No-Match  Safe Harbor Rule

No-Match Safe Harbor Rule

No-Match Safe Harbor Rule. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

The immigration issue is still a hot bed of contention with ag producers across the U.S. Dan Fazio with Washington State Farm Bureau says the DHS No-Match Rule is still up in the air.

FAZIO: The No-Match Safe Harbor was something that the Department of Homeland securities was and still is I assume, still very interested in. That’s the letters that come to employers, or used to come to employers from the Social Security Administration telling them which names and social security numbers didn’t match from the previous years taxes. The Bush administration enacted a regulation to deal with that and they were promptly sued and it’s been held up in court ever since.

It’s well known that the regulation had some problems that really forced producers to get put on the line.

FAZIO: The agency said that they fixed the problems and now it’s time to go to the judge and see if that’s happened but a new administration has come in and the new administration is seeking time to “re-evaluate the policy,” and they have been seeking time to re-evaluate the policy since February.

It seems the Obama administration has needed a bit more time to digest the issue.

FAZIO: I guess they’re making progress because in February their briefing was due and they asked for a 2 month extension and received it, from February to April. In April they asked for another 2 month extension until June and in June they only asked for a one month extension so that may be progress in the world of the government.

Fazio says that it is important to know where the border really is.

FAZIO: The only way you could fix the system is with a national ID card and I don’t think anyone has the stomach to go there so you know we need to decide where the border is. Is the border between Mexico and California or are the border police the farmers who are trying to hire people? You just can’t have employers being the border enforcement anymore.

Fazio believes that the Administration will drop its case and withdraw the rule, thus causing more uncertainty about the whole "no-match" program. Meanwhile, SSA has suspended its practice of sending "no-match" letters to employers, but still sends them out to individual workers to alert the worker that she/he is not getting "credit" for social security purposes.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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