“No Match = No Sense” Action in LA, 10/3/2007

STOP SSA from using no-match letters as weapons against workers!
Please sign-on to the letter for California groups and join the action at the local SSA office in Los Angeles next week!

What: Press Event & Rally at Local SSA Office
Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: SSA office in Los Angeles, 4000 Wilshire Boulevard (@ Wilton)

On August 31, 2007, a federal judge in San Francisco issued an order temporarily blocking the government from implementing the new Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “no-match” rules. The order came in response to a lawsuit filed by the AFL-CIO, ACLU, NILC, and the Central Labor Council of Alameda County charging that the new DHS rules would threaten the jobs of US citizens and legally authorized workers due to errors and inaccuracies in the social security database. On Monday, October 1, a judge will hear arguments on whether to permanently bar implementation of the DHS rules.

We need to keep up the pressure on SSA to stop sending no-match letters to employers and to stop hijacking the social security database to use for immigration enforcement! If implemented, the new rules will result in massive firings, widespread discrimination at the workplace, and increased exploitation and abuse of workers.

What can you do
If you are based in California:
Please add your organization, union, or group as a signatory to the attached letter, urging SSA to stop sending no-match letters to employers. Please send your name and the organization’s name to rchakraborty [at] igc.org no later than next Tuesday, October 2 by 5 p.m.

If you are based in Southern California:
Please join us for a press event and rally at the local SSA office in Los Angeles next Wednesday, October 3 at 10 a.m.

Endorsers (list in formation)
ACLU of Southern California, ANSWER Coalition, Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Enlace, Instituto de Educacion Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA), Koreatown Immigrant Workers Advocates (KIWA), Korean Resource Center (KRC), Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Multiethnic Immigrant Worker Organizing Network (MIWON), National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund, No More Sweatshops, Pilipino Workers Center, Strengthening Our Lives (SOL), Sweatshop Watch, and UNITE HERE.

For more information, please contact
Rini Chakraborty, Sweatshop Watch, 213.252.5945, ext. 1, rchakraborty [at] igc.org
Sookyung Oh, NAKASEC, 323.937.3703, ext. 206, soh [at] nakasec.org
Liz Sunwoo, MIWON, 213-550-6042, liz [at] miwon.org

Protest Letter

October 3, 2007
Mr. Peter D. Spencer, Regional Commissioner
U.S. Social Security Administration
P.O. Box 4201
Richmond, CA 94804

Dear Mr. Spencer:

We, the undersigned immigrant rights, labor, community, and faith-based organizations in California, are writing to express grave concerns about the Social Security Administration’s plan to send no-match letters with the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule insert to nearly 140,000 employers across the country. Such action by the SSA, which would affect approximately eight million workers nationwide, would have a particularly devastating impact on workers and businesses in California, where over 35,000 notices – more than 25% of the total number of notices – would be sent to employers in this state alone. We therefore urge SSA not to send no-match letters to employers, and to send letters only to employees.

As SSA has repeatedly emphasized, receipt of a no-match letter does not imply any wrongdoing on the part of either the employee or the employer. As you know, there are numerous reasons for issuing no-match letters, including misspelled names, name changes, typographical errors, and database errors. However, by imposing liability on employers based on failure to respond to a no-match letter, the new DHS rule perverts the intended policy goal of these letters (i.e., to ensure that workers receive proper credit for their earnings that count towards their future benefits) – and instead hijacks the error-prone social security database to use as a weapon against workers.

Such a misguided policy will not only harm millions of workers, but will wreak havoc on businesses and the economy as a whole. Specifically, the no-match letters will result in:

- Massive wrongful firings of workers, both US citizens and immigrants alike, throughout the country. The SSA database was never intended as a means of determining immigration status or work authorization. Usurping the database for improper immigration enforcement is all the more problematic since SSA records are notoriously inaccurate and incomplete. According to SSA’s own Office of the Inspector General, 12.7 million of the 17.8 million discrepancies in SSA's database - more than 70% - involve records of native-born U.S. citizens. Relying on these records will result in the wrongful firings of lawfully authorized workers.

- Widespread discrimination against foreign-born workers. According to General Accounting Office (GAO) reports, employers refuse to hire “foreign-sounding” or “foreign-looking” workers because they fear penalties for hiring undocumented workers. Sending no-match letters to employers will further exacerbate the very real problem of illegal discrimination against workers who appear “foreign.”

- Unscrupulous employers using no-match letters as weapons to intimidate and punish immigrant workers when workers try to organize or defend their workplace rights. The new rule will also entice many employers to sidestep the government altogether by moving into the unregulated, cash-based “underground economy.” The end result will be unfair competition for businesses, the loss of tax revenue, and further exploitation and abuse of workers

We would like to schedule a meeting with you as soon as possible to fully discuss our concerns with the new DHS rule. Please contact Rini Chakraborty at (213) 252-5945, ext. 1 or [insert Bay Area contact] to schedule a meeting. Thank you for your time.


ACLU San Diego & Imperial Counties
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299
ANSWER Coalition
API Equality-LA (Asians and Pacific Islanders for Marriage Equality)
Applied Research Center
Asian Law Alliance
Asian Law Caucus
Asian Pacific American Legal Center
Bethel Korean United Methodist Church
Bet Tzedek Legal Services
Black Alliance for a Just Immigration
California Immigrant Policy Center
California Korean Contractors Association
Californians for Justice
Catalyst Project
Central American Resource Center
Centro Latino Cuzcatlan
Chin-An Hometown Friendship Association
Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
The Committee of Human Rights for Undocumented Immigrants
Diane Middleton Foundation
Downey First Church
East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Filipinos for Affirmative Action
Global Exchange
Good Friend Mission
Good Friend Mission for Disabled People
Good News Church
Hanmi Family Counseling Center
Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana
Homies Unidos
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Institute of Popular Education of Southern California
Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights
International Action Center
Korean Community Center of the East Bay
Korean Drycleaners-Laundry Association
Korean Full Gospel Church of Hayward
Koreatown Immigrant Workers Advocates
Korean Resource Center
La Raza Centro Legal
La Raza Centro Legal, San Francisco Day Labor Program
Latinos Against War
La Voz Latina – Tenderloin Housing Clinic
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
Lideres Campesinas
The Light of Glory Church
Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
Los Angeles Mokhwa Senior Center
Los Angeles Taxi Worker Alliance
Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund
Mexican American Political Association
Mujeres Unidas y Activas
Multiethnic Immigrant Worker Organizing Network
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
National Day Laborer Organizing Network
National Economic Development and Law Center
National Employment Law Project
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund
National Employment Law Project
National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area
No More Sweatshops
Ok Hab Church
Pacific American Volunteer Association
Pilipino Workers Center
Priority Africa Network
Progressive Jewish Alliance
Sacramento Korean Baptist Church
San Francisco Gray Panthers
San Francisco Korean United Methodist Church
San Francisco Living Wage Coalition
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California State Council
SEIU Local 1021
SEIU Local 1877
SEIU United Healthcare Workers (UHW) West
South Asian Network
South Bay Korean American Senior Center, Inc.
Southeast Asian Community Alliance
St. Peters Housing Committee
Strengthening Our Lives
Sweatshop Watch
Trans Equality LA
Union De Vecinos
Young Workers United

Senator Barbara Boxer
The Honorable Joe Baca, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Ms. Victoria Bradshaw, California Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development
Ms. Angela Bradstreet, California Labor Commissioner
Mr. Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security
The Honorable Joe Coto, Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus
Senator Diane Feinstein
The Honorable Michael Honda, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
The Honorable Carole Migden, Chair of the California State Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee
The Honorable Fabian Nunez, Speaker of the California State Assembly
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Honorable Don Perata, Senate President pro Tem of the California State Senate
The Honorable Sandre Swanson, Chair of the California State Assembly Labor & Employment Committee
The Honorable Alberto Torrico, Chair of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus