WASHINGTON – Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) today called on the Bush Administration to delay its implementation of a new employee verification regulation pending the completion of a full and complete economic impact analysis, as is required by federal law. Currently, the regulation could force businesses to fire employees who have discrepancies with their social security numbers.

“There's a right way and a wrong way to enforce our immigration laws, and relying on a Social Security database that's famous for its inaccuracies is the wrong way,” said Kerry, Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. “Penalizing small business owners and legal employees over clerical errors will undermine the very businesses creating jobs and driving our economy.”

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Social Security Administration Commissioner Michael Astrue, Kerry urged the agencies to reconsider the decision to implement the Proposed Rule on the Safe-Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No-Match Letter (71 Fed. Reg. 34281).

This rule would require employers to follow costly procedures when they receive notice from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that an employee’s name and social security number do not match. If the discrepancy cannot be resolved within 90 days, the employer would be forced to terminate the employee or potentially face criminal liability.

To read the letter that Chairman Kerry sent to Secretary Chertoff and Commissioner Astrue, click here.