A judge who stopped a new immigration reform rule last month has agreed to put the case on hold until March, 2008 so the administration can rewrite the rule, according to media reports. The rule, which would have required employers to fire workers within 90 days of receiving a "no match" letter if their Social Security information could not be verified, was part of a package of immigration reforms the White House announced in August.
In October, Judge Charles Breyer issued a temporary injunction against the rule, siding with labor unions and business groups that argued enforcement would be costly and could result in legal action from both the government and employees potentially fired over innocent mistakes. In September, Breyer halted about 140,000 "no match" letters the Social Security Administration was set to issue.
Late last week, Breyer agreed to a government motion asking him to suspend the case while the Department of Homeland Security rewrites the rule and conducts a small-business survey, which it expects to complete by March 24. Homeland Security officials told the New York Times the administration is not abandoning the rule and still might appeal the judge's earlier ruling.