Take the 5th on Social Security Number?

  Can you take the Fifth when an employer asks you for a Social Security number of a Birth date?

Every since Social Security was invented we have been told that Social Security isn't a "National Identity Number", but that is a lie. The Social Security number is used by the American police state to hunt down criminals, and keep people who are criminals in the eyes of the government from working. Of course anyone who wants to work and doesn't have a Social Security number is a criminal in the eyes of the government.

So since the government forces employers to ask employees for a Social Security number is that something you can take the 5th Amendment on and refuse to answer? And after all the cops will use any lies you give your employer about your Social Security Number or birth date as a reason to put you in jail it is a valid concern.


Lawyers flooded by calls on immigration laws

by Betty Beard - Jun. 6, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

How is a company supposed to respond if raided by federal immigration agents or Sheriff Joe Arpaio's deputies because it is suspected of having undocumented workers?

What if a temporary worker or visitor, perhaps a highly skilled engineer from India, is stopped for speeding and sent to a detention center because she doesn't have the proper documents?

What happens if an employee, who turns out not to have the proper work authorization, is detained with a company vehicle and perhaps tools, a laptop or other equipment and the company can't find out where its employee or its assets are?

Immigration and employment attorneys say they are getting frequent calls from employers concerned about such issues in light of Arizona's new immigration law and the state employer-sanctions law that took effect in 2008.

Lawyers have been handing out scripts and training employees on how to handle raids by armed agents and advising companies on procedures for handling foreign visitors or temporary workers in case they are detained.

They also strongly recommend that companies regularly audit their paperwork, particularly the federal employment-eligibility-verification forms, I-9s, that citizens and non-citizens alike have to fill out within three days of being hired.

The employer sanctions, or Legal Arizona Workers Act, which took effect Jan. 1, 2008, gave the state authority to suspend or revoke the business license of any employer found to have knowingly or intentionally hired an illegal immigrant.

Senate Bill 1070, which takes effect July 29, makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally. It says an officer engaged in a lawful stop, detention or arrest shall, when practicable, ask about a person's legal status when reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally.

While the 2008 employer-sanctions law had a more direct impact on employers, SB 1070 has "ratcheted the level of concern by quite a bit," said Nancy-Jo Merritt, who heads the immigration group at Fennemore Craig.

"They (companies) are concerned because it's such an enforcement-oriented atmosphere, and a lot of that is focused on employers."

Raids, police encounters

Although legal firms have been advising companies how to prepare for raids for years, attorneys say the advice is worth repeating because more companies now could be faced with such a situation.

Merritt said companies need to train everyone on how to handle raids and how to ask for warrants and identification from the officers.

"These are people who are armed," she said. "You don't argue with them, and you have a process. You keep good records. You get names. You get (business) cards. You cooperate, and you get the appropriate paperwork that you need to get from an agency that is coming there."

Attorney Julie Pace, with the Cavanagh Law Firm, has begun sending scripts to companies to tell them how to handle a variety of law-enforcement encounters, including traffic stops.

"Senate Bill 1070 seems to turn us more into a police state," she said. "So we are trying to get scripts to people to teach them to not get angry or get mad at officers when they pull them over."

She suggested that companies with large groups of foreign workers create a "lifeline," someone at the company who speaks their language and can help the workers if they get flustered or scared or have questions during a stop.

The best defense for a company that is raided is to make sure it has its paperwork in order, particularly the I-9 forms, attorneys say. They recommend regular internal and external audits. A number of legal firms and other companies will audit those forms to make sure they are filled out correctly and to see if anything looks suspicious.

Paperwork questions

Attorneys are concerned about what type of documents foreign-born workers will need to carry with them to comply with Senate Bill 1070 and prove they are authorized to work or travel in the U.S. Some of that probably will become clearer as the law takes effect, they said.

They could carry passports, but generally, travelers in foreign countries are advised not to carry passports because they could get stolen, said Phoenix attorney Bonnie Gibson, who is with Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy LLP, a large international law firm that specializes in immigration matters.

Driver's licenses are another document that can prove citizenship. But Gibson said companies with workers who travel back and forth from New Mexico - truck drivers, for example - are concerned. New Mexico does not require proof of citizenship to get a regular driver's license, and a New Mexico license would not be recognized as legal proof in Arizona.

Business travelers, such as those visiting the United States for business meetings or conventions or perhaps to negotiate a deal, carry federal I-94 forms designed to help the U.S. Customs and Border Protection track their arrivals and departures.

It has been proposed that paper forms be replaced by electronic records for visitors from certain countries, such as those in Western Europe and Japan. So those visitors may end up with nothing on paper to show to an officer.

Disappearing workers

Another problem companies have encountered since the employer-sanctions law took effect is where employees might be detained. The employer is left in the dark, not knowing why the worker disappeared and if the firm's customers were served. Attorneys advise companies to determine in advance which agencies and phone numbers to call to determine if an employee has been detained.

Christy Hubbard, an employment lawyer with Lewis and Roca LLP, said, "We have had problems where employers had no idea where their employees were. They couldn't locate them for a period of time.

"Employers need to think that through if the employee went missing, 'What happens to our vehicle? What about the safety of our employee? How do we know they were not kidnapped or hurt in a hospital?' Sometimes it can take a while to find them."


Papers Please