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Write your member of Congress


The new supplemental Social Security No Match Rule could be a disaster for your business. It targets not just undocumented workers, but legal workers, whose only crime is an errant database entry or a name change. And, it could expose your business to wrongful enforcement with potentially serious consequences. So what do you do about it? Might we suggest writing a letter to your U.S. Senator or Representative?

Members of Congress need to keep the pulse of their district, and communication from citizens and business owners truly helps. You’d be surprised how often the member already agrees with you, and simply needed to know that they were on the right track! How do you go about it? E-mails get there faster, in plain text format, or you can send a fax. Phone calls also work.

Whatever you do, grabbing a sample letter and just signing your name is a big no-no. The same prefabricated missive from 10 different people won’t carry the same weight as one well-thought-out, personalized letter. Our advice?

  1. Be original. It’s OK to borrow a few talking points from sample letters (such as this one), but don’t copy verbatim. Choose the arguments that resonate with you, and provide your unique perspective.
  2. Be personal. Identify yourself and the business you represent. A friendly tone goes a long way. If you’ve met or spoken before, mention that; an established relationship is a leg up.
  3. Be specific. Can you give an example of how a legal change would negatively affect your business, your employees or your community? And can you quantify the impact in terms of dollars, jobs or people?
  4. Be brief. A rambling, three-page monstrosity is no one’s idea of a fun read. Get in, make your point, and say “thank you.”

Where to write? The easiest and quickest way to get contact info on your member of Congress (e-mail, phone, FAX) is to look it up online. Here are some places to look:

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