How Working Without Authorization Can Hurt Your Immigration Goals

Did you know that working without authorization may cause you to be deported? It can also make it so you are denied other immigration benefits. If you do NOT have legal authorization to work in the United States we recommend you watch this video. Andres explains how it can hurt you.

Transcript (Transcripción):

Andres Mejer :So now what happens if you worked in the US illegally? Well, first of all, let’s define it. What is unauthorized employment? What is illegal employment? Well, immigration defines it as one any service or labor. That to buy a foreign national meaning, not a U.S. citizen 3 who is not authorized to work or exceeds the scope of his permission. And for for a US employer. So let me give you the example. Let’s say I’m a graphic artist from Spain. Or you know what? I’m from Chile. That’s I’m a graphic artist from Chile. I don’t actually go to the office. I do all my work remotely anyway. I come to the states and a client calls me up and says, you need something. I do it and I get paid for it. Did I do or not? Did I provide a service to labor? I did. Am I foreign national. I am. Was I authorized do the work? I was not. But was it for a U.S. employer? No, it’s an employer in Chile. You know, that’s for one of my existing clients or it’s from my employer. That was not unauthorized labor. If I’m hired to do the same thing in the U.S. while being in the U.S.. Now, I got a problem. Even though I’m on a tourist visa, maybe that’s not something I should be doing because it may violate the terms of my visa. Now, what are the consequences if I work without permission? Well, if ICE finds out about me, I could be put in removal proceedings. Now, if I’m undocumented, ICE can put me. ICE can try to deport me for good reason, bad reason or no reason. Basically if I’m illegal. I have no protection necessarily from deportation. If ICE finds me, they can pick me up now. If. Now, what happens again? I have a visa student tourist, H1 B.

Andres Mejer :Let’s talk about tourist or student for a moment.

Andres Mejer :And so neither of those necessarily give me work authorization, student visa after completion. You know, there’s OPT, there’s OCT. There are certain permissions. I can get to work with some limited scenarios. But let’s say I don’t have that. Let’s say I’m from Venezuela and I entered as a as a tourist and I got work. So I’m a tourist. Tourists are not supposed to work. Now, if immigration finds out that I’m doing that, I lose my visa and I likely will not be allowed to come back or I will be sent back. Now, they could also cancel my current visa. So let’s say I’m from Spain. You know, my back to Chile. I just present my passport under a visa waiver. It’s called Vinesta. I’m given automatically 90 days. Immigration finds out I’m working. They will cancel my visa. They will deport me and likely prevent me from coming back.

Andres Mejer :So let’s say let’s say that I came to the US as a tourist. I worked. Nobody knew anything. Right. I left employers saying, hey, why don’t you come back? Three months later, I come back. And I bought the plane. And immigration says, hey, what about now? What brings you back? So you’re only gonna here about three months ago. What brings you back? Oh, well, I got a job offer. Oh. Job offer. But here’s a tourist visa. Visa canceled. They put you on a plane back to Chile or whatever country you’re coming from because you just violated terms of the visa. So you got to be very careful what you say, what you do.

Andres Mejer :Now, here’s one thing that they won’t do. If you work without permission, they will not cancel your Green Card. They will not fail doing, you know, failed to give you a Green Card. Now. Green Card petition is called the form I. Forty five asks if you have ever worked illegally. If you lie, you commit fraud and now you’re ineligible. If you tell the truth, you’re still in Haiti. Green Card. So be very careful when you fill out petitions. There are gotcha questions. In my opinion, the only reason that question was included was tough. Was the. To see if they can catch you like. That’s it. Now or in the future. That’s the only reason that that particular question was included. And there’s been a lot of those gotcha questions that have been put in the past four, five years now. How is immigration going to find out that you work illegally? Well, maybe you told him that example I gave is you speaking to a border official and they ask you why you’re coming here. Oh, I’m I’m here to look for work, but your visa doesn’t have that. Whoops. Sorry. Or how about the. I’m here on a tourist visa. Oh, what’s U.S. for you? Come here. Come today. I’m getting engaged tomorrow. Oh, is your husband a U.S. citizen? Oh. Denied because it’s a different subject. But tourist visa is to come in temporarily and to go back to your country. If you’re going to. If you indicate you’re going to marry a U.S. citizen. Your intention is not to go back. They will deny your visa. So what you say is important. Now. How would immigration find out if you work illegally? You told them. Be very careful.

Andres Mejer :Well, how’s another way that you might tell them indirectly? Social media. Immigration services has access to all information shared in the public domain. So Facebook. Instagram, Twitter. They can easily be searched. A Google search of your employer may result in evidence of you working. Think about it. Let’s say you just came back from a holiday party. You work from this to law. We just had our holiday party last year. We took photos. Maybe we put things on social media. Maybe he’ll put it on their own social media page and all of a sudden embrace it. So do what friends make them all right here. How do you know that? How funny that. So be very careful.

Andres Mejer :Now, we’ve previously spoken about consular officials asking for your email and social media handles for the last five years on any applications for immigrant visa or nonimmigrant visa.

Andres Mejer :So we probably spoke about consular officers asking for that information. Now it’s being challenged with the courts, but in my opinion, that’s the way the future. It will be a requirement for all immigration applications to provide your social media handles and your email. And if you find out that you lied about it, that’s. That’s fraud. It’s a basis to deny your application. There is just so much information that’s there. And again, in prior shows, I’ve talked about the dangers of social media. The information that you put out there and how we can trip you up. You know what happens if you’re married, but you’re hardly ever on social media. But your social media handle still shows you a single whoops. That’s a problem. Be very careful.

Andres Mejer :So everyday information is available online. That’s one way you told that. That’s another way. Third, tax filings, yours or your employers? Employers. Most immigration filings include tax filings. Now We preferred tax transcripts. They are cleaner. They provide less information and they don’t include W2 U.S. Most attorneys and frankly, non attorneys include W Tuesday. Here’s what happened. If you’re if you’re if you’re illegal in the United States, if you’re undocumented, if you’re unauthorized, you don’t have work authorization. You often are working with a fake social. Your W-2, which is the yearly would capture of how much you earned, will show that Social Security number. You then take it, you filed taxes with an ITN, individual tax identification number. That’s something that IRS gave you. Recognizing you’re here without permission. But everybody who works is obligated to pay taxes, so they give you a number to do that. Now, if you feel that with the item that has you have item number and Now you providing a W-2 with a different number. So you’ve just provided proof to immigration that you’ve lied to me. To add to at least one government office. Are you lying to USCIS? Are you, you lied to the IRS? What about for the state government? Maybe you live in New Jersey, you pay taxes in Jersey. You should be taken to New Jersey. You lied to them, too. That’s to government agencies to get a benefit that they could deny you in good moral character. I haven’t seen them do that. But in this climate. Do you really want to take a chance? You know, so be very careful tax filings of yours or your employers. Think about it. You’re using a fake social. Your employer is disclosing that they employ you with that number. If that gets checked by immigration or by ICE and they can under certain circumstances. Well, now there is an inconsistency between the name and the social. That will be a basis for a raid. That may be a basis to ask for your particular information. This shop at home or at your place of employment. So employers are required to parent I-9 for every employee gets a document that confirms that the employee has work authorization. If documents are ordered, it can show an inconsistency and immigration services can exploit it.

Andres Mejer :Immigration services can also verify Social Security numbers of employees. They typically only do this for large employers. Think of the plants that the chicken plants that were raided in the Midwest. That’s what happened. They reviewed the information. There were inconsistencies. They showed up and they arrested some 600 people. Not in one location and multiple locations. So it can result in audits. It can result in workplace raids, workplace raids, or ICE shows up at a job site and confirms everyone’s identity. Whether they allowed to do so or not, they are doing it and they have done it. So be very careful.

Andres Mejer :Thank you for joining us to Para Ser Legal to be legal today. We talked about driver’s license issued in New Jersey for undocumented immigrants starting January 2021. In one year, we talked about how Trump is looking to deport people with DACA. And we talked about what happens if you work in the US illegally? Stay tuned for the latest news. Please subscribe to our channel. Call us if you have any questions. We’re here for you.