"They already do (have those qualifications) or if it's someone we're going to train, we screen them pretty closely," he said. "We don't want to invest the time in them to teach them a lot about our (specific) machines if it's not going to be someone that's going to pay off."
Anyone who comes to Babbitt must possess full citizenship, and the company does drug testing. A prospective employee can work at the company with a green card, but Masters said he has not faced that situation.
"If you have a work visa or a green card, you're OK," he said. "We're not opposed to (those work permits) at all, if they did have it. It's just in our particular instance, we haven't run into that."
Rigo Manriquez, owner of the Osaka Japanese Steakhouse and Seafood in Odessa, said he hopes to see immigration reform, especially in this area where there's not enough people to work. He said restaurants feel the most impact of the lack of labor pool because of the wage scale.
Manriquez said he hopes lawmakers can come up with an agreement so that people who come here to work can contribute to the economy. His business is short of people right now.
"My friends in the restaurant (business) are having this problem right now, that we don't have enough people to work," he said.
Tim Counts, a spokesman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., said in a telephone interview that the amount of time it takes to get clearance to work here depends on the status desired -- someone who wants to come here specifically to work or someone who wants to immigrate here permanently and has a right to work.
"Anyone who immigrates here permanently is eligible to work," he said.
But exceptions exist, such as some government jobs in which a person has to be a U.S. citizen, including Transportation Security Administration screener, Counts said.
"But for the most part, jobs are open to green card holders," he said, referring to people who may live and work here on a permanent basis. "Then there are two kinds of broad-type categories of work-type visas. One is called immigrant visa, which leads to a green card, and the other is what's called non-immigrant visa, which is essentially a temporary work permit."
He said there exist 21 types of non-immigrant or temporary type visas -- which cover jobs such as registered nurses, agricultural workers and foreign media representatives -- and around six broad types of permanent work visas.
"They all have different qualifications and different time frames as far as how long it takes to get the work permit associated with the visa type," he said. "Of course, all of these depend on whether or not you qualify for such a visa."
He said more information on the matter of "Working in the United States" could be found on www.uscis.gov.
Since 1986, American employers are required to establish the identity of new-hires and whether they are eligible to work, and that is done primarily through a Form I-9, Counts said.
"Any new employee has to show documents or a combination of documents to their employer that, first of all, is an identity document, and second of all, a document that shows they're eligible to work in the United States. Sometimes, one document satisfies both requirements; sometimes, it's two separate documents."
For example, U.S. passports are available only to American citizens, and they are eligible to work because of that document, which establishes both identity and work eligibility. The most common of citizenship documents are driver license (identity) and a Social Security card (work eligibility), but there are a whole list of other documents that can be presented instead of those particular documents, Counts said.
If a person is not eligible to work, the employer may not hire that person, and for employers who knowingly hire people are not authorized to work, they can face monetary fines up to prison time for violating laws, Counts said.
He said employers are not required to report someone who does not possess work authorization documents.
"It may just mean they don't have the right documentation with them," he said. "But they are required to establish both work eligibility and identity based on documents presented by the employee."
Roy Gillean, owner of The Barn Door Steakhouse in Odessa, said he hopes some changes are coming in immigration laws, pointing out the legislation that is being worked on in Washington, D.C.
New laws could help the restaurant industry.
"For me, it would be great to have more employees, because with the oil business the way it is in the Permian Basin, we're so short staffed," he said, adding that if "we can figure out a good way to allow great people who want to work and pay taxes in Texas, then I think that's a good thing for us right now."
Gillean said his restaurant employees advise prospective workers to have the proper documentation to work at The Barn Door.
"If they don't have those (documents), then we have to have the other things that are on the I-9," he said. "We check it, obviously, before we let them come to work."
(c)2013 the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas)
Visit the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas) at www.oaoa.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
Most Popular Stories
- 5 Potential Snags to the Bipartisan Budget Deal
- Adam Levine Wins Big as 'The Voice' Crowns Champ
- Archer Daniels Midland Moving HQ to Chicago
- From Fiscal Cliff to Female Head of GM: 2013 in Review
- U.S. Home Construction Hammers Out 5-Year High
- Budget Deal on Brink of Passing in Senate
- Wine Collector Convicted of Making Fake Vintages
- Apple: Disney Animation iPad App Best of 2013
- William Morris Endeavor Eats up IMG
- Mega Millions Winning Tickets Sold in Atlanta, San Jose