On appeal from the Board of Review, Department of Labor, Docket No. 161,531.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Wefing and Parker.
Claimant Zbigniew Cieslewicz appeals from a final decision of the Board of Review rendered on November 26, 2007 affirming an Appeal Tribunal decision denying his claim for unemployment benefits. We affirm.
Claimant entered the United States in 1995 on a tourist visa. He received a work authorization card in 2002 but it expired in 2003 and he did not renew it until May 2007. The new card was valid from May 30, 2007 to May 29, 2008. His claim for unemployment compensation, however, dated from February 18, 2007, when he was separated from his employment as a laborer. Claimant points out that at the end of October 2002 he received an employment authorization document. At that time, he had already been working for Crystal Clear Industries, Inc., for "a few years" after submitting his Polish passport and a valid social security card. He was never again asked to present any other documents. When claimant applied for a job with Automated Distribution Systems, L.P., in October 2006, he was asked for his social security card, driver's license and work authorization document. Although the work authorization document had expired, he was accepted for the job. He was laid off on February 18, 2007 and applied for unemployment compensation.
The essence of claimant's argument in this appeal is that he was never asked for the work permit. He states, "I am perfectly aware that I did not renew my authorization card in due time but I can assure once more that it was not due to my laziness or neglectfulness but simply because of ignorance and my very poor English." Unfortunately, that does not satisfy the law. Since claimant did not have a green card or a work permit at the time he was employed or when he applied for unemployment benefits, his claim is invalid. N.J.S.A. 43:21-4(i)(1) provides:
Benefits shall not be paid on the basis of services performed by an alien unless such alien is an individual who was lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time the services were performed and was lawfully present for the purpose of performing the services or otherwise was permanently residing in the United States under color of law at the time the services were performed (including an alien who is lawfully present in the United States as a result of the application of the provisions of section 212(d)(5) (8 U.S.C. §1182(d)(5)) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. §1101 et seq.)).
We have carefully considered claimant's argument in light of the applicable law and we are satisfied that it lacks sufficient merit to warrant further discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E).
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