Rekha Kusum Regmi/ Florida, USA: “Wherever we go in connection with seeking jobs, they ask for a social security number which we don’t have even if we want the job, but the government here does not provide this to us,” complains one Neema Acharya of Biratnagar in Nepal, who is in the USA on a dependent visa.
Acharya who is running from pillar to post in search of job as it is insufficient for her from the scholarship received by her husband studying masters degree, shared her experience that it was very difficult for the likes of her to find a job, and even if found, they would have fear gripping them and would be unable to work rest assured.
She says, ” The American government does not give social security no. to us who have no status. It is illegal to work without it, that’s why it is difficult to get a job.”
If worked secretively, we are under constant fear that the government would know it, she adds.
Nepalese who have come to USA for any reason and have no status, are compelled to work here under cover as they do not get any social security number. They have been working in private sector as they are not recruited in government and semi government bodies.
The government here monitors on the basis of the same no. whether or not the person has paid taxes to the state. If the person is found not paying taxes their facilities and perks are curtailed.
As the no. is not given to the person coming on dependent visa with the Nepali students coming here for studies, they do not get jobs and even if they get by requesting in some organizations, they have to work under cover.
Mina Khadka, who is living in Florida State says- “I work here in a hotel owned by an Indian, the owner has given me job saying I am his relative. Government officers came to check us for many times, but we have been saved as the owner has replied them that we are his relatives.”
Another Nepali young woman with Basnet surname told her different experience on condition of anonymity – “One year ago, we three Nepali women worked in one place, the boss had given us work by protecting from government enquiries, but one day, the boss and his wife had a quarrel and his wife called the police saying that her husband had employed some people without social security number and we lost our jobs.”
Many Nepalese have been working illegally in gas stations, sub ways, hotels and restaurants, as there is no stratification of work in USA and there is equal respect for any job, and therefore there is no job high or low. Many Nepalese without social security number have been working in stores run by nationals of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and China.
Citizens of South Asian countries have affection for the Nepalese, and have been giving jobs, one Nepali working there said.
A Nepali woman who did not have that number has been working in a store run by a Bangladeshi for one year.
In USA, selling alcohol to a person below 18 years of age is banned, but she by mistake sold alcohol to a person under 18 as she did not know the name of alcohol. The government has filed a case in the court against her on the same issue. “A letter has come summoning me within one month. I had been working illegally, moreover, the case is filed against me for selling alcohol, what will happen to me,” she lamented.
The Citizenship and Immigration Department has said the government has been giving the number to persons who are born here, or are with green card or who have been here for study and work from various countries officially.
According to the Department, if one worked without the number, it would be regarded illegal and action will be taken on him/her, and if found working illegally, case will be filed in the court and the court will decide on it.
Although there is no specific data as to how many Nepalese have been taken action for working here illegally, but action has been upto deporting them to home countries, says Krishna Shrestha, a Nepali living here for the past ten years. RSS
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