39 million Americans have potentially had their Social Security numbers stolen by illegal aliens seeking employment during the Obama administration, according to a new study by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI).

IRLI uncovered this astonishing fact after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Social Security Administration, which sought records on why it had decided to end the practice of sending “no-match” letters to employers when a given Social Security number did not match the name of the true owner. No-match letters would tip-off employers that might be unknowingly employing illegal or criminal aliens.

As part of its overall dismantling of the nation’s immigration enforcement tools, the Obama administration decided to discontinue the decades-old practice of “no-match” letters within eight days after it implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty for illegal aliens.

Because of the prevalence of these stolen numbers, countless taxpayers are left every year trying to defend themselves against IRS audits for not reporting all earned income. The Trump administration announced resumption of the no-match letters earlier this year, but that’s only a half measure since it doesn’t necessarily tie the Social Security number to its correct owner – since there’s no photo ID involved – and it doesn’t check if a candidate is actually eligible to work in the U.S.

Thankfully, there’s an easy fix: The passage of mandatory E-Verify would ensure that all new hires would have their Social Security numbers electronically checked with both the SSA, ensuring the given number matches the name, and the Department of Homeland Security, ensuing the number belongs to a person authorized to work in the U.S.

Dan Stein is the president of the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform.

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