(Oct. 5) Drawing fire from conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill and a temporary sigh of relief from agricultural employers, a San Francisco federal judge said he would need until Oct. 10 to rule on the “no-match” regulation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A previous order delaying implementation of the rule was set to expire Oct. 1.

Charles Breyer, San Francisco federal judge, said he needed more time to decide the issue of whether the DHS could proceed with a new rule that would force employers to comply with no match letters from the Social Security Administration.

The delay in the rule prevented 140,000 “no-match” letters from being sent by the Social Security Administration, government sources indicated in various press accounts.

The no-match letters tell employers which of their workers don’t have valid Social Security numbers.

While similar letters have been sent out regularly to employees since 1979 and to most employers since 1994, the new letters would inform employers they must resolve discrepancies or be liable for worksite enforcement from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The order for the initial delay in implementation resulted from a lawsuit by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center.

In addition, the National Federation of Independent Businesses joined Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association and other business groups in questioning the DHS no-match rule.

In a member update, United said the National Federation of Independent Businesses filed an amicus brief urging the federal district court of northern California to require DHS to perform an analysis of the regulation and its impact on small businesses.