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Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 7:32 pm
by thefoggycity
Bogleheads

I am an educator working at a school that serves families who are extremely low income, many of whom are recent immigrants. One of our wonderful family volunteers is losing her “job” (where she gets paid under the table next week), a restaurant that is shutting down.

We’d like to hire her as a front office assistant as she’s done a phenomenal job this past year. She said she isn’t able to work legally, no social security number or green card. Her child, a 14 year old student at our school, was born here and she’s lived here for ten years with no record, says she’s paid taxes, etc.

What are the next steps for her be eligible for legal employment? Would it be applying for a green card, work permit, visa, citizenship?

Pardon my ignorance around these questions.

Thank you!

Re: Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 7:59 pm
by celia
If you work for a public school district, I'm sure you have a Human Resources department and she would have to apply there. To be "fair" to everyone, there is usually "competition" for each position and there may already be a wait list of qualified candidates. They should be the ones to explain how the hiring process goes.

Re: Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:16 pm
by Thesaints
thefoggycity wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 7:32 pm
Bogleheads

I am an educator working at a school that serves families who are extremely low income, many of whom are recent immigrants. One of our wonderful family volunteers is losing her “job” (where she gets paid under the table next week), a restaurant that is shutting down.

We’d like to hire her as a front office assistant as she’s done a phenomenal job this past year. She said she isn’t able to work legally, no social security number or green card. Her child, a 14 year old student at our school, was born here and she’s lived here for ten years with no record, says she’s paid taxes, etc.

What are the next steps for her be eligible for legal employment? Would it be applying for a green card, work permit, visa, citizenship?

Pardon my ignorance around these questions.

Thank you!
If your assistant is in the country illegally, there is no way for her to be eligible for legal employment other than the provisions under DACA.

Re: Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:21 pm
by sailaway
Most immigration applications need to be processed in one's home country, with asylum being the noteable exception.

You should be aware that currently, many people are being deported when they go to start the process within the US. Rules are constantly being enacted to make deportation easier and quicker.

Re: Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:35 pm
by Iridium
thefoggycity wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 7:32 pm
She said she isn’t able to work legally, no social security number or green card. <snip>

What are the next steps for her be eligible for legal employment? Would it be applying for a green card, work permit, visa, citizenship?
Not an expert by any means, but to give you the right start:

* Some visas do not themselves contain a right to work, but allow for one apply for a work permit. A spousal visa frequently works like this.
* There is a very, very small chance that her existing visa might be convertible directly into a green card. Hard for me to imagine it happening with a visa without a right to work, but maybe if she is married to a citizen and her visa is through that.
* Unfortunately, chances are very high that she does not have a current visa at all (which means she is not even allowed to be present in the United States, let alone work). I only say this because the government usually tries to avoid creating situations where it is letting people in who cannot support themselves (whether via work, spouse, or savings for the duration of the temporary visa). If that is the case, then I do not see a path for her to legally work in the United States within a relevant timeframe. When the daughter turns 21, she can sponsor her mother's visa. Before then... I doubt she would be able to qualify for a permanent visa and has no chance of working for the school. She could look into employers that qualify for H2A or H2B visas and try to get one of those jobs. Would be a pain since she would have to leave the country for 3 months every 3 years, but that is the best I am able to come up with.

Re: Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 11:16 pm
by thefoggycity
Thanks so much, everyone. This has been very helpful.

Re: Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 11:32 pm
by Watty
I am surprised that no one suggested that she talk to an immigration lawyer.

One thing to ask the lawyer about would be to make sure that her daughters paperwork is in order.

It would also be good for the daughter to have a plan on what to do and where to live if her Mom gets deported or taken into custody.
thefoggycity wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 7:32 pm
Pardon my ignorance around these questions.
You may be getting in way over your head and the best thing to do might be to just direct her to immigration aid groups that have experience in dealing with her situation.

I would be very cautious about talking to people like your HR department since that could end up causing her problems.

Re: Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 7:48 am
by lthenderson
thefoggycity wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 7:32 pm
What are the next steps for her be eligible for legal employment? Would it be applying for a green card, work permit, visa, citizenship?
I have a friend in the very same situation. After lots of research and talking with various people, the only way we found was to apply for a greencard which would mean that the friend who is illegally in the country, would have to return to his home country, wait for a period of time equal to the period of time spent illegally in the U.S., before the greencard could be processed.

Re: Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 11:21 am
by bryanm
Watty wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 11:32 pm
I am surprised that no one suggested that she talk to an immigration lawyer.
This is the right advice. Don't let cost dissuade you--there are quite a few non-profits that have immigration attorneys available to discuss these issues on a more informal basis.

Even under the current administration, there are a lot of small programs that can help. An attorney is the one who would be aware of those and best be able to guide this person.

Re: Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 11:41 am
by daggerboard
https://www.aila.org/practice/pro-bono

Specific link to AILA to find pro-bono immigration attorneys

Re: Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 1:55 pm
by gogleheads.orb
If she entered the U.S. illegally it is probably not possible for her to ever become legal. If she legally entered the U.S. and then overstayed a visa she can be sponsored by her daughter when her daughter becomes an adult. This is assuming that the law doesn't change in the next few years.

Re: Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 2:15 pm
by Buford T Justice
The individual still needs to file federal income tax returns. She needs to get an ITIN from IRS.

Re: Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 5:52 pm
by harrychan
You won't be able to hire her despite yours and the school's best intentions. There is no legal way for her to obtain a work permit or visa. If she entered the US with a visa and was processed, her daughter may be able to sponsor her when she is 21. If she entered illegally, the road to legalization does not look good. As for employment, she'll likely have to find another under the table job.

Re: Legal Advice Needed: Immigration and employment question

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 10:13 am
by teamDE
Watty wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 11:32 pm
I am surprised that no one suggested that she talk to an immigration lawyer.

One thing to ask the lawyer about would be to make sure that her daughters paperwork is in order.

It would also be good for the daughter to have a plan on what to do and where to live if her Mom gets deported or taken into custody.
thefoggycity wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 7:32 pm
Pardon my ignorance around these questions.
You may be getting in way over your head and the best thing to do might be to just direct her to immigration aid groups that have experience in dealing with her situation.

I would be very cautious about talking to people like your HR department since that could end up causing her problems.
This. I'd have her talk only to an immigration lawyer. You should not and she should not (but up to her) bring up anything with the school. The wrong person catches wind and she's booted.