Government Revising Plan For Penalizing Businesses That Hire Illegals

The government says it will rewrite rules that penalize employers of illegal immigrants in an attempt to satisfy a federal judge in San Francisco who had stopped the practice.

U-S District Judge Charles Breyer stopped the Bush administration last month from going ahead with enforcement of regulations requiring employers to fire workers if their Social Security numbers did not match records. The current law gave people only 90 days to address the discrepancies.

The plan is meant to expose illegal immigrants who get jobs by giving out fake Social Security numbers and penalize companies that employ them.

In issuing the temporary injunction, the judge said the Social Security database contained errors that could have cost many legal workers their jobs, and the government did not properly study the effect of the rules on business.

Late Friday, Breyer agreed to a request from the administration to put the case on hold while it reworks the regulations. The judge stayed proceedings until March 24.