Thursday, December 27, 2012

Immigrant Beaverton School District teacher regains legal status, job ...

Mario Vilela Orozco, a Beaverton School District employee who was involved in a dispute about his visa earlier this year, has regained legal status and a teaching job.

Vilela Orozco just returned from his native Peru, where he traveled to renew his H-1B specialty occupation work visa so he could stay legally in the United States.

Vilela Orozco said his visa was approved Dec. 10 and he could begin working in January at Beaverton's Southridge High School as a social studies teacher.

Vilela Orozco, 40, had worked since 2010 as a teacher in the two-way language immersion program at Whitford Middle School.

He said he repeatedly reminded the school district to update his visa, a promise officials made when they hired him. But he was fired in June for having improper documentation and his visa expired in September. The school district agreed in October to sponsor a new visa and teaching job.

Vilela Orozco, who graduated from Portland State University, came to the United States dreaming of a steady job and prospective American citizenship. He worked for the Estacada Web Academy in Clackamas before being hired in Beaverton.

Foreigners on H1-B work visas, which are valid for three years and renewable for another three, are authorized to work only for the employer who submitted the application. Once Vilela Orozco had worked for the new school district, he violated the terms of his visa. The only way to fix it was to go back to Peru and start over.

-- Andrea Castillo


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