1. Does Sponsoring an Undocumented Employee Increase My Risk of Prosecution for Hiring Undocumented alien?
I hired a woman (who had been my customer for a couple of years) not knowing at the time she was undocumented. She lived in a nice neighborhood and her husband had a job at a big construction company. She had a valid drivers license when I first hired her which I copied and put on file. Over 3 years she went from 15 hours a week to salaried full-time manager. About a year ago, I asked her to be my company’s registered agent for city regulatory compliance. She said her license was expired. That was the first time I discovered that she was here illegally. Now, her daughter is about to turn 21 and she says she’s pursuing legal status and wants me to sponsor her. I’m not interesting in signing anything which amounts to a confession that I am aware that she is here illegally. Assuming there is a pathway for her to obtain legal status when her daughter turns 21 next year, are there any protections afforded me if I agree to sponsor her?
Mr. Lee Answers:
In the case of your undocumented employee, she would chiefly be sponsored by her daughter, and I assume that you would act as the financial cosponsor. Such sponsorship would be through your filling out an I-864 affidavit of support form. Under the law, such a sponsor is responsible for providing financial support for up to 125% of the poverty guidelines, and your assets can be deemed hers if she makes application for means tested benefits from a local, state, or federal government. The obligation lasts until the alien has acquired 40 quarters of work, becomes a US citizen, passes away, or leaves the US permanently. Insofar as your liability as an employer is concerned, a driver’s license is not sufficient documentation to hire someone in the US. That plus a Social Security card without a limiting date would be sufficient, however, for employment. But even if that was the case, it appears that you were made aware of her illegality a year ago when she informed you that her license was expired. You might be liable for fines, although it is questionable that DHS would be interested in going after you. However, in these days of Trump, there are no guarantees.
2. I Was Refused Entry Into U.S. with INA section 217, For An Overstay Which I Wasn’t Aware Of.
I would like to apply for a B-2 visa, what are my chances?
Mr. Lee Answers:
In a consular interview, you can explain the situation of your overstay to an officer who will determine as a matter of discretion whether he or she will give you a B-2 visa. Dependent upon the reason and your credibility as seen by the consular officer, the visa may or may not be given.
3. Do I Have to Submit All 5 Years Bank Statements for My Naturalization?
Mr. Lee Answers:
Banking statements are not generally required as part of the naturalization process. They may be relevant in cases involving naturalization in three years on the basis of marriage to a US citizen where individuals must show that they have been constantly residing with the US citizen spouse. But even in that case, sporadic joint banking statements covering the three years would be one of the acceptable proofs to show constant living together.