Main Menu

New FOIA about Obama’s social-security number

Here is the text of a FOIA request I filed online with the Social Security Administration today:

I am requesting relevant sections from SSA regulations and/or policies relating to the following questions:

1) Are SSA database inquiries through consumer-facing systems such as E-Verify, Self Check and ACA health exchange interfaces blocked for high-ranking government officials either routinely or on an as-requested basis.

2) If the answer to the first question is "yes," what response codes and response text would be returned by these systems in response to a blocked inquiry?

3) A 2013 news story stated that President Obama had difficulty signing up for health insurance through the ACA health exchange online because of identity verification. I am interested in SSA regulations and procedures that might be pertinent to understanding this news item as it relates to blocked database entries for government officials.

Unlike some birther FOIA requests, I intentionally designed this one to ask for information that they can legally give me. I filed it because I am interested in deciding between two competing theories of why Obama’s SSN fails E-Verify: The database inquiry is blocked, or Obama changed his number.

Print Friendly

, ,

21 Responses to New FOIA about Obama’s social-security number

  1. avatar
    SvenMagnussen May 22, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    You should have a third theory. It is quite common for legal permanent resident alien’s authorization to work to expire without renewal. Currently, the law has changed and a legal permanent resident alien has continuous authorization to work. But, in the 80’s, the authorization expired.

    A new, naturalized U.S. citizen doesn’t worry about updating the SSA because they are now a U.S. citizen and their SSN hasn’t expired. It is up to the naturalized U.S.citizen to notify the SSA of a change in status from legal permanent resident alien to U.S. citizen.

    Without an update and change in status, the naturalized citizen will fail E-verify because their authorization to work as a legal permanent resident alien has expired and not their SSN. The naturalized citizen could have been a U.S. citizen since 1983 and used their SSN assigned to them in 1977 without any problems. Then someone checks E-verify and it shows as unable to verify. It’s unable to verify because the naturalized U.S. citizen didn’t change their citizenship status with SSA. They are still a U.S. citizen with a valid SSN, but they will continue to fail E-verify until they update their citizenship status with SSA.

  2. avatar
    Bonsall Obot May 22, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    SvenMagnussen:

    (Lots of unfounded speculation)

    Except that none of what you wrote is relevant to Doc’s inquiry; Doc was querying SSA about President Obama, who was born in Hawaii to an American mother in 1961. Since the President is a Natural Born Citizen, nothing you wrote is applicable to Doc’s FOIA request.

  3. avatar
    Keith May 22, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    SvenMagnussen: They are still a U.S. citizen with a valid SSN, but they will continue to fail E-verify until they update their citizenship status with SSA.

    Except the oversight would be noticed when the new citizen filed his/her Federal Income taxes the first time after the expiration. The SSA checks every SSN to ensure the details match.

    You need to think that one through a bit more, Sven.

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 22, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    I didn’t mean to imply that there were only two possible theories. What I want to decide is which of what I consider the two best theories is the one to advocate.

    SvenMagnussen: You should have a third theory.

  5. avatar
    bovril May 22, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    Sven,

    Utter bullshit, as usual

    If granted a Green Card (not relevant to Obama as he is and always has been a US citizen) the CARD has a finite expiry the STATUS does not. The only issue is that according to the law a PRA needs to have a current card in their possession.

    SSN and e-verify do not change, if you passed before you will still pass

    Do try a little harder

  6. avatar
    SvenMagnussen May 22, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Keith: Except the oversight would be noticed when the new citizen filed his/her Federal Income taxes the first time after the expiration. The SSA checks every SSN to ensure the details match.

    You need to think that one through a bit more, Sven.

    The SSA doesn’t know the legal permanent resident alien naturalized unless the new, naturalized citizen informs them. The SSN is still valid, its the work authorization that has expired.

    U.S. citizens do not need work authorization permits. Consequently, before the law was changed to provide legal permanent resident aliens with permanent work authorization, individuals who naturalized and did not tell SSA their citizenship status has changed will fail E-verify. They aren’t failing E-verify because they don’t have a valid SSN. They aren’t failing because they are not U.S. citizens. They are failing E-verify because they did not notify SSA in their change of citizenship status.

    Google it.

    E-verify
    fail
    naturalized citizens

  7. avatar
    Georgetown University JD May 22, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    An SSN does not “expire” nor is it in any way linked to citizenship. Non citizens can obtain a SSN. Among other reasons, a non citizen often needs a SSN for employment, banking and filing U.S. tax returns for U.S. derived income.

    Shoots that theory, huh?

  8. avatar
    SvenMagnussen May 22, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    bovril:
    Sven,

    Utter bullshit, as usual

    If granted a Green Card (not relevant to Obama as he is and always has been a US citizen) the CARD has a finite expiry the STATUS does not. The only issue is that according to the law a PRA needs to have a current card in their possession.

    SSN and e-verify do not change, if you passed before you will still pass

    Do try a little harder

    The legal permanent resident alien status is permanent. It does not expire. The status can be changed after a hearing and through court order. Without that, it’s permanent.

    Before the law was changed (back when Obama was a legal permanent resident alien), a permanent legal permanent resident alien could obtain a SSN if they could obtain work authorization. The work authorization, if granted, expired.

    Naturalized citizens, like Obama, forget to update the SSA of their change in citizenship status and fail E-verify because the SSA doesn’t know they are U.S. citizens and their work authorization has expired. Their SSN is still valid, but as far as the SSA is concerned, they are working without authorization. Consequently, they fail E-verify.

    Obama should have updated the SSA in 1983, the year he naturalized as a U.S. citizen.

  9. avatar
    Bonsall Obot May 22, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    SvenMagnussen:

    The SSA doesn’t know the legal permanent resident alien naturalized unless the new, naturalized citizen informs them

    Again, irrelevant to Doc’s query and the matter at hand. Doc was seeking information on President Obama, a Natural Born Citizen who has never had need of a work permit.

    SvenMagnussen:

    U.S. citizens do not need work authorization permits.

    See above; as President Obama was and has been a citizen of the U.S. since birth, he has never had need of a work permit. Your “theory” is irrelevant to Doc’s FOIA request.

    SvenMagnussen:

    Google it.

    Why? It’s irrelevant to the matter at hand.

    Further, if you have relevant information, you can simply link to it. Demanding that others verify your argument for you is indicative of the fallaciousness of your argument.

    You fail on so many levels.

  10. avatar
    Bonsall Obot May 22, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    SvenMagnussen:

    Before the law was changed (back when Obama was a legal permanent resident alien)…

    Naturalized citizens, like Obama, …

    Obama should have updated the SSA in 1983, the year he naturalized as a U.S. citizen.

    Begging the question much?

    Your entire “theory” rests upon this long-since-disproved notion that President Obama “naturalized” at some point; in fact, he was born in the U.S. State of Hawai’i in 1961, a fact that has been verified several times by said State, the only authority in the matter. He is, therefore, a Natural Born Citizen.

    Re-stating your fantasy to the contrary will never change the facts. It’s rather embarrassing that you believe it will.

  11. avatar
    Lupin May 22, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    SvenMagnussen: Obama should have updated the SSA in 1983, the year he naturalized as a U.S. citizen.

    As evidenced before, we know for a fact that Obama visited France with a valid US passport in 1979 or 1980. Your “theory” therefore is wrong.

  12. avatar
    Thinker May 22, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    I’m not sure that the the Social Security Administration will tell you anything about E-Verify and Self-Check. They are both run by US Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security. Although they obviously access the SSA database and are constrained by SSA policy, my guess is that the specifics of the search result reports are based on UCIS policy.

  13. avatar
    Notorial Dissent May 22, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    i would be more interested in knowing what the fail rate for e-verify was to begin with, and more importantly how picky it is about how the name is entered.

    From anecdotal evidence, I know that the vaunted green card database has an extremely high failure rate. I am not much more confident of SSA when it comes right down to it.

  14. avatar
    SvenMagnussen May 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    Notorial Dissent:
    i would be more interested in knowing what the fail rate for e-verify was to begin with, and more importantly how picky it is about how the name is entered.

    From anecdotal evidence, I know that the vaunted green card database has an extremely high failure rate. I am not much more confident of SSA when it comes right down to it.

    http://prernalal.com/2010/03/e-verify-fails-for-naturalized-u-s-citizen/

    Here is an article about a man who was a legal permanent resident alien in the 80’s, naturalized in mid-90’s and the nearly lost his job because he failed E-verify in 2010.

    “My uncle was told that he has to inform the Social Security Administration when one becomes a U.S. citizen from a legal permanent resident because USCIS and the SSA do not share information.”

    Obama learned a valuable lesson about sharing of data among agencies.

  15. avatar
    Rickey May 22, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    Even if there were such a person as Harrison J. Bounel, Orly’s FOIA requests would have failed because they were overly narrow in scope. She assumed that he was born in 1890 and she assumed that he was issued the SSN which Obama has used. Then she resubmitted her request, dropping the SSN but once again assuming that he was born in 1890.

    What she should have done was ask for the SS-5 forms for everyone with the surname Bounel who was born prior to 1895. She still wouldn’t have gotten anything, but it would have been the right way to do it.

    Doc does it the right way, of course.

  16. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater May 22, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    I think rather the self check failed for two reasons, at the time Linda Jordan ran it only 21 states were apart of the program. she has yet to run it since. The second reason is incomplete data provided by her. As a test I ran a self check on myself once I entered my name social birthday I was then asked a number of personal questions like who is your car loan with what are the monthly payments what is your due date. Jordan having no way of knowing probably put in the wrong information and the mismatch thus came up.

  17. avatar
    Notorial Dissent May 22, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    Orly simply proved, yet again, that she cannot, or will not, I go with cannot, read and follow directions.

    The instructions for filing an SS-5 request are quite simple and quite specific that they will only search on what you give them. You give them bad information, and you get nothing. It is one of those rare cases where less is more in terms of getting an answer back.

    She gave them too much unrelated information and got bupkis out of it, for two reasons, the name she gave them didn’t/doesn’t exist, and the SSN is/or was at the time a valid current issue.

    They can’t provide information they don’t have, and they can’t release information on living people, two very simple concepts that Orly cannot seem to comprehend. So she will continue to fail and continue to rail I expect.

    Yet amazingly, Rickey was able to get information that does match the census record with no difficulty, simply by following the directions, that proves Orly 100% wrong.

    Ah well, Orly’s husband has lots of money for her to throw around on things like this, so I don’t expect her to stop any time soon.

  18. avatar
    Rickey May 22, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater:
    I think rather the self check failed for two reasons, at the time Linda Jordan ran it only 21 states were apart of the program.she has yet to run it since.The second reason is incomplete data provided by her.As a test I ran a self check on myself once I entered my name social birthday I was then asked a number of personal questions like who is your car loan with what are the monthly payments what is your due date.Jordan having no way of knowing probably put in the wrong information and the mismatch thus came up.

    When I set up my online access to my Social Security information I had to answer similar questions.

  19. avatar
    jayhg May 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    This Sven is the same nut over on free republic telling them that President Obama naturalized in 1983 and then when they ask him for proof (shocking for freepernuts because they usually don’t care about proof when it comes to the president), he says that if he tells them, he will get in trouble for giving out information that he’s not supposed to have…or something like that.

    Then he goes away without giving any proof because, of course, he doesn’t have any. He just has a fantasy that he can’t get anyone to believe is actual truth.

    In short, he’s a nut….

  20. avatar
    Bonsall Obot May 22, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    He could sell that story at Birfoon Report… but that’s probably where he got it in the first place.

  21. avatar
    RanTalbott May 23, 2014 at 1:00 am #

    Notorial Dissent: i would be more interested in knowing what the fail rate for e-verify was to begin with

    I did some research on this during the SB1070 debate, and found some statistics online at the time. Iirc, it rejected about 10% of the people who should have been verified, and verified many of those who should have been rejected (I think it was a similar order of magnitutde, but I’m not confident about that. I’m only sure that it was non-trivial). But I don’t recall how many of the “false okay” results were due to successful identity theft. Could’ve been “nearly all”, or could’ve been “None, because the researchers screened those out”.

    It’s worth noting that those stats were a few years old back then, and may be dramatically different by now.