P Gets Fired On Her Second Day Of Work Part 2

June 13, 2012

Read “P Gets Fired On Her Second Day of Work Part 1”


“So what’s your offer?” C clasps his hands.

I’m fuckin’ stumped! I mean stumped. This man really wants to hire me and doesn’t even know he can’t!


When I called the lawyer on Friday to ask him for advise on the internship, he reminded me that I’m not hirable. I know this dear lawyer. I just wanted to know if taking the internship would affect my process later and he went on with the sh-peel:  “You’re not authorized to work P, but *coughs* I can’t say you shouldn’t *coughs* or that I wouldn’t *coughs* in your shoes. And no, it I haven’t seen that affect negatively on the humanitarian parole or your I-130 but it may in case of deferred action. And I’ve seen work places get raided by immigration officials plenty of times. And you’re not authorized to work.”

I’d called the lawyer to ask him if filling out a W-9 (contract/independent worker) for tax purposes would affect my “humanitarian parole” proceedings, proceedings we haven’t even begun. He said they shouldn’t. He said it shouldn’t affect anything except maybe the “deferred action”. That’s when you get called in court before a judge and the judge has “discretionary decision,” so basically if he has his panties up too tight and is cranky that his wife left him or some other personal shit, he can swing his gavel and have me DEPORTED!


Here’s a quick rundown.

I need a Social Security number to work. I do not have one nor can I obtain one. There is no magic line I can just get on. I only have an IRS number which in my case is really an “ITIN” number and it is what I was going to take a risk using for the internship because as an intern I wasn’t going to be on the “payroll” so the risk of getting raided was very low. I am as the lawyer bluntly put it, “not authorized to work”.

My parents became permanent legal residents last year. It’s a long fuckin’ story, so stay tuned! I’m currently filling the I-130 which is the “petition for family relative”. It costs $420 which isn’t too bad compared to the price of the other forms I’ll have to send in later. I’m having my mom petition me because the lawyer said moms are better in the eyes of the law or some shit like that. ha! Ay, I do love my crazy mami though. The crazy little nutcase didn’t fall far from the crazy-nut tree in this case.

Anyway, my mom is petitioning for me, but because I am an “single adult child” I am not an “immediate relative” nor priority. I am what they call B2 or B3 relative or something similar. So, my wait time is longer–7 to 9 years to be exact. Let me say that again, my wait time is SEVEN to NINE years. NINE FUCKIN YEARS!

I arrived in the U.S. in August of 1990. I’m twenty-six now. You do the math. Yeah, I sure as hell don’t want to be in my mid-to-late thirties before I can even BEGIN my career life. People with Osteogenesis Imperfecta have a shorter life expectancy, let alone all the damage I’ve already done to myself! Ok. Just blowing steam. Phew.

Chill P. Chill. Remember Sailor’s sweet words. Remember to breath. You’re getting yourself worked up.

End of quick rundown.


“Fourteen? Fourteen what? An hour?” he asks. I had zoned out and must have looked a bit terrified or terrifying. I was staring behind him out of the window.

I wonder if I jump from

“Uh, yes, an hour. Fourteen an hour. But that’s my minimum and since I don’t know what yall’s budget is, I’m putting it very low. Normally, I’d say seventeen dollars an hour would be my minimum. I uhhh… I think I’d be best to do this by the project. I normally charge by the project.”  I reply indefinitely. I feel like an idiot. I’m scratching my thigh under the table. I really want him to hire me, but I have no idea if what I just said was too low or too high. I suspect it was too low, way low for my level of skill, but I roll with it and pretend I knew what I was offering all along.

I’ve never been hired on salary. And I have no way of knowing if what I offered was a safe bet. Actually, I do. I’ll do a google search. Fuck, I’ve never even held a real job! I used to complain about this to my Ex-Young Therapist and she would remind me to remind myself of how much I had already accomplished despite my limitations. “Sure, you don’t have a job like so-and-so and you’re not married and have a kid like your other friend what-chu-ma-call-her. But didn’t you finish college? Aren’t you trying to work despite being held back legally? What else can we list?” And MENTALLY! I want to add. She had a point, but in the long run, I always ended up feeling like shit.

It’s moments like these where I feel very small, like baby, like a little adult baby. Hell, I’m the size of one, I can just crawl in a crib and cry. The adult baby that I am. I don’t even know what to tell a potential employer who can’t hire me anyway what I want for in a salary.

“Good. Well, like I said, I just have to figure out if we can move some funds over so you can start with the C-4 team–”

“I mean even if it’s just part time really…” I interrupt. At this point I think my nerves are noticeable. There’s that other awkward silence I created.

“So tell me more about yourself?” he asks, taking me by surprise.

“Ummm. As in what I do? What I’d like to do for your guys?” I stumble. By now I’m really mashing in those nails in my thigh.

“Yes, that too.”

I decide not to tell him that I’m a “filthy little illegal immigrant he can’t hire” anyway so why bother. I tell him about my passion for film and documentary filmmaking.  We end the discussion with our idea about the video blogs or b-logs I’d talked about with Mansie and using them as monthly educational segments. Then I tell him the reason why I’d brought in my camera today was because I’d already scheduled to take a photo of D for the brochure.

“Is D here?”

“No, I’m waiting for her. She said she’d be here in half an hour and I don’t get picked up by MetroLift until two,” I say.

He leads me into Mansie’s office and asks if I’d be alright working there while I waited for D. Then he hands me this book to look over while I wait.

“I think you’ll like her. She’s a great photojournalist. This one is about labor slavery and she’s opened a fund from the proceeds of the book. Alright, I have to go to a meeting.” He leaves me alone in the room.

I look at the book he’d handed me: “Slavery by Lisa Kristine”. I want to cry. These are the kind of jobs I prefer. Working with people who make an effort at changing social ills, making a fuckin’ difference in the community. Ugh.

I pick up my cell phone and text Mansie: “I got the news from C. Can I call you in ten minutes?”

14 Responses to “P Gets Fired On Her Second Day Of Work Part 2”

  1. I really hope they don’t find out about you. Is there any possibility some canny immigration official is going to come across your blog? It all seems so ratty! I’m annoyed on your behalf – which I admit is a fat lot of good.

    • PAZ said

      There’s always a chance of a canny official of any kind to read this since it’s public. But you know, the chances are low. I do get paranoid though and sometimes think they’re gonna come to my house and arrest me.

      The good thing is, I almost want them to sometimes. And I’m trying not to put anyone else on the line except myself. Had my family been in the same boat as me, like they were last year and all the years before for instances, then most likely, I wouldn’t be writing this. But it’s all on me. I do worry that if I say to much about a job that I’ll get the employer in trouble, but I won’t be doing that… hopefully.

      I’m a rebel with a cause Rose! Remember that much. 😉


  2. Yeah, it does take years to become legal. A lot of paperwork. I’m exhausted just thinking of the documents one has to look at to process applications.

    I like the scope of that book by Lisa. Sending out a strong message indeed.

  3. Wait, what the? So these are 2 different jobs? They didn’t have 1 project in the budget but want to bring you on for something different?

    Also – any American citizens you’re attracted to, have a romantic affinity with? Wait, were you inspected when you came in 1990? You use a wheelchair, no way you crossed the border, right? If you were inspected at entry, marriage to a US citizen erases EVERYTHING. Think you can manage that in under 7-9?

    Hope this one works out, kiddo!!! XOXO

    • PAZ said

      Lol. No, it’s the same job. The DO have the money but the national director cut off the internship program last minute and C told him that that was not cool but he wouldn’t budge. So C wants to take it upon himself to hire me on his own account, only he doesn’t know my little situation. But Mansie does and C is an immigrant himself, so chances are he’ll understand. But understanding and doing are two different things.

      No, I came with a B2 Tourist Visa. We got it extended in 1991. But overstayed from 1992 on out, after I’d had my second surgery. My dad wanted to go back to Colombia but my mom convinced him that it was best for me here. The only reason they got theirs worked out is because my brother married. I plan to tell this story, maybe. But I think of their discretion.

      Marriage is the quickest, and quite frankly and sadly the surest option. I have no suitors at the moment. lol. I had an on and off relationship with L, the guy that died a few months ago. We’d talked about this. But I hated the idea of it because there would be so many mixed emotions. I’ve seen it happen so many times. It happened with my brother. I didn’t want him to feel like I used him. UGhhh. I better not mention it. His death is still recent and it’s what has me more fucked than usual.

      I have faith in those lawyers. They’re the first ones that looked up the option for “humanitarian parole” although, quite honestly I’m hoping for more than that because humanitarian parole doesn’t really give me status, even if I win the case.

      Oh, and I never re-entered. Haven’t gone back since I came, so essentially, I haven’t been back since I was 5.

      Thanks for the support and insight Jill!


      • Gotcha on the marriage bit, sorry to remind you of sad stuff 😦

        Well, in the event you do fall for someone, all will be forgiven, bc you entered on an active visa. Overstays are easy once you marry a USC. I knew an immigration lawyer who married a Moroccan man – I don’t know what she got out of it – but they stayed married for as long as it took (2 years I think) for the condition to be lifted & he’s still here. Sorry, I wish it were easier.

        Is your Dad still in Colombia?


        • PAZ said

          No, he’s here. He only went back for a few weeks in 1991. We’re all here. My little family of four. I don’t know any other. That’s why the lawyers at the university say I have a good case. No one to go back to really.

          Pets and hugs xoxoxxx

  4. It would be a trip if you applied and got job with immigration. In Miami there is huge immigrant population(51% foreign born). So ethnicities have network of cash for work until things get legal. Since most of rest of population is first or second generation everyone seems on the fix.

  5. My eyes went O_O at 7 – 9 years before they get their shit sorted and you can work legally???? What the hell are they doing, growing the trees and chopping them down before they make super paper to give you your papers?? I think we are normal, everyone else is mental.

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