The Department of Homeland Security is rescinding its controversial “no-match” regulation targeting employers with undocumented workers. “After further review, DHS has determined to focus its enforcement efforts relating to the employment of aliens not authorized to work in the United States on increased compliance through improved verification, including participation in E-Verify, ICE Mutual Agreement Between Government and Employers (IMAGE), and other programs,” the department said.

The rule will take effect 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register
or November 6, 2009. The no-match rule, also called the safe harbor rule, required the Social Security Administration to inform employers when it sent them no-match letters that they needed to resolve discrepancies or face liability. The letters were sent to employers when a certain percentage of their employee Social Security numbers did not match information in government records.

The Bush administration issued the rule in 2007, but it was challenged in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California by a coalition of labor, business,
and immigrant rights groups. The court blocked the rule before it went into effect. In
early 2008, DHS issued revisions to the rule to address issues raised in the court case.

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