting in San Francisco that the IRS will be conducting follow-up investigations of mismatched Social Security numbers, said panel moderator Nancy Jo Merritt. Brees was unavailable for comment and Goldstein said neither he nor Brees is empowered to speak for the IRS.

John Gay of the American Hotel and Lodging Association said his group has "gotten the message" and alerted its 13,000 members with properties. The National Restaurant Association has also notified its 244,000 members of the IRS initiative.

"Our greatest concern is making sure that employers have a clear mandate from the various entities of the government," said Brandon Flanagan of the restaurant association. "But until we know what that mandate is, we're stressing to our members that the notification from the Social Security Administration is not grounds for dismissal."

Said Teressa Brown of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: "This initiative is causing confusion, uncertainty and upheaval in the workforce. We're asking for a meeting with the IRS to find out exactly what the government's intentions are."

Washington-D.C. attorney Laura Reiff said she is representing one New York company which has notified 200 of its workers they have invalid Social Security numbers.

Torres said about 100 companies have contacted the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City asking for information on how to legalize workers, which he said "undoubtedly has to do with the notification letters."

In Salt Lake City, Mark Steel Corp. has fired 18 employees, Utah Medical Products has terminated six, and three workers failed to show up for their state government jobs after they were told to work out number discrepancies, according to agency and company representatives.

"We would have been happy to have these people as employees if they had the proper documentation, but we had no choice," said Paul Richards of Utah Medical Products. "It is clear that the government is becoming more aggressive at enforcing immigration laws."

Newspaper Agency Corp., the advertising arm of The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, received notices of at least 10 invalid worker numbers. The company is investigating the problem.

Hunter Douglas Fabrication Co. has informed from 150 to 200 workers nationwide -- including 50 workers at its plant in Murray -- that they must work out discrepancies with the Social Security Administration within 90 days or face possible termination.

"We're waiting to see exactly where we stand at the end of the 90 days before we take any action," said Chris Outlaw, the firm's vice president and general counsel. "We certainly don't want to lose these employees."

Some employees have left their jobs rather than explain the discrepancies, said Provo attorney Jose Silva, who is representing 15 workers notified by five companies that they could be fired.

"The employers' main concern is that they want to keep these employees," Silva said, "but depending on the workers' legal status, there may be nothing they can do, especially if the Internal Revenue Service or the Immigration and Naturalization Service become involved."

Miguel Monterrubio, spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C., said Mexican officials have asked consulates across the United States to determine how many expatriates are being affected by the notification letters.

"We are making a diagnosis of the implications of this," he added, "to find possible solutions."

Mexican President Vicente Fox has called the estimated 4 million migrants working in the United States heroes. Money sent home by expatriates is a large source of income for Mexico's economy.

Michael Martinez, an attorney and former chairman of the Utah Advisory Board to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, said employers risk lawsuits if they are unaware of labor and anti-discrimination laws and they single out employees for questioning. He also said that because Utah allows tax identification numbers for purposes of employment, workers do not have to produce Social Security numbers.

Meantime, the fired Utah welder, who asked not to be named because of fear of deportation, said that without a job he will lose his Salt Lake County home.

Other undocumented Mexican workers have been allowed to return to their former company, he said, but at reduced pay and with no benefits.

"I can't live on that pay," he said. "And if I turn in the company I'll be deported. Besides, the people who work there are my friends."


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Mexico; News/Current Events; US: Utah
KEYWORDS: crime; illegalimmigration; immigrantlist; invasion
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.....and talks about his possible deportation to Mexico.

"Possible deportation?" What's that all about? This criminal and millions of others of his ilk should be in jail at this very moment, and his relatives out of here already. This sort of smarmy 'touchy-feely' press is unbelievable. Round 'em up, move 'em out. It's the law.

1 posted on 07/14/2002 3:28:24 PM PDT by Tancredo Fan
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To: Drill Alaska; healey22; lutine; Right_Makes_Might; wku man; sonofliberty2; Fishing Fool; ...
A "get out your crying towel and prepare for viloin music and insults to your intelligence" ping!
2 posted on 07/14/2002 3:29:44 PM PDT by Tancredo Fan
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To: Howlin
a nationwide crackdown on illegal immigration.

Shh. Don't tell the Bush-haters.

3 posted on 07/14/2002 3:33:54 PM PDT by denydenydeny
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To: Tancredo Fan
The liberal press LOVES these noble, hard working, 3rd world, immigrant sob stories. I look at the unemployment rate for how I feel about such law breaking non sense.
4 posted on 07/14/2002 3:35:56 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: Tancredo Fan
Under Section 6721 of the Internal Revenue Code, employers can be fined $50

for each invalid Social Security number

Fifty dollars! Wow, that is draconian. Employers must be really shaking in their boots over the prospect of a $50 fine. No wonder the crackdown is so "silent."

5 posted on 07/14/2002 3:37:30 PM PDT by Plutarch
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To: Tancredo Fan
Why don't they just use those spiffy new Mexican IDs? That are handed out like candy at Mexican consulates?

There must be some kind of Mexican social security number on 'em. (grin)
6 posted on 07/14/2002 3:39:30 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: dennisw
The liberals really love them because the illegals clean their pools, toilets, spread the mulch, cut the grass...things liberals don't do. I know a few who pride themselves on their kindness to underpaid and vulnerable workers--but they still like them underpaid and vulnerable.
7 posted on 07/14/2002 3:40:31 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Tancredo Fan
it's way past time to start penalizing the employers that hire these criminals. Fine the employers and deport the illegals NOW!
8 posted on 07/14/2002 3:43:04 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: dennisw
Don't be too pleased. A portion of the money they were earning is going into your social security. But I'm sure it's good for national security that we have more unemployed Mexicans. Sorry to hear that those Mexicans are stealing all those restaurant jobs away from you.
9 posted on 07/14/2002 3:45:35 PM PDT by dr_who
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To: Plutarch
Under Section 6721 of the Internal Revenue Code, employers can be fined $50

That should be upped to $5,000 per and $25,000 on repeats with no maximum. It would help cure the problem very rapidly.
10 posted on 07/14/2002 3:46:38 PM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Tancredo Fan

BWAHAHHA!! BWAHAHHA!!

I couldn't read any further.. "You know, just because I entered illegally and falsified my papers shouldn't mean that I am not welcome.. I mean, after all, this is America! "

11 posted on 07/14/2002 3:47:17 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: TomGuy
Bump on your #10.

Fifty bucks could easily be written off as the cost of doing buisness. Far, far too low.

12 posted on 07/14/2002 3:48:36 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: Mamzelle
The liberals really love them because the illegals clean their pools, toilets, spread the mulch, cut the grass...things liberals don't do

Some of the upper-crust Repubs seem to prefer them, as well. Otherwise, why are so many still supporting 245(i) Amnesty for Illegals?
13 posted on 07/14/2002 3:50:01 PM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Tancredo Fan
"There is nothing there for us," says the Salt Lake City man as he puts his arm around his daughter and talks about his possible deportation to Mexico.

Well that is just the way the mop flops when you are an obvious illegal immigrant from Mexico. Go back to Mexico where you are a legal citizen and seek your own opportunities. Stop cutting into our legal seniors citizens benefits.

....the IRS will be conducting follow-up investigations of mismatched Social Security numbers....

Finally. Not that this hasn't been suggested on this forum many times. If the IRS gets on their trail they will scatter like quail.

14 posted on 07/14/2002 3:50:23 PM PDT by Brownie74
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To: dr_who
"those mexicans" did take jobs away from someone, maybe not from anyone posting here, but a quick check of the unemployment office in any major city will turn up a bunch of legal Americans that would be no more difficult to train to sweep up or bus tables than the average colombian border crossser.
15 posted on 07/14/2002 3:55:25 PM PDT by norton
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To: Tancredo Fan
But Kelly said the stepped-up effort amounts to "a silent raid against undocumented workers."

What about the silent raid that's been going on against the taxpayer who has to pay for the illegal's healthcare, schooling for their kids, and the incarceration costs for the thousands of them in jail? Or do these illegal alien apologists even care?

16 posted on 07/14/2002 3:57:28 PM PDT by Reaganwuzthebest
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To: dr_who

Doesn't matter.. More people paying into SS isn't the answer. It's a ponzi scheme that's doomed to failure at some point.

All that's left to argue is when.

17 posted on 07/14/2002 3:59:31 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: Tancredo Fan
"The former welder is among the 500 to 700 Mexican nationals who have contacted their country's consulate in Salt Lake City this year for help after receiving notices from bosses that they have been or will be fired because their Social Security numbers are invalid."

Welder? But I thought illegal scumbag aliens only did those jobs Americans won't do.

I'm sure there are plenty of unemployed welders in SLC who would love to have the job that scumbag illegal held. Both the illegal scumbag alien and the scumbag un-American business owner who hired him should be put against a wall and shot.

Then something would have to be done about all the damn aliens being brought in on H-1B visas to do the same thing...steal our jobs...only with the government's blessing.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

18 posted on 07/14/2002 3:59:38 PM PDT by wku man
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To: dr_who
I figure the Mexis are putting you out of your towel boy job.
19 posted on 07/14/2002 4:01:55 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: norton
Not to mention the squeegee men loitering near major intersections in cities throughout the United States.
20 posted on 07/14/2002 4:02:35 PM PDT by mvpel
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To: Tancredo Fan
...longtime effort to catch mistakes that could deprive U.S. workers of Social Security benefits.

No problem as long as the illegals pay into the system and get nothing out - just like the rest of us...

21 posted on 07/14/2002 4:03:01 PM PDT by Libloather
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To: dennisw
PS: Doctor know-it-all forgot to mention that he was a WELDER.
22 posted on 07/14/2002 4:04:45 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: Tancredo Fan
It seems pretty simple to me. The employer notifies the employee that his social security number does not match and advises him to give him his social security number again. If he can not, then the employer is legally barred from hiring that person. This is the same for every worker. What is the big deal?
23 posted on 07/14/2002 4:05:04 PM PDT by BJungNan
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To: Jhoffa_
Is he in fact a welder? Is he an English fellow living here?
24 posted on 07/14/2002 4:06:01 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: dennisw
A play on welch, Perhaps?

From the story:

This guy wasn't taking four dollar restrauant jobs away from anyone.. He was a welder. I have friends who are welders (union and otherwise) and they do VERY WELL financially.

25 posted on 07/14/2002 4:10:47 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: Jhoffa_
I don't disagree with you. Whenever it collapses, though, there will be a lot of red blooded Americans who will be screaming "Where's my money??!!!". Either that or a lot of non-retired Americans who will have to get loans to pay their taxes.
26 posted on 07/14/2002 4:11:11 PM PDT by dr_who
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To: dennisw
Wrong on yet another count.
27 posted on 07/14/2002 4:12:03 PM PDT by dr_who
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To: dr_who

We agree on that..

They continue to take it though.. at the same time they continue to tell me that it's gonna collapse, but they haven't stopped the deductions.

Gonna make allot of people mad when FEDGOV finally has to take responsibility for this mess.

(They might even have to CUT SERVICES! OH NO!)

28 posted on 07/14/2002 4:15:22 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: BJungNan
I'm not sure that you are allowed to check each and every person pre-hire. To hire them they have to fill out an I-9 form.. The following is from http://www.ins.gov/graphics/howdoi/EEV.htm:

What is my responsibility concerning the authenticity of document(s) presented to me?
You must examine the document(s) and, if they reasonably appear on their face to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them, you must accept them. To do otherwise could be an unfair immigration-related employment practice. If a document does not reasonably appear on its face to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting it, you must not accept it. You may contact your local INS office for assistance. To get the address and telephone number of the INS office nearest you, please click the INS district office directory.

29 posted on 07/14/2002 4:16:36 PM PDT by pnz1
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To: Jhoffa_
Welding can pay but I've heard it's bad for your eyes if done for decades.
30 posted on 07/14/2002 4:17:23 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: Plutarch
As a former employer at a small company (and one that employeed both US Citizens and Legal Immigrant Foreign Nationals) I can assure you that you can get in a heck of a lot more trouble than $50 per day for employing an illegal alien.

You can be closed in a matter of hours if the authorities want to take you to task.

I am wondering what I am seeing here. You know, old Bush speaks one thing verbally (let em in) but officially he is clarifying their status and ultimately running em out of here. I like it!!!
31 posted on 07/14/2002 4:17:23 PM PDT by Pylot
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To: dr_who
A portion of the money they were earning is going into your social security.

And you don't think the guy was planning to use his fake Social Security number to take out "his" money eventually? And very likely was already bringing in elderly relatives also obtaining fake numbers to use to make claims. I know Hispanic American who had their numbers stolen from them and used by others and then had all kinds of trouble getting it straightened out. Stolen and fake Social Security numbers are a felony crime if an American citizen does it ----these people aren't above the law.

32 posted on 07/14/2002 4:19:51 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: Tancredo Fan
...and three workers failed to show up for their state government jobs after they were told to work out number discrepancies, according to agency and company representatives.

This is unbelievable- illegal aliens are getting state government jobs? American citizens don't want these? What the heck is going on that background checks aren't done even by government agencies?? What if some these illegals turned out to be terrorists?

33 posted on 07/14/2002 4:20:13 PM PDT by Reaganwuzthebest
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To: pnz1

Yes, and they are pretty simple. One page with directions on the back.

All you have to do is glance at the various forms of ID and if they appear genuine then record the numbers and sign off on them.

It's highly subjective though.. it would be very easy to claim that they looked "legit" and you were "duped."

34 posted on 07/14/2002 4:21:43 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: Jhoffa_
>The 30-year-old Mexican immigrant fights back tears as he talks about what awaits his family now that he has been fired from his job because his Social Security number didn't match federal records.

Translation into English: he committed identity theft.

35 posted on 07/14/2002 4:23:47 PM PDT by Dialup Llama
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To: dennisw

It can be.. Plus in construction welding the environment can be extremely hazardous.

But, still there are allot of welders who would have liked to have had that guy's job I bet. It's hardly one of those "jobs americans don't want to do"

I know a guy who welds caskets (of all things, caskets) and he makes nearly twenty bucks an hour.

36 posted on 07/14/2002 4:24:00 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: Tancredo Fan
What a bunch of BS. They are felons, round them up and send them back.
37 posted on 07/14/2002 4:24:02 PM PDT by doc
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To: Reaganwuzthebest
What about the silent raid that's been going on against the taxpayer who has to pay for the illegal's healthcare, schooling for their kids, and the incarceration costs for the thousands of them in jail? Or do these illegal alien apologists even care?

Exactly. This a country of laws; not just some of the laws liberals and criminals like, but all law. How sneaky of a government agency to enforce a law. Rather, we should continue to pick up the cost of illegals and continue to support Fox's economy. Mexican President Vicente Fox has called the estimated 4 million migrants working in the United States heroes. Money sent home by expatriates is a large source of income for Mexico's economy.

Madness.

38 posted on 07/14/2002 4:24:34 PM PDT by maranatha
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To: Dialup Llama
Yep, that's the way I read it..
39 posted on 07/14/2002 4:24:36 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: Jhoffa_
Sorry, I should have said if they are hired you have to fill out an I-9

I agree it seems pretty vague on what "appears" to be legit.
40 posted on 07/14/2002 4:24:40 PM PDT by pnz1
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To: wku man
Welder? But I thought illegal scumbag aliens only did those jobs Americans won't do.

The illegals who are doing jobs Americans will do are committing all kinds of fraud and should be prosecuted but there are some illegals who are doing the hard work that it is more difficult to find Americans to do and are paid cash----I'd rather see some kind of guest worker program for those relatively few who are in that category --farm workers, maids, gardeners ---which allows them to be more open and with some kind of arrangements for their health care costs.

41 posted on 07/14/2002 4:25:08 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: Tancredo Fan
The 30-year-old Mexican immigrant fights back tears as he talks about what awaits his family now that he has been fired from his job because his Social Security number didn't match federal records.

Cry me a friggin' river.

42 posted on 07/14/2002 4:26:39 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Brownie74
>....the IRS will be conducting follow-up investigations of mismatched Social Security numbers....

How many future Mohammed Attas might be in that group?

43 posted on 07/14/2002 4:27:06 PM PDT by Dialup Llama
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To: Tancredo Fan
"This is a high stakes policy that the Bush administration is pursuing," she said. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know a lot of the people with invalid Social Security numbers are working here illegally. . . "

. . . And every one was a Democrat! (Democrat!)
They wouldn't love a Cheney or a Bush. (Or a Bush!)
They're all vote frauds; they're Democrats! (Democrats!)
Democrats are what they are, they are!
Democrats are what they are!

44 posted on 07/14/2002 4:29:09 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: Pylot
You know, old Bush speaks one thing verbally (let em in) but officially he is clarifying their status and ultimately running em out of here. I like it!!!

Me too ---maybe that's what he meant when he said something about giving amnesty or legallizing those illegals who aren't otherwise breaking any laws. There's a big difference between those illegals who come over to work on a cash basis and will put in a hard days work for it but aren't participating in stolen papers and false documentation but then most of that type intends to return to Mexico eventually.

45 posted on 07/14/2002 4:29:40 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: dennisw
One of these things?

License to steal

Permiso del parásito

46 posted on 07/14/2002 4:31:44 PM PDT by Tancredo Fan
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To: pnz1

Oh sure..

Good Managers and HR Persons will make copies of these documents. But, if you are out to hire illegals it would be easy to put numbers in there and then if you are questioned later just claim that he HAD ID when you hired him..

But, who knows where it is now or what he did with it? I am I my brothers keeper? I swear he had it..

It would be your word, an indignant employer who was "duped" against the word of an illegal migrant who's first official act in the US was to break our law.

Very, very subjective..

47 posted on 07/14/2002 4:32:20 PM PDT by Jhoffa_
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To: pnz1
I-9 form what is this I-9 form my boss gave me one to fill out

do i have to fill it out .he said he needs my ss number wich he has with my W2 form

48 posted on 07/14/2002 4:33:38 PM PDT by PatriotReporter
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To: maranatha
This writer intended her story to be a sympathy piece for the poor undocumented worker, but all she did was expose just how bad things have gotten, not that most of us didn't know already anyway. Still, it would be cheaper and easier for everyone if they would close the border and stop it at the source.
49 posted on 07/14/2002 4:34:13 PM PDT by Reaganwuzthebest
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To: dennisw
"Welding can pay but I've heard it's bad for your eyes if done for decades"

I've been welding for 57 years and my eyes are still pretty good at 65.

50 posted on 07/14/2002 4:34:32 PM PDT by dalereed
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