I had an iChat with my cousin Stéphane this morning. He is a software engineer and has been working in California on a foreign worker visa. (He's French). During the summer he and his wife went to France to visit his mother (my mom's sister) in Haute-Savoie. On the trip back to San Francisco, the INS stopped him in New York, saying that his papers were not in order. It seems that his employer had not kept abreast of the reporting and renewing requirements, and his work permit had expired. Stéphane was immediately put back on a plane to France, while his American wife was allowed to enter the US.
He's been living with his brother, telecommuting out of his employer's Paris office. It's been three months, and finally it looks like his paperwork is in order. In a couple weeks he will be able to return to California, ending his longer than expected "vacation".