FLORIDA: Wherever we go in the United States in connection with jobs, employers ask for a social security number which we do not have. The government here does not provide this to us,” complains Neema Acharya of Biratnagar in Nepal, who is in the United States on a dependent visa.
Acharya who is running from pillar to post in search of a job shared her experience that it was very difficult for her to find a job. She says, “The American government does not give social security number 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 about it, she adds.
Nepalis who have come to the United States on some 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 number 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 number 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 organisations, 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 a job saying that I am his relative. Government officers came here to check us 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 has a different experience to share on condition of anonymity: “One year ago, 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 Nepalis 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 Nepalis 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.
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 as illegal and action will be taken on him/her, and if found working illegally, case will be filed in the court.
Although there is no specific data as to how many Nepalis have been taken action for working here illegally, but action has been taken to the extent of deporting them to home countries, says Krishna Shrestha, a Nepali living here for the past ten years.