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Press Release ANLA: ANLA Joins Legal Challenge Against DHS No-Match Regulation
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For Immediate Release September 13, 2007

For additional information contact:
Jonathan Bardzik, Director of Membership & Marketing
Rebecca Blankenship, Industry Relations Manager
202-789-2900

ANLA Joins Legal Challenge Against DHS “No-Match” Regulation

Washington, DC – The American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) joined seven business organizations on a lawsuit filed yesterday, challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “Social Security No-Match” regulation issued on August 15, 2007. The no-match rule would require employers to take additional steps within a limited timeframe when they receive notice from the Social Security Administration that employees’ names and social security numbers do not match, and to terminate their employment if the discrepancy cannot be resolved.

In an effort to reduce the administrative burden on its small business members, ANLA has joined an effort in the courts, basing its argument on the failure of DHS to comply with the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). Under RFA, government agencies are required to assess impacts of new regulations on small businesses and to seek less burdensome ways for small entities to comply with federal requirements.

Many green industry businesses face high demands for seasonal workers, and would be required to comply with the no-match rule while simultaneously attempting to meet their seasonal hiring needs. “Asking small business owners to dedicate the resources necessary to comply with these regulations during critical seasonal times, when we are struggling to secure and maintain a workforce, is not reasonable,” said Dwight Hughes, Jr., ANLA President and owner of the Dwight Hughes Nursery in Cedar Rapids, IA.

This suit will be considered sequentially along with a suit filed by the AFL-CIO, several California labor groups, and the ACLU last week. That suit argues that due to errors in the Social Security Administration’s database, many American citizens could be unjustifiably terminated because of implementation of the no-match rule. Judge Maxine M. Chesney of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted the AFL-CIO suit a restraining order, temporarily halting the implementation of the no-match rule by DHS.

The delayed implementation of the DHS no-match rule should allow employers additional time to develop their plans for compliance. Meanwhile, ANLA will continue its efforts to compel Congress to enact legislative reforms to national immigration policy; reforms that represent the only true solution to the mounting labor crisis and the needs of the green industry.

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ANLA, a Washington, DC-based trade association, represents green industry business professionals seeking market leadership through advocacy with our nation’s government, a community of industry innovators and experts, and unique profitability focused programming, products and services.

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