TN 1 (12-16)
GN 03313.095 Disclosure to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
We provide general instructions for disclosing information from our systems of records to other Federal agencies and officials and a link to our systems of records and their applicable routine uses in GN 03313.001. If you receive a request from DHS, please contact your regional Privacy Act Coordinator (PAC).
Disclosure to administer DHS programs
DHS offices and agencies request Social Security Number (SSN) and number holder information from our records. We often receive requests from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). We share information with DHS through centralized data exchange agreements. DHS uses the information we provide to identify and locate aliens living in the United States.
We also share information about potential employees with employers and USCIS through the centralized E-Verify process, which has its own routine use in the Master Files of Social Security Number (SSN) Holders and SSN Application System of Records (Numident). The E-Verify process screens job applicants in order to verify their authorization to work in the United States. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals they hire for employment, to preclude the unlawful hiring of aliens who are not authorized to work in the United States. For more information about the E-Verify process, see RM 10245.015.
A. Disclosure for DHS, USCIS purposes
We may honor a request for information received from DHS and any of its related offices if the request meets the criteria for disclosure. A request from DHS must:
involve identifying and or locating aliens in the United States; or
meet the law enforcement criteria for disclosure found in GN 03312.040; or
meet the limited criteria under which we may disclose tax return information discussed in item A.2 below.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1360(b)) requires us to disclose to DHS information concerning the identity and location of aliens in the United States. Such information includes:
date of birth;
place of birth; and,
NOTE: We may disclose the above information only if the information will help DHS identify and or locate aliens in the United States. We do not disclose any other information in response to these types of requests.
The request must also contain enough identifying information, (e.g., SSN, name, date of birth, place of birth, mother’s maiden name, and father’s name), to help us search for the requested information. If a
request does not indicate that the subject of the request is an alien and the information is contained in our records, we may disclose information if our records indicate that the subject of the request was an alien at the time we issued a SSN to that person. In this case, an entry other than “A” will appear in the citizenship (CSP) field in the birth line on the Numident record.
Name and address information included in wage reports we receive from employers and self-employed persons is considered tax return information. The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) generally prohibits disclosure of this information. However, the IRC authorizes us to make certain discretionary disclosures to DHS in accordance with the Privacy Act. Therefore, we may disclose the name and address of aliens and employers reporting earnings for aliens to whom we issued SSNs for non-work purposes. We consider a request for this information to be program-related since it helps us protect the integrity of the SSN issuance program and detect SSN misuse. We do not charge fees for providing information for program-related purposes.
a. Pre-1997 earnings posted to SSN issued for non-work purposes
The IRC prohibits disclosure of pre-1997 earnings posted to SSNs issued for non-work purposes. The only exception is when we initiate the disclosure. Refer requests for pre-1997 earnings information to the Office of Privacy and Disclosure (OPD) through your regional PAC.
b. Post-1997 earnings posted to SSN issued for non-work purposes
The Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. § 1360(c)(2)) requires us to disclose certain information to DHS about aliens who have earnings posted to SSNs that were issued for non-work purposes after January 1, 1997. The information that we may disclose is the:
· name and address of the alien;
· name and address of the person reporting the earnings; and
· amount of the earnings posted.
We make these disclosures annually to DHS in electronic format. Refer requests for post-1997 earnings posted to SSNs issued for non-work purposes to OPD through your regional PAC.
c. Educational and decentralized correspondence letters
DHS has responsibility for making determinations regarding an employee’s legal status. We do not disclose information regarding our W-2 suspense file or any information concerning whether a particular employer would have received, did receive, or was qualified to receive, an Educational Correspondence (EdCor) Letter or a Decentralized Correspondence (DeCor) Letter identifying employees whose names and SSNs may not match our records. We have not sent these letters to employers since tax year 2005, due to a court injunction against DHS. Consult your Employee Service Liaison Officer if you receive a request for an EdCor or DeCor Letter.
3. Law enforcement
DHS usually requests information for the purpose of identifying and locating aliens in the United States. However, we may also receive requests from DHS’ CBP and ICE that relate to law enforcement. These requests must meet the criteria for a valid law enforcement request, as described in GN 03312.040. Although uncommon, CBP, ICE, or other DHS components may request information about a U.S. citizen.
The DHS United States Secret Service (USSS) protects the President and other high-level officials and investigates counterfeiting and other financial crimes, including financial institution fraud, identity theft, computer fraud, and computer-based attacks on our nation’s financial, banking, and telecommunications infrastructure. We may disclose information to the USSS in response to requests involving national security or threats to the lives of government officials. Refer these requests to OPD through your regional PAC.
Field offices and other agency components also get involved with and maintain certain investigatory records when developing fraud cases. These cases, Program Integrity Case Files, are under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Office of Investigations.
4. Requests received in a Teleservice Center (TSC)
We may receive calls from the DHS in the TSC. Advise the caller that the request must be in writing on official agency letterhead. The request must specifically state that the subject person is an alien. Provide the address below to the caller for mailing the request to the appropriate office for processing:
USCIS District Manager
Fallon Federal Building
31 Hopkins Plaza, First Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
If the caller indicates that an emergency exists, refer the caller to the regional PAC through a TSC manager. The PAC should process the request only if we have authority to disclose the requested information. Otherwise, refer the request to OPD for processing. Also, refer any questions regarding the appropriateness of a disclosure to OPD for guidance.