News Column

Mexican Workers are Warned of Visa Scam in Nogales, Son.

Feb 26, 2013

Perla Trevizo

Nogales, Sonora, officials are warning the community against people offering temporary visas to work in the United States.

At least six people have approached officials in the border city, asking for the offices where the work visas are expedited, a news release from the Nogales city government said.

The Mexican residents apparently called a number from a local advertisement and were asked to deposit in a bank account more than $80 per person. The callers were told the money would be used to cover their travel to the United States for work.

The warning comes about two weeks after more than 4,000 people attended a job fair hosted by the U.S. Consulate in Nogales together with Mexican municipal, state and federal agencies to connect employers to potential job applicants.

People were told at the fair they could register for the H-2A or H-2B program -- a six-month program for agricultural and service jobs such as landscaping -- with the consulate, and representatives gave them an explanation on temporary workers' rights, said Consul Chad Cummins.

The U.S. temporary work program includes low-skilled jobs in the agricultural, construction and landscaping sector, and is free for applicants.

People were told to be suspicious if anyone asked them for money to get a work visa or to pay for transportation, Cummins said.

Cummins said this is the first time he has heard of people in Nogales trying to take advantage of those seeking to work in the United States, but it's not uncommon in other parts of Mexico.

Source: (c)2013 The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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