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“Seeking Advice About a Green Card Nightmare”

by Prince Of Petworth May 8, 2017 at 1:35 pm 98 Comments

immigration
Photo by PoPville flickr user Victoria Pickering

“Dear PoPville,

This week the Department of Labor denied my application to get my Mexican nanny certified for a green card. I am infuriated and devastated, and my children are heartbroken. Does the DOL ever take American families/workers into account when they make these decisions?? I want to find a way to address this issue and I am reaching out to the DC community to see what help I can find.

1. This nanny has been with me since we lived outside the U.S. We applied for a green card after I realized I was staying in the U.S. and likely not moving abroad again. I have spent thousands of dollars annually keeping her legal, and have followed the letter of the law in the green card process too. It would have been SOOO easy to just have kept her here illegally. I know multiple families who do so. But I would never break the law, nor do that to her. And how do I get repaid by the USG for following the law?? With a denial! Do you wonder why there are so many illegals here? Because the USG makes it IMPOSSIBLE for people trying to do it legally. Also, doesn’t the DOL have something better to do? It’s not like I am applying for 200 foreigners to work in a factory. Just one person, who is critical to our household and to my career and that of my ex-husband.

2. No one applied for her job.

We followed all the regs and no one even APPLIED, neither Americans nor foreigners. Still, the DOL saw fit to deny me on a hypothetical counterfactual. Perhaps Americans did not apply, they said, because of the requirement for domestic and occasional international travel in the job description. Wait a minute… They denied me the right to hire a foreign child care worker because a hypothetical American might have wanted the job, but just did not apply??? What about my real, actual job as a contractor to the USG? What about my ex-husband’s real actual job in CT? We can’t do our work if we have no child care, and we don’t have time in our work schedules to travel between states with the kids for custodial visits. The nanny does it. And because of the unpredictable nature of our work schedules we can’t use 9-5 child care. So is it better to protect the hypothetical American who did not apply for the job, or the actual jobs of two actual americans who rely on live-in child care? I’m not rich and pampered; i need a live-in nanny because I work my butt off at crazy hours and my ex lives in another state.

The denial letter says I can appeal the decision, but the immigration attorney told me doing so was a terrible idea and was unlikely to result in a reversal of this decision. I think this process is crazy. Why can’t i speak to a human being at DOL and explain our situation? I’m appealing to this forum for advice.”

  • jim_ed

    PROTIP: If you can afford to hire full-time, live in domestic help, you are actually in fact crazy rich compared to most everyone else, whether you’re willing to admit that to yourself or not. Also, you need to hire a lawyer to figure this out.

    • FridayGirl

      +1 to both parts of this comment.
      .
      Also, as a USG contractor (who was previously married to another USG employee, by the sound of it) you should already have the common knowledge that no matter how much you love this person, you don’t know what has made them ineligible for a green card.
      .
      And actually, I’m sure employees dealing with these applications think a LOT about the people behind them. But the employees aren’t denying you, the LAW is denying you.

      • Formerly ParkViewRes

        Sounds like she wasn’t denied a GC yet. She was denied the opportunity to move forward in the process. She’s not at that point yet, she is only at DOL level, not the stage where you file with USCIS.

        • FridayGirl

          OH! Thank you. Man, with all the fit-throwing OP was doing I totally overlooked that first sentence.

        • Crookedlawyer

          Yep. She’s been denied labor certification. An experienced attorney can help you meet the requirements for recruitment to avoid this. Note: I am not one.

          • James W.

            Yep. There are a lot of steps. Simply advertising the job is but one of them. My guess – since OP doesn’t say – is that since she is not, in fact, rich, she can’t meet the prevailing wage requirement. OP still needs to pay her domestic worker a prevailing wage and assure that she has the ability to pay it. In my experience, the single biggest failure in these cases is a failure to assure a legal work contract at a prevailing wage. Unfortunately, the biggest reason people bring domestics to the U.S. from overseas is because they are willing to work cheaply.

      • IsThereANannyInTheHouse

        +1 I was pretty sure the OP and I had nothing in common but that was confirmed by ” I’m not rich and pampered; i need a live-in nanny”. I’d listen to you attorney and move on.

    • textdoc

      +1 to Jim_ed.
      .
      The OP might have been better off prefacing her statement with something like “I’m fortunate to be able to afford a live-in nanny.”

    • anon29

      I would in fact disagree with you. For some people it makes more financial sense to have a live in nanny compared to regular day care, especially around here. From what I have heard from friends that have nannies, you can typically pay them in the $30-35K range (yes this can change drastically) annually. Depending on where you work, you can use a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account to use pre-tax money to pay the nanny. If you look into typical day care costs around here, it’s not much more expensive to have a live in nanny vs drop off day care.

      • As someone who has been paying for daycare for 3 years and has done extensive research into the daycares in the city, that is still considerably more expensive than drop-off daycare. Even if you are paying $500 a week for daycare, which is on the very high end, the live-in nanny is still considerably more (it is $4k just to get to your bottom number of $30K). Yes, I recognize that you said the salary can differ drastically, but your argument is more applicable to a nanny-share than it is a live-in nanny.

        • KPS

          A live-in nanny is actually cheaper. The take-home pay is lower to compensate for the housing benefit. If the nanny is not wasteful of utilities it can cost very little to house her. She buys her own food, etc.

          • Tsar of Truxton

            I don’t know about a live-in nanny, but for an au pair, you have to provide food and they can only work like 40 or 45 hours a week.

        • anon29

          Not sure if your estimate of $4K a month is a typo or poor math, but it actually comes out to around $2500-3000 a month. Yes, you have to pay taxes on that money you pay the nanny, but with the pre-tax payment of $5K to a flexible spending account, you can offset the majority of that cost. Most of my friends in the burbs pay between $2500-2800 a month for 1-2 kids a month for traditional daycare.

        • HaileUnlikely

          In fairness to the OP, without knowing any details, she said children (i.e., plural). For all we know she has 4 or 5 or 10 children, in which case the math might tilt in favor of hiring a live-in nanny.

      • James W.

        This seems to be far less about OP’s financial calculus, and way more about the inherent entitlement of getting what she wants – and deserving it – simply because she wants it.

    • mphs

      Those aren’t pro tips. Nothing Pro about them.

    • James W.

      Wow. Just wow. Another reminder of the sheer entitlement, ignorance, and narcissism out there. Stop whining OP.

  • Formerly ParkViewRes

    I agree with your immigration attorney. You have to prove that no Americans can do the job and there are tons of Americans fulfilling the job of nanny. You went through the proper steps. BUT when you test the labor market, you can’t post a job description that is so specifically tailored to the applicant you have in mind you want to hire (or which in your case is already working for you). I guess you could go through the process again with a less specific job posting, but still seems like a long shot.

  • Jst

    What’s the salary you were offering for the job? Did you inflate the salary to be commensurate with DC’s cost of living?

    I feel bad for your kids, because based on your own description of your work life and ex above, this nanny is the “parent” that is most present in their lives.

    • dcd

      Well that’s great. Way to kick someone who is trying her best to make a difficult situation work while she’s down.

      • KPS

        She’s not down. She’s inconvenienced.

        • Anon

          She is dealing with losing someone who has been her household for a long time whom she trusts with her children. She may not win this fight, but it’s pretty callous to call this an inconvenience and pile on because of some tone deaf phrases in her post.

  • Anonamom

    Just a thought, and I know it’s not a long-term solution, but what about an au pair visa? I understand that’s not an ideal method (since it means probably having to go through an agency and would create unnecessary expense), but it may allow you time to work the steps again and try to get her eligible.
    If all else fails, I suppose your options are for her to work illegally or to get an already legal nanny. It sucks having to change childcare providers, but such is life as a parent to be honest.

    • Formerly ParkViewRes

      Guessing she’s already had her on the J-1 visa based on the comment “have spent thousands of dollars annually keeping her legal.” And only an option if you’re between 18-and-26-years-old and it’s temporary–18 months.

      • Anonamom

        True – not a lawyer, so I have no clue about the ins and outs of this sort of thing. Just trying to be helpful and resist the urge to say what I really want to say ;)

        • Formerly ParkViewRes

          LOL, yeah I dated an au pair once so I know a bit about that. She should just marry the nanny and be done with it. I’m kidding! (But seriously she doesn’t have too many options)

          • Anonamom

            ha! I actually thought the same thing… I mean, sounds like what she wants is a 1950s housewife anyway.

    • CathedralHeightsMetro

      Also worth noting that au pairs are limited to a specific number of childcare hours each week per the program’s regulations. It sounds like the OP’s needs would require someone who could work a lot more than that.

      • Anonamom

        Just curious, and sort of off-tagent, but what are the rules regarding forced or mandatory overtime? For example, if someone is non-exempt they will be compensated for overtime, but are employer allowed to enforce that? Not just for nannies, but other types of positions.

        • CathedralHeightsMetro

          I actually know nothing about nannies or employment law (and thus should probably not be contributing to this thread?). I posted because I just happened to recall an interesting Washington Post series about misuse/abuse of the au pair system by families who treat au pairs like an on-call, live-in maid/nanny, when the program is supposed to be a mutually-beneficial “educational exchange” with very specific regulations (such as a limit of working 45 hours per week). I hadn’t known that before, so it stuck with me.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/are-au-pairs-cultural-ambassadors-or-low-wage-nannies-a-lawsuit-enters-the-fray/2016/11/01/09e8a1ee-8f2e-11e6-9c85-ac42097b8cc0_story.html?utm_term=.38db06cd2bff

          • textdoc

            Interesting reading — thanks for the link!

          • FridayGirl

            Yes, also the J-1 is a non-immigrant visa. Clearly the nanny is intending to immigrate so she’d need an immigrant visa (work visa, I assume OP was trying for one of the E visas due to the DOL certification). I’m still confused about why the DOL certification was necessary though. For some reason I was under the impression that unskilled labor didn’t need DOL certification — only “professionals” did. But again — disclaimer — not an attorney so don’t take my word on anything.

          • dcd

            I hadn’t seen that, though I was aware of the lawsuit. I have two sets of friends who have had multiple au pairs, and I always think that the au pairs have hit the jackpot. Live in the city, get treated exceptionally well, taken on nice trips (one went skiing with us last year, for example), often don’t even hit the 45 hour limit. Heck, for one family, you’re hard pressed to find a week during the summer where one or more of their former au pairs aren’t back visiting them. We have hired many of them as occasional sitters as well (though that’s technically against the rules) – but only after checking with the families first, paying the prevailing wage, and making very sure they knew that there was absolutely no obligation at all. But, for all that, I can see how people who are otherwise inclined to take advantage of others would fine a ripe target in an au pair.

  • Anon X

    I think the fact that “no one applied” is a pretty glaring inconsistency that DOL is rightfully going to pounce on. There are a whole host of rules in place, like it or not, that pre-date Trump, specifically aimed at preventing exactly what you’re trying to do. But, Im sure there is a way that this could happen – perhaps you can start the process over again and get some TA on how to best finesse the situation. But, I think advertising the opening wide enough that you get other applicants is a start. From what I know of nannies in DC, there’s a decent amount of turnover and likely similar to DOL, I find it suspicious that none of them were interested in the job.

    Sounds like you already have a lawyer, ask him about a do-over and plead ignorance and for mercy and see what you can make happen.

  • PoPOverWork

    There are no illegals in the US, because a person is not illegal. Surprised this still has to be said.

    • dcd

      But unfortunately, there are plenty of pedants still floating around.

      • textdoc

        Actual LOL.

    • bruno

      Maybe I am missing something, but why don’t you hire an American citizen? No green card problem.

      • northeazy

        Probably for financial reasons. I’d be a nanny if the pay was right.

      • FridayGirl

        OP wants kids to stay with nanny that it sounds like they’ve had for a long time.

      • AdMoKalTri

        Because the family and the nanny already have a strong bond (formed, presumably, while the nanny was working for the family outside the US), and the family knows they can trust the nanny – no small thing. Not saying there aren’t other solutions, just saying that it’s not completely sketchy that she is trying to keep this particular nanny.

        • KPS

          It’s not just a trust issue. If you read OP’s post carefully, she had a lot of needs around the clock including OOS travel. She doesn’t want to lose the nanny who she is able to make demands of around the clock. As for the trust issue: Learning to trust a caregiver is no different than learning to trust a teacher in school. As we all know – to great sadness – a teacher can just as easily abuse a child on school grounds as a nanny can in the home. There is a strange idea that nannies have to be held under a microscope – it’s almost like a superstition., “Watch out! Your nanny might abuse your child, or steal, or be on her phone all day. You should get a nanny cam!!!!”. But that is really negative stereotyping and very rarely does it come true – like southern men with beards, wearing overalls, playing the banjo, and raping people in the woods.

          • dcd

            “As for the trust issue: Learning to trust a caregiver is no different than learning to trust a teacher in school.”
            .
            Oh, come on. A teacher is with your kid for what, 7 hours a day, in the company of numerous other kids and adults? A live-in nanny, to state the obvious, lives in your home, and is responsible for feeding, disciplining, potentially driving, entertaining, and ensuring the safety of your kid for much more extended periods of time. The level of trust required for a parent to be comfortable in that situation is orders of magnitude different than a teacher.
            .
            I’m not saying that the OP doesn’t have agenda items other than trust at play here (though those may be reasonable as well), but comparing the nanny to a teacher in terms of trust is just silly.

          • KPS

            @dcd No offense, but I don’t think you know what the world of nannies is like. That’s okay – most people don’t if they don’t know anyone who is a nanny. But um, our work is the same as any other standard 9-5 job. We typically work 40 hours a week, M-F. So yes, we are with our charges roughly the same amount of time a teacher is with his/her students. And we are usually around other adults every day – museums, play dates, kids’ classes, etc. So please do not scoff at the notion of a teacher having opportunity to harm a child during school hours and during off-campus private classes. Please do not do that. The news is rampant with such stories, including a current one right here in DC wherein a teacher has complaints of 18 children against him, most of whom were abused on school property. He’s in jail now. I don’t know a single family who has had to call police on a nanny, and I’ve been doing this for 8 years.

          • AdMoKalTri

            You’re right, it’s not just a trust issue. It’s also a likeability issue; an issue of living well together; an issue of understanding each others’ needs, apparently in a way that up to this point has been satisfactory (presumably to both parties though we don’t know how the nanny feels about it); an issue of maybe what the nanny can help teach the kids (another language, for example)…
            .
            I know people who have done what OP is trying to do, and their nanny was (is) like a member of the family. A salaried member, of course, with confined work hours, but a member of the family nonetheless. They would have done (and did do) everything possible to keep her around. It’s not because they’re “very spoiled and entitled,” as you say below, but rather because the bond they had was worth overcoming obstacles for.

          • dcd

            Give me a break – nowhere did I “scoff at the notion of a teacher having opportunity to harm a child during school hours and during off-campus private classes.” But OP is talking about a live-in nanny, which is fundamentally different than a teacher. You’re the one pushing the false equivalence here.

          • HaileUnlikely

            KPS, I’m not going to argue with your expertise with respect to nannies, but your logic doesn’t make any sense. A teacher’s job is to be in a public place with groups of dozens of children, with lots of other adults nearby, though occasionally they may have some 1:1 time with an individual student. A nanny’s job is basically to be alone with the kid almost all of the time, though they may occasionally be with a group of children and/or have other adults around. Yes, bad people can take advantage of any opportunity, but the notion that these two are the same or even remotely similar is ridiculous. You likely hear more about teachers abusing kids than nannies abusing kids because teachers outnumber nannies in the United States by probably 1000:1, and because parents surely screen their nannies much more rigorously than they screen their child’s teachers.

          • Dupont Resident

            I can empathize with the fear of finding a new trustworthy nanny and I can tell the nanny who posted above that just because she does not know anyone who needed to call the cops, it doesn’t happen.

            ***
            Personally, our first nanny we had in a nanny share I 1. found her holding the 4 month old upside down by feet 2. I showed up unannounced to find her neglecting my baby in the bassinet while she took client calls (she’s also a tutor/writer) and 3. she “couldn’t figure out” how keep the other baby’s breast milk separate from my baby. I was too in shock to do anything about it at the time, but moving forward if it happened again I would take different action.

            I learned the hardway that when it comes to your children there are no 2nd chances. Thankfully, we now found a wonderful new nanny that I hope to never have to leave.

    • Anon X

      the term “illegals” is getting pretty far into the prejudiced space… on a related note, I think the left’s knee-jerk reaction at the term “illegal immigrant” is a bit perplexing. They came here illegally and are immigrants. While I understand the confusion around the term “alien” among those not well-acquainted with immigration terms,

      • KPS

        I believe “illegal alien” is the technical term, as “alien” simply and non-offensively means “from another place”. Perhaps “illegal foreign nationals” could be considered as more sensitive for those who don’t like the alien term. But “illegal immigrant” is worse – IMO. A person who is in violation of a sovereign nation’s border laws is NOT an immigrant. An immigrant is a person who takes up a home and a new life in a foreign country through a legal process. The two words don’t go together. If I enter your house without permission I’m not an “illegal guest”. Only an invited person can be a guest. I would be a trespasser. As an aside, I don’t think it’s appropriate to refer to illegal aliens as “criminals” unless someone has indeed committed a crime. But there’s a difference between breaking the law and committing a crime. I believe the Right does a huge disservice to themselves in trying to get their point across when incorrectly using the term “criminal”.

        • dcd

          “But there’s a difference between breaking the law and committing a crime.”
          .
          I suppose that’s true. But if imprisonment is a potential punishment for breaking a law, it’s probably appropriate to call the lawbreaker a criminal. Per 8 USC § 1325, improper entry to the US by an alien is punishable by up to 6 months in prison for a first offense.

          • KPS

            But that’s assuming that only criminals go to jail. Clearly, law-breakers can go to jail also. There are people who only go to jail for a night. They didn’t commit a crime; they broke a law.

          • dcd

            Then what, in your mind, is the difference between a law-breaker and a criminal?

          • KPS

            @ dcd — It’s not in my mind. These are actual legal distinctions. Please feel free to ask a lawyer friend or a police officer, or google “difference between breaking law and committing crime” or some such terms.

          • dcd

            Well, I am a lawyer, and my understanding is that if one breaks an administrative or regulatory law, that does not make one a criminal. However, the law governing improper entry by an alien, 8 USC § 1325, provides for penalties under title 18 of the US Code. Title 18 is the criminal code of the United States. I think you’re off base on this one, but if you have a different understanding, I’d be happy to consider it, as long as it’s more developed than, “I’m right, Google it.”

          • Anon X

            We are also not debating the difference between the words “criminal” and something else. The word in question is illegal. And if you broke laws, that action was and is illegal. Therefore it would be an appropriate modifier. Illegal immigrants immigrate illegally. Illegal builders build illegally., just ask DCRA.

            The point is, illegal should be a perfectly acceptable modifier, but is a very questionable noun, given the loaded use.

          • James W.

            Improper entry means sneaking across the border. By contract, overstaying a visa is an administrative offense (aka not a crime)

        • Anon X

          A person who moves into a country is an immigrant. It has nothing to do with their legal status. They emigrated from their previous country and immigrated to their new one.

    • FoggyBottom

      Whether or not you agree with the terminology, “illegal” and the less colloquially used “alien” are still extensively used throughout the immigration codes and have very real and relevant understandings within the profession. Every time someone mentions “illegal” a version of your comment pops up. I imagine our political leanings are similar and even if I abstractly understand your point, you can’t throw out words (words that matter) simply because you don’t like how they play

      • dcd

        +1 – very well said.

      • PoPOverWork

        I agree with you for the most part. My problem is with the use of “why are there so many illegals here?”. Had it been “Illegal immigrants/aliens” I wouldn’t have balked. But maybe it’s just semantics and I’m definitely a snowflake :)

  • KPS

    As a full-time Childcare Provider (aka “nanny”) and native-born American with several years experience, I can relate to OP’s post for a few reasons. There is much I could say on this topic, but most of it would just be cruel. The short, sanitized version is: You sound very spoiled and entitled, OP. Because I’m in this field I have seen and heard a lot. In my experience a parent who is desperate to keep her foreign nanny and NOT have to hire an American is because that parent is difficult and demanding to work for, and not likely to make changes in home life or attitude in order to take on a hire who knows her rights and who wants to have a life going on outside the confines of her job. I don’t know if that’s the case with you, and I’m not assigning this characterization to you. But I imagine it would truly be devastating to lose a nanny whose life revolves around your home and your life.

    • Anons

      And you, KPS, sound very mean spirited and judgmental

      • KPS

        Oh, I don’t care what you think. Public forum and all.

    • also anon

      +1
      .
      Just the sentence “i need a live-in nanny because I work my butt off at crazy hours and my ex lives in another state.” reeks of entitlement. There are many many single parents who work their butts off at crazy hours whose children’s parents live far away and they don’t have live in nannies. THE HORROR.

      • KPS

        My sympathies are with parents who have kids in daycare. At least the ones with nannies benefit from the nanny being able to help with meals, do a little cleaning, laundry, etc. Parents with kids in daycare do not have this unique privilege. They race through traffic to pick up their kids – terrified that they’ll be late and get charged the late fee (it adds up) – and then it’s straight home with no time to de-compress. Sometimes the kitchen is a mess because they just couldn’t get it cleaned up before work that morning. Sometimes laundry is still sitting in the dryer. I don’t have as much sympathy with a mom who has a nanny – and I AM a nanny, that’s why I know it’s a great privilege to have a nanny who will make the kitchen look nice and maybe even fold the laundry and feed the pets for you, so that when you come home it’s just you and kids time.

      • anon

        Seriously? You realize working crazy hours as a single parent makes daycare drop off and pick up impossible. Not to mention when your kids are in daycare, you have to stay home with them every time they are sick. Or have dr. or other appointments. And as a single mother she probably needs help around the house, grocery shopping, cleaning, etc. Where else but the PoP comments is a single mom of two kids who works hard at her job called entitled
        .
        Excuse me, I’d like to write more, but I have to leave work to go pick up my kids by 6 pm.

        • also anon

          Of course she’s entitled. For whatever reason she feels entitled to this SPECIFIC nanny (that I’m sure also works her butt off!). Unfortunately, she’s not.

    • Anon

      I highly doubt these negative, judgmental comments would be directed at a man whose “need” for a nanny is driven by the perfectly rational decision to take a demanding job that pays well.

      • FridayGirl

        Eh, this day in age I’d be judging a man, too. But that’s just me.

  • navyard

    Sadly, in today’s climate, I don’t think following the law is what gets results. Hire 15 undocumented workers, get caught, offer to pay fines, buy a membership to Mar-a-lago, done! The other 14 can go work on Trump’s wine plantation.

    Sorry to the OP. It sounds as if this is disruptive to you and your family and you shouldn’t have to mince words or apologize to anyone for making a decent living.

    Earning a good living doesn’t come cheap, especially for single women. Why would anyone bash highly-educated, hard-working women? Would you rather that our city had more poor, uneducated people who cannot adequately provide for their offspring? Good grief, what a bunch of jerks in PoPville today!

    • jim_ed

      “Would you rather that our city had more poor, uneducated people who cannot adequately provide for their offspring?”
      .
      Oh yeah, that’s the good stuff. Just shoot that right into my veins.

      • Anon

        Tie me up, Scotty!

  • ke

    OP could run this situation by another immigration/labor attorney for a second opinion and see if he or she agrees with the strategy of the current attorney (which seems to be giving up on the certification?).

    OP was probably fired up when she wrote this, but I did also agree that the use of the term “illegals” is problematic. It’s a loaded and derogatory term.

  • jane

    This nanny also drives her kids back and forth to Connecticut for visitation with their father and travels outside of the country with her when she has a temporary work assignment out of the country. Cant believe the lack of compassion for a single working mom who is a public servant and who is trying to keep some continuity in her children’s life since their father (also a public servant) lives in a different state. No. It’s not easy to find an American nanny who wants to drive kids back-and-forth TO CONNECTICUT (try finding a nanny who is willing to pick your kids up from soccer practice). Stop shaming this nice woman who is clearly working full time and raising two small kids, and dealing with a divorce. What day care center will drive her kids to Connecticut every weekend? Agree with someone else who suggested running the matter by another immigration attorney. Always good to get a second opinion.

    • Anon

      Amen. Needs are relative. Someone who will lose a job that requires long and irregular hours in exchange for high pay without pricey live-in child care “needs” pricey child care. She’s a single mother. Not everyone has support networks at their doorstep and it sounds like OP moved around a lot. People would not be so nasty to a divorced single father whose stay at home wife left him/died/whatever, and so “needs” a nanny. These comments reek of sexism.

    • andy2

      OP is technically is not a public servant since she works for a private company as a contractor to the USG. And contractors can, though definitely not always or even a majority of the time, make much more than a civil servant. Second, OP’s ex works in CT – no mention of him being a civil servant.

      • Jane

        I stand corrected. It doesnt say the nanny drives the kids to Connecticut every weekend (maybe it’s every other weekend or once every three weeks). No clue. Point is still the same. Nannies dont want to pick kids up at soccer practice/the dentist let alone transport them to/from Connecticut. Also, what day care centers provide supervised transportation to/from Connecticut? Doesnt matter if it’s every weekend or every other weekend or once a month. All of my friends nannies have the weekend off. This nanny clearly loves the kids and they feel safe with her. The mom feels safe having her kids with the nanny. Have compassion for someone in what is clearly a less than ideal situation. Also, I was wrong about the public servant part but also dont see how that’s relevant either.

    • also anon

      Wait do the kids really travel back and forth to CT every weekend? So they spend 12 hours in the car just to spend what 24-36 hours with their dad?

      • Anon Spock

        I don’t see any mention of how often nor does it say they drive there.

      • FridayGirl

        Lol I had the same thought. Is it bad when I saw CT I thought his job was in “counterterrorism” before I thought he was in Connecticut?

  • anon

    To the heartless people replying to the OP with as much snark as possible: in DC not everyone who has live-in nannies or au pairs are filthy rich. Yes they are well off, but what is the problem with that exactly? That means she doesn’t have the right to be upset by the green card process? Day cares typically close at 6 pm, so if you work late hours sometimes, you won’t be able to pick your child up on time, and if that happens more than a few times they’ll kick you out. And she said specifically that her nanny travels with the children out of state between the parents. After spending a few years with this nanny, she probably is very close with her and the children have bonded with her. She has every right to be upset and look for solutions.

    It’s also true that many nannies are undocumented and/or work off the books, OP was following the rules, and is right to be disappointed with the results. Aren’t the people on this blog usually unsympathetic towards people who are breaking or flaunting rules? If someone were to write in about an illegal nanny getting deported, commentators would chime in with, well what did you expect? You should have followed the rules! Hell you people won’t even condone allowing non-customers to use a freaking bathroom in an emergency!

    OP, I feel for you, I have 2 kids and it must really suck to deal with what you’re dealing with. I think you need an immigration lawyer if you don’t have one already.

  • LosLobos

    Family friends have used the fact that only nannies from our country can teach their kids about: 1) indigenous/catholic traditions from our country and 2) their native language – which is an official language in our country. Not sure if these apply to you

  • Mickey’s BFF

    Furthermore, if any of you who have no sympathy for OP’s and nanny’s situation have been following the real news since DT took office, you know that he has released the ICE hounds and has lied about only going after “bad hombres” for deportation. 60 Minutes did a relevant story last night.

  • dupont

    You should go to visajourney.com for help – it’s a good online source for immigrating to America. As someone who has been through the greencard process (for my husband), I highly recommend it. Someone on that blog has gone through what you are going through and will be able to offer you advice/suggestions.

  • Cranky Old Bastard

    “Does the DOL ever take American families/workers into account when they make these decisions??”

    Yes, they’re thinking of the American workers who could use these unskilled jobs.

    Also, the fact that the job received no applications probably relates to some of the unusual conditions of employment. Nannies don’t customarily engage in interstate travel with their charges. I’m going to go ahead and assume, given the inherent duties of nannies in Mexico, that this person also cooks and cleans in addition to caring for children—again most American nannies would not agree to those additional responsibilities that would be seen as exploitative here.

    On the plus side, I’m glad OP refuses to engage in illegal acts. I for one am glad that their nanny is benefiting from FLSA and getting time-and-a-half for all the overtime hours she’s working.

  • Cranky Old Bastard

    Also, with all the overtime the nanny is making, in a couple of years she can probably cough up the $500,000 to the Kushners to get an EB-5 visa.

  • Anon.

    The tone of the original poster’s comments makes me hate people. The attitude reads “I’ll fight for MY Mexican, so that she can suffer under my unreasonable working conditions, but I’ll call the rest of them ‘illegals.'” I hope she suffers at least as much as her nanny’s own children suffer over the loss of her income.

  • nathaniel

    Your lawyer is right, the law is the law and the situation as you describe will mean that you will not be able to sponsor any foreign nanny for a visa. There is an exception in the law that allows for people working for the US government who are habitually stationed abroad to petition a foreign nanny for a visa during their temporary return to the US (I believe there is a time limit for this stay of 2 or 3 years). Based on your description, that is what sounds like you did.

    However once you no longer habitually reside abroad, which you say you do not as you decided not to return overseas, you are no longer eligible for this visa. The general idea is we should be protecting american jobs not substituting cheaper foreigners for them. Even companies applying H1-b have to show that they cannot hire an american for the job. I think it is bs and they could find people if they paid enough, but they at least have to show an effort to find someone. As for a nanny, there is no chance you can’t find one if you paid the prevailing wage and advertised widely.

    Also it is literally Department of Labor’s job to evaluate your application. I am not sure why you are complaining about them doing their job.

    You are correct that it our current immigration system is messed up and when republicans tell people to follow the rules if they want to come to the US, that this means it is mostly impossible for them to come if they do not already have family here. my advice to you, call your congressman and lobby for immigration reform.

  • Walk around

    A nanny brought from overseas can get green card? That’s the strangest thing I’ve ever heard. Many of my friends, with master’s or doctor’s degree from the US, wait for more than 10 years to get their green card, if they are lucky in getting a h-1b visa through lottery. Of course, if they are fired while the green card is still pending, they have 10 day grace period to pack up, sell their houses, and leave the country.

    • FridayGirl

      There are many, many varieties of immigrant visas for all sorts of workers — not just skilled workers. Also I think you’re confusing immigrant and non-immigrant visas. H-1B workers fall under non-immigrant visas as their stay is supposed to be “temporary” (although the term is flexible).

      • FridayGirl

        (Actually now that I re-read your post, I realize you mean they wait many years to change status from a temporary visa to a green card. Yes, that happens.)

    • CrookedLawyer

      An H-1B is a non-immigrant visa, so that has little to do with green cards. And they have shit representation if they aren’t aware their application is portable to another employer under AC21.

      • walk around

        My un-stated background info is that most, if not all, of these high tech workers (predominantly Indian and Chinese) apply for H-1b as the first step towards permanent residency. Very few apply for H1-B because they only want to work for a few years in the U.S.

        Even though transfer is allowed, it won’t be easy–esp. considering the gap between employment will raise eyebrows at the agency.

        Of course, if one comes as undocumented immigrant, such concerns are superfluous.

  • Charlie

    Hire a lawyer. Maggio Kattar are great and have lots of experience with nannies.

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