After receiving 'no-match letters' from their employers, hundreds of immigrant labourers in the USA are being forced to quit their jobs. Failing to prove their legal status many are losing the jobs.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump's administration may send out over 570,000 'no-match letters' to companies. The Social Security Administration (SSA) in its announcement said that it would resume the practice of sending 'no-match letters' to employers after a seven-year hiatus. On receiving the letters, employers of many have chosen to do a "cleanup" of their labour forces.
'No-match letters' are sent out when the SSA detects discrepancies between its records and the information provided by employees on their W-2 tax forms. In some cases, however, the discrepancies could be due to administrative or date-entry errors.
"These measures put employers in an alarming situation since they depend on the workforce of thousands of immigrants to keep their businesses operative at a time of high employment," immigration activist and analyst Carmen Cornejo said.
She said that letters are causing companies a bout of anxiety, principally those in the hotel, agriculture and construction industries, the sectors most affected by the measure. She often receives calls from workers asking for advice on the dismissals, which they consider "unjustified".
An owner of a furniture store in Phoenix said "Nobody wants problems with the federal government. I only wanted to know what my responsibilities were. You can't just go ahead and fire people, you first have to give them the chance to prove they are working here legally,"
The businessman said that he sought legal advice after receiving 'no-match letters'.
Critics say the reactivation of the process is part of the Republican administration's immigration policies.
"This has been completely planned -- the government actions are deliberate and are on the rise. This is not just business as usual, but the government is demanding an ever greater number of cases," Cornejo said.