Monday, September 24, 2007

Social Security office refuses to meet with immigrant rights coalition

Colorado participated in a national movement voicing opposition to the new DHS ruling on Social Security no-match letters and request that the SSA not send letters to employers

On Wednesday, September 19 five delegates from organizations of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition attempted to deliver a letter to the office of the Regional Commissioner for the Social Security Administration (SSA). The letter expressed our concern with the new DHS no-match letter regulations and asked the SSA to send letters to employees instead of employers if the October 1 ruling over turns the current injunction on the new rule. The letter was signed by twenty faith, labor and immigrant rights organizations throughout the state of Colorado, including organizations from Alamosa, Boulder, Denver, Durango, Greeley, Ft. Collins, Longmont and Montrose.

The delegates representing organizations who signed the letter included:

Sarah Custer, SEIU local 105; Gabriela Flora, American Friends Service Committee; Scott Kwasny, Jobs with Justice; Blake Pendergrass, Front Range Economic Strategy Center; Chandra Russo, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition

We had been in conversation with the SSA Commissioners office for several weeks attempting to schedule a meeting to no avail. When we arrived to deliver the letter they refused to meet with us and instructed us via phone to leave the letter with security. We followed up by sending a hand written note along with another copy of the letter, expressing our disappointment in the failed meeting and our concern about the no-match matter. We also sent copies of the original letter to our CO delegation, majority and minority leaders in the CO assembly and the governor. We will continue to work with our allies across the country to stop the implementation of this damaging new rule.

Ch. 7, Ch. 2 and Univision showed up at the event with cameras and interviewed the delegation, along with an AP reporter. We also had live interviews on Spanish language radio Buena Onda (one before and one after) and with CNN Spanish radio.

Coverage on Channel 4: ID Verification Rule Could Hurt Legal Immigrants

AP write up: Advocates want delay in new Social Security verification rules
Associated Press - September 19, 2007 7:04 PM ET


Anonymous said...

This rule is not SSA's doing. It's DHS's and the fact that the White House has given Chertoff carte blanche on immigration while ignoring SSA's concerns about the impact on authorized workers and SSA's field office workloads.

Piper said...

That's true. however, the Social Security administration has a choice about whether they will use DHS' rules or continue to use the old system or make their own new rules. this is because DHS is on an equal level to the SSA and so neither Department can tell the other what to do.