Temporary Worker Properly Removed for Changing Employers

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By Laura D. Francis

Aug. 19 — A foreign worker who came to the U.S. on an H-2A agricultural guestworker visa properly was ordered removed for remaining beyond his visa term and for working for other employers, a federal appeals court ruled ( Valles-Diera v. Lynch , 2016 BL 269407, 10th Cir., No. 15-9587, unpublished 8/19/16 ).

Jose Valles-Diera made several arguments as to why the Board of Immigration Appeals was wrong to uphold an immigration judge’s removal order. In an Aug. 19 unpublished decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit rejected all of them.

The BIA held that Valles-Diera violated the terms of his visa by staying in the U.S. after the end of his employment with Clay Lowry Forestry, which had petitioned for the visa. He also violated the visa’s terms by working for other employers that didn’t petition for that visa, the court said.

There was nothing wrong with that conclusion, it held.

Some critics of guestworker programs such as the H-2A program have argued against requiring the workers to remain with the same employer or else risk deportation.

The court dismissed Valles-Diera’s arguments regarding whether Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s decision about the length of his visa overrode a decision made by Customs and Border Protection when he entered the country. The BIA also provided an adequate basis for its decision, the court said.

Judge Monroe G. McKay wrote the opinion, which was joined by Judges Scott M. Matheson and Terrence L. O’Brien.

Jeffrey Thompson Jones represented Valles-Diera. The Justice Department represented the attorney general and the BIA.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura D. Francis in Washington at lfrancis@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at smcgolrick@bna.com

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