Feeds

Ruling allows US tech firms to dodge an immigration bullet

Feds still have plenty of ammo, though

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

That's exactly what the plaintiffs - a collection of labor unions and industry groups - argued in their suit against the feds. The new rules would create exorbitant new expenses, they alleged, and they would result in the termination of authorized workers, both citizens and immigrants alike.

During arguments in the case, The government recognized that its records are rife with errors. (The hell you say!) Under the new rules, an employer would not be able to accept a document containing a disputed Social Security number. So even if the fault lay with the SSA, the employee couldn't maintain his employment based on the disputed, but accurate, number.

In the absence of any other kind of proof, the employer would have to let the employee go rather than face criminal charges for "knowingly" employing an "illegal" worker.

Judge Breyer agreed with the plaintiffs' arguments, finding that they raised sufficient questions about whether the DHS had followed legal requirements in creating the new rules.

Since the plaintiffs had also demonstrated that the current rules would result in irreparable harm to innocent employers and workers, the judge held that a preliminary injunction was appropriate.

Even though the group of plaintiffs consists mostly of labor unions (such as the AFL-CIO), restaurant industry groups and agricultural interests, the technology industry stands to benefit greatly from the decision as well.

It's common knowledge that the US tech sector relies heavily on talent imported from abroad. And with the current sorry state of enrollment of US kids in computer science and engineering programs, that reliance is set to expand into the future.

Safe Harbor from the letter storm

Given that much of the tech sector depends on immigrant labor, the new DHS rules could seriously impact companies' bottom lines if the injunction doesn't hold.

Even assuming that all of the immigrant tech workers are in the country legally, the number of potential errors in the SSA records could still set off a flood of No Match letters to tech companies, which would then have to put HR procedures in place for dealing with the letters to take advantage of the safe harbor in the new regulations.

Such processes rarely come cheap, and even a perfect process can't protect workers who are the victims of SSA screw-ups. The last thing companies want to do is fire a lead project engineer just because an SSA employee entered that employee's social security number into the agency's system improperly, but that might end up being a common result if the DHS rules go into effect.

For the moment, however, tech companies appear to be off the hook.

But for the government, tomorrow is a new day, a new court - and possibly a new result.®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.