I have been at my job for four years now and since the beginning, I have been getting paid off the books. Currently, the store is undergoing new management. We recently held a meeting and as it turns out, we are now being required to have a social security number in order to get paid on the books. Of course, I am undocumented.
I actually told them that I don’t have a social and I was told to still fill out a W-4 and I-9 form, and that HR would give me a call. I’m confused. Why would I still need to fill these forms out? Are there loop holes to it that I’m unaware of? Should I just leave this job altogether or should I fill out the forms and see what happens after that? I don’t want to get myself into something that I don’t know. Help! =(
Thanks for the E-mail. I’m very happy you’ve been able to work and somehow provide for yourself. I’m sorry for the circumstances you’re in right now and I hope we can find a solution to it. It’s very difficult to find a job and once found; it can be hard to maintain it especially with an undocumented immigration status.
In regards to these forms, there is no need to lie on them. I understand that we need to survive and sometimes as an act of desperation some may lie on them in order to get a job. I totally get it and do not judge anyone for doing that. Folks who do this are criminalized and not always understood by our government; it’s an endless cycle that is formed when we need to work to provide for ourselves, and our families, but lack documentation. One must think of the future consequences when filling out these forms. Lying on a form about your citizenship will get you in trouble if it’s discovered. The chances of these forms being exposed are slim, but if you decide to apply for some sort of relief it will most likely come to light.
Another suggestion is filling out these forms with an ITIN number and there is no need to check the citizenship box. If you have an ITIN number but don’t know how to tell your boss, there is this great article by Jose Torres Don from the NC Dream Team that highlights how to go about this.
If the manager at your job doesn’t mind having an undocumented person on board, there are solutions for receiving payments but there needs to be some creative thinking on both ends to make it work. If you do not feel comfortable going about this the long way, or your employer is not cooperating, then I suggest leaving your job and finding something else.
Finding another job is always stressful when we’re undocumented so it would be great if you are able to keep this opportunity. I do hope you can find a solution. Let me know what it is, there may be others in the same situation as you and it would build support. Feel free to contact me if anything.
Created on Oct 21, 2010. Ask Angy is the first undocumented youth advice column. It was born in the New York State Youth Leadership Council because there was no space to ask questions or seek advice. This blog is a space for youth to email their concerns, questions, stories or simply ask for help without being judged. Email them to Angy at Angy@nysylc.org or fill out this form.
This is a space to let it all out! You don’t have to bottle it up inside. Your stories and worries matter! You are not alone. Remember, the insecurities and fears you have, someone else is them having too. Don’t be afraid to speak out.
LIKE ASK ANGY ON FACEBOOK —>