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  • Here is the link:

    Sorry if someone else had already posted it.


    Ed to add text in case link gets outdated:

    Skilled Immigrants Turn to K Street
    High-Tech Workers Awaiting Green Cards Hire Lobbyists, Hit the Hill

    By S. Mitra Kalita
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, April 26, 2006; Page D01

    On the December day when Congress killed a budget amendment that might have allowed him to become an American a little sooner, Aman Kapoor started a movement.

    He did not march through streets, carry signs, wave a flag from here or there. He did not walk off the job or file out of school. The computer programmer simply went online to a message board tracked by thousands of people in his predicament: highly skilled foreigners waiting years for their green cards.

    "I think we can do better and really create the impact with organized effort," he wrote. "To achieve this we need a group of individuals who have shown commitment and motivation in this forum."

    The next night, a dozen people living across the United States shed their Internet handles -- Kapoor's was "WaldenPond," a nod to his hero, Henry David Thoreau -- and addressed one another by name on a conference call that lasted an hour. Today, just four months later, the organization they dubbed Immigration Voice boasts 3,000 members; a fundraising goal of $200,000; and, most notably, a partnership with a high-powered lobbying firm, Quinn Gillespie & Associates LLC.

    The group's transformation from an insular circle to a politically active movement offers a window into an alternative immigrant campaign being waged as the Senate this week resumes its work on immigration laws.

    Most members and all the core organizers of Immigration Voice hail from India, though Chinese membership numbers in the hundreds and is on the rise. Most arrived on an international student visa or a visa known as the H-1B, reserved for highly skilled workers who can stay for up to six years -- unless an employer sponsors their green cards, which grant immigrants permanent residence in the United States and the right to live and work here freely. Over the past decade, the largest numbers of H-1Bs have been awarded to high-technology workers from India and China.

    Thus, while the passage of a strict border-security bill introduced by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) mobilized many other immigrants in December, members of this high-tech group had their eye on another: a budget reconciliation bill that, in the Senate version, would have allowed those waiting in line for a green card to proceed even if the quota had been exhausted. The provision was cut in conference committee, stirring many to action and leading to the founding of Immigration Voice.

    While hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets to get Congress's attention, Immigration Voice took a decidedly different approach. Shortly after the group was established, Kapoor and other volunteers began interviewing lobbyists, relying mostly on Google searches and data from the Center for Public Integrity's Web site.

    "If it was not going to be big, it would not be worth the effort," said Kapoor, who works for Florida State University and has traveled to Washington nine times in the past three months. "Most of us have reached that point, having waited for eight or nine years, where individual lives are on hold."

    Neither Quinn Gillespie nor Immigration Voice would disclose the amount being paid for the firm's services. Kapoor said it is "less than five figures."

    "This is a sympathetic story," said Nick Maduros, a lobbyist for Quinn Gillespie. "For this group, their issues are very technical and are frankly not that controversial, but they have been overshadowed ."

    Immigration Voices also enlisted the help of Rick Swartz, who has his own firm and has long been a leading lobbyist for immigration groups. Swartz gathered members of the group at his home one January weekend for a crash course in American politics, teaching them to position themselves as the "new Cubans for the Republicans."

    Although their numbers are far smaller -- fewer than 2 million Indians live in the United States, according to the 2000 Census -- the group is among the more affluent immigrant communities. And because their numbers are smaller than those of Hispanics, they are trying to focus on other ways they can exert power -- through their wealth, their positions of influence in the high-tech and business communities, and their alliances with more established advocacy groups such as one for Indian physicians and an Indian political action committee.

    While the immigrant marchers' demands have covered a range of issues, including allowing immigrants to gain legal status and eventually citizenship, the members of this association are more narrowly focused: They want Congress to pass measures that would end the years-long wait for a green card. In fact, they warn that efforts to enable millions of illegal immigrants to remain here permanently would result in the same bureaucratic nightmare legal immigrants are now facing.

    "If you're going to reform, reform across the board," said Bharati Mandapati, who oversees content for the group, which means she has learned how to word and pitch legislative amendments.

    The group has refrained from taking a stand on the fate of the undocumented workers, though it monitors chatter on its Web site to ensure that frustrated high-tech workers don't disparage lower-skilled laborers such as landscapers and restaurant workers. It also has stayed mum on raising the cap on H-1Bs, the visas that made most of their passages possible.

    Under a proposal introduced by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the number of employment-based green cards being issued would increase from 140,000 to 290,000. Currently, no one country is supposed to take up more than 7 percent of the allotment, though unused green cards can be redistributed to countries that have already met their quota. That has made possible migrations in excess of 7 percent from nations such as India, China, Mexico and the Philippines. Under the proposal, the per-country cap would be increased to a hard and fast 10 percent. Proponents say this would prevent one country from dominating the category and would retain jobs for native-born Americans.

    But Mandapati, a California-based economist, argues that the restriction would hurt the United States because the demand for skills changes. "It just so happens that computer technology and certain technical skills are in great demand here and all over the world. It just so happens that there are two countries that have invested a lot of resources in educating people in these fields . . . India and China."

    About a half-million immigrants are caught in the green-card backlog, some as they wait for Labor Department approval or because quotas have been exceeded. In that time, they cannot be promoted or given substantial pay increases because that would mean a change in job description and salary. They turn to Web sites to compare their wait times with others, and their Internet handles, such as "stucklabor" and "waiting_labor," exude their frustration.

    During meetings on Capitol Hill, Maduros and at least one Immigration Voice representative lay out the group's platform, weaving in the personal stories of members. Shilpa Ghodgaonkar, a Germantown housewife, has become a staple anecdote -- and a frequent visitor on the Hill.

    For four years, she and her husband have been waiting for their green cards. Ghodgaonkar's husband arrived on an H-1B visa, and she followed as his dependent, unauthorized to work here. To pass the time, she learned to cook. Then she volunteered as a career counselor in Montgomery County. Last year, she earned her MBA from George Washington University. In December, around the time Kapoor sent out his e-mail plea for mass mobilization, Ghodgaonkar had run out of options.

    "I just couldn't keep quiet anymore," Ghodgaonkar said. "I cannot be depressed anymore."

    She keeps a spreadsheet that lays out appointment times and the senators' offices she has visited or still plans to: Specter, Frist, Schumer, Brownback, Bingaman, Feinstein, Feingold. Wednesdays bring a weekly call with Quinn Gillespie. And every few nights, there are conference calls among Immigration Voice's core team.

    Now the group plans to closely watch the debate resuming in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Earlier this month, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) proposed amendments with all of the group's provisions. Other lawmakers confirm that they are still meeting with the group to hear their concerns.

    Immigration Voice leaders say the past few months have focused and politicized Indian immigrants in a way that was not apparent in the past. "There is a very 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' quality" about the current effort, Mandapati said. "It's been a journey, a loss of naivete and getting to know about American politics."

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  • The silicon link does not work. Have they removed the article???

    Originally Posted by tdasara,39024671,39163118,00.htm

    send your comments to--

    Will Sturgeon
    write to

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  • digging through my old documents now.

    I was mistaken reading the labor cert application. It did say "we accept BS + 5 years progressive experience".

    I am 3 year Eng diploma + 1 year Eng post Diploma + 10 year exp in India + 5year Exp in US before filing Labor Cert .

    I do have a copy of the Educational evaluation used by my old attorney which says US master equivalent.

    As one member pointed out , there is a possibility that my original employer might have sent a letter saying Labor cert has mistakes but I have no way to confirm that . Or it could that the Officer is just trying to find any small thing to make the case deny.

    I am digging all my old docs to give it to my attorney and see what he is going to day .

    Thanks for all the support folks .

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  • Dear friends

    For every one of us getting GC is a nightmare. Though USCIS follows a system, I feel it is not correctly followed. Also I noticed that people who have filed before the PERM process are really suffering. There are people who are in EB3, waiting for more than 9-10 years, keeping hope and anxiously waiting.

    I feel that we should write to USCIS to clear all the pending GC�s (EB2, EB3) filed before PERM (March 31, 2005) need to be processed before they take up any cases filed in PERM.

    This will certainly make the process rational.

    Why don't we all campaign to ask for a time out on all immigration. Just stop all immigration until it is fixed. :D:D

    Because accordiing to your post you want your geencard but do not want others who filed in perm to proceed further.

    In my proposal, if I cannot get my greencard, then nobdy else should. This is more fair.:D

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  • WithoutGCAmigo, no panic. there are processing dates which you should be worried about after you file EAD / AP etc.

    To file it goes per visa bulletin. Hope you are upto date with that.
    thats the talk of the town, sorry COUNTRY now

    IV memeber experts - should be on the way to throw more light / clarify

    good luck

    The reason the processing dates matter is because by the time USCIS gets to process our I765 and I131 the dates would have retrogressed and then what happens is a million dollar ?

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  • give 2 or 3 months and ROW EB2 will go back to Jan. 2007 or March 2007.

    we'll revisit this thread later again.

    Total number of application will have no impact on ROW (number of application from ROW will have impact on that category), which i think will be very limited.

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  • bkarnik is absolutely correct;

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    GBP too is also rising against USD and British shoppers are crowding New York stores.
    More food for your speculations :)

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  • I am 3 year Eng diploma + 1 year Eng post Diploma + 10 year exp in India + 5year Exp in US before filing Labor Cert .


    Is that a 10+3+1 education?. If it is, USCIS should have denied your I140 the first time. At least, you could have re-filed in EB3. Try to open MTR as others have suggested but do not hold your breath over this and get ready to file another labor.

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  • I think your plan may work out just fine. I would make a couple of suggestions:

    1. If you are taking LOA from original employer, for practical purposes (for USCIS), you are not employed with that employer any more (they go by pay stubs). But if doing so helps to avoid revocation of 140, go ahead and do it that way.

    2. Because you will actually get your pay check from new employer, you are employed by them (and you will work on EAD with them, make sure that this is mentioned on your I-9 form). No matter how much ignorant your employer is, they will have to have I-9 on file and it must have your EAD (not H1).

    3. After doing this, you will be on I 485 pending status (no longer on H status), and so make sure you have current EAD and AP all the time.

    4. If something goes wrong with your I 485 (very unlikely); you will have to leave the country and enter back on H visa and work for H visa sponsoring employer (probably your old employer).

    5. It is perfectly fine to not file AC21. AC21 is needed only if you do not plan to join original sponsoring employer after GC approval. However, if you do want to file AC21, you do not need much documentation from your new employer. It just needs the simple letter stating your job position as a "physician" and brief job duties (briefer the better!) and salary (should be proportional or higher). If you do not file AC21, you may just keep that documentation on file with your attorney (which I would do to be on safe side). The implication of having this is as follows:
    --If you have this documentation (even if not filed with USCIS), at the time of approval of your GC you will have the option of just staying with new employer or going back to original employer.
    --If you do not have this, you will have to go back to original employer after GC approval with a "good faith intention of permanent job".

    PM me if you have questions about what I said above, and I will be happy to talk to you.

    Good Luck.
    very helpful reply..I guess i will go ahead and take the plunge next year ...who knows if the stars are right we may all be greened soooooon.!

    gave u $$..thanx

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  • Sorry to hear your situation, hope everything will be alright pretty soon.

    I am from Massachusetts.

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  • Any one has info on working and living in Australia.

    I see in 12 months i can get Immigrant Visa... Cost is $1960 ..

    Canada may be cold ..Australia has beautiful weather ..

    But the cost to buy Australia would be slightly more expensive than for a small out of the way nation in Africa. (Anyway I am ROW from somewhere in Africa so it would be better to just go home)

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  • Well, DOS is alerting that don't expect additional rapid movement any time soon. Here is the relevant part of their warning:


    Cut-off date movements in recent months have been greater than might ordinarily be expected, in an effort to maximize number use within the annual numerical limits. This has been necessary because demand being received from Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Offices for adjustment of status cases has been relatively light. As these dates have advanced, however, many thousands of applicants have become eligible for processing at CIS Offices. Once number use increases significantly as CIS addresses its backlog, cut-off date movement will necessarily slow or stop. Moreover, in some categories cut-off date retrogression is a particular possibility.

    The only positive thing I can take from this visa bulletin (assuming there is even a modicum of linear thought possible on the movement of dates) is that the 485 traffic for PDs between 2002 July and Jan 2003 is fairly light for EB2 India. After all they stated as much in their footnotes about anticipated movement of PDs. This can be construed as offering some hope for those from EB2 India with priority dates in early 2003 (say up to march). After all anyone in their right mind would not chance CP now with the fluidity of priority dates and the pending BEC deluge of cases, and the hordes of people hunting labour subs. etc. Basically if anyone gets the chance to file 485 they will do it lest the dates retrogress again while they are waiting for the consular interview.

    So those with early 2003 dates can be hopeful now, later than march and I doubt you will be in this fiscal years quota.

    Very true about the nurses and PTs. This will definitely lead to a lot of noise and I am quite sure the remaining 50K visas left for recapture for yrs 2002-2004 will also be recaptured soon after the elections. I hope for the SKIL provisions but am less confident about them than I am about the Schedule A workers.

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  • But the thing is how i am gonna prove that i am paying money every month $500 for my H1. In my Pay stub they are saying "CASH ADVANCE DEDUCTION" = $500

    When you "joined" them what was your situation? Were you previously on H1? When did you learn the fact that employer is not supposed to ask for money from the employees? If you knew these facts before you joined, and you joined them because of your situational needs, you may be considered a party to the fraud yourself. So if you did know about these situations beforehand, it is in your best interests to stick around till the contracted period and then decide on your next course of action.

    Your recourse to the law will be only when you are without guilt, from most of my understanding of how "desi blood suckers" work, they are not the only one taking advantage of you. In most, if not all, cases, people joining them do so because of their weak situation.

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  • Is this is true, then it is not the time to simply convert, but invest. Assume you invest 50K(23lacs) in India now and after 20 years, you should see the value of 23 lacs to be 8 crores. If that 8 crores is converted back to USD at the rate of 20:1, then you will get 4 million. Probably you could use this for yor kids college education.

    You are right they know what they do but it will be beneficial for US economy only. In terms to USD to INR, we will lose. Check the history and present.

    Future is India. After too much of outsourcing, INR will raise again USD and my guestimate is 1 USD to 20 INR after 10 years.

    Time to convert all savings in INR.

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  • First it wasn't 1000, we had over 2000 people registered and many joined after or did not register. So please don't say 1000, it is extremely painful for everyone who attended to be considered as "not counted".

    1. Politically having a rally in D.C makes it more visible for all the law makers there. Laws/amendments and all the political activity happens there. Rallies else where would make it to one or two news cycle but won't be remembered after wards.

    2. Meeting lawmakers, staff from various constituents wrapped around an event like a rally helps a lot in getting the message across. It raises a lot of awareness.

    3. I would have agreed with you that numbers like 100,000 matters, but after being there and seeing the amazing capabilities of IV to organize meetings and having members meet over 100+ meetings with law makers, staff, talking to to them, sharing personal stories, advertisement and media campaigns around D.C has convinced me that it has and will make a difference! Personally for me, it was an eye opener on how the system works and I totally understood exactly why IV leaders set it up this way just by being around and them for a few days!

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  • President Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Solving seemingly intractable international problems is chief on the President's foreign policy agenda. Hopefully, solving the immigration problem will remain chief on his domestic agenda.

    More... (

    I am very thrilled at the news that our President has own the highest honor of this world.
    Hearty Congratulations Mr. President !!!!

    I and my family feel immensely proud that we are able to live in this country of freedom governed by a great leader like you.

    Mr President you are the symbol of hope not only for the citizens of USA but also for all of the immigrant community. You have raised our hopes that we will also be able to become a citizen of this great country soon. Your selection as the Nobel Peace Prize winner has strengthen this hope further. Sir, Please do not belie our hopes.

    Please revamp the current immigration rules and provide immidiate attention to the immigration reform. Sir, we all are looking up to you.

    Congratulations to you Mr President and Congratulations to all of the citizens and residents of USA.

    God Bless USA.

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  • ...So everythings gonna be OK. Lets go party. Just leave money for the plane tickets.
    Guys, why don't we open a page "Bets" ? There we can place bets if a bill will pass, if our ammendments will be included, if something at all will happen... This will make our life more interesting and we will be in a better mood. To wait for another 5-6 years for the GC :-)

    Long Live USCIS "Las Vegas" establishment :-)

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  • The problems with the 350,000 GC-candidates are mainly two - BECs inefficiency and lack of enough visa numbers after LC approval. Fighting both issues should be the main goal of IV and have to be presented to the Congress. They are inter-related and should go together.

    And, by the way, the problems of the legal immigrants should not be considered as "Indian/Chinese" only, this will not help much. These problems are common for the legal immigrants from many countries and this should be highlighted before the Congress. Do not forget that those congressmen are descendents of immigrants from all over the world, not from India and China only.

    I am EB-3 India and I am just 16 years away from my Green Card. My daughter would turn 21 in 2025 and then she would be able to file for our GC under family category. Also, I would celebrate my 25 years on "temporary visa" status in 2025.
    Sorry Sunnysurya, I won't be porting my PD from 2005 to 2025. So you do not have to worry about anything.

    Is it not possible to make the copy of the application when you have to sign it? Will the alien # not be there on the application?

    Forgive me for my ignorance..

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