From the Associated Press:
Employers across the country may have to fire workers with questionable Social Security numbers to avoid getting snagged in a Bush administration crackdown on illegal immigrants.
The Department of Homeland Security is expected to make public soon new rules for employers notified when a worker's name or Social Security number is flagged by the Social Security Administration.
The rule as drafted requires employers to fire people who can't be verified as a legal worker and can't resolve within 60 days why the name or Social Security number on their W-2 doesn't match the government's database.
Employers who don't comply could face fines of $250 to $10,000 per illegal worker and incident.
The natural thought is of illegal immigrants working under phony Social Security numbers and there will be plenty of those cases. However, there may be millions of other cases involving U.S. citizens where the records are simply incomplete or inaccurate. There are many women who changed their names when they married or divorced, but never told the Social Security Administration. Social Security employees will have to resolve these cases -- and in short order. Potentially, this is a huge workload, for which the Social Security Administration is ill-prepared.