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  • Congressional Quarterly now conducts multiple voting studies and often does not count procedural votes. To get the most politically accurate result, the NRCC monitors only how often the freshmen vote with Pelosi, who as speaker usually votes only on the most important issues. Washingtonpost.com's party unity score is based on all votes.

    Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.), who has opposed more than half the journal votes, called his opposition "protest votes against little things I heard during the day" before.

    "I hope the people back home are monitoring all my votes," he said.

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  • Okay lets take your example. A & B are graduates with a Bachelors degree (A is a Mechanical and B is Computer Science). A decides to pursue higher study in Mechanical field and B takes up a Software job. After a year they file for B' EB3 at his work, while A is still at school. A joins a software company (His Masters in Mechanical is worth nothing now). EB2 is filed for A just because he has a Masters, B is also eligible for EB2 by that time. Why can't B get a earlier PD? Atleast B got relevant industry experience. How come A is superior than B?

    Also why should EB2's get the spillover visas from EB1? Do they have a Ph.D? Why can't they allocate spillover visas from EB1 equally between EB2 and EB3?

    In that case A will be eligible only for a EB3 based on the Job requirement.( Since eligibility is based on the Job requirement and not the person's qualification)

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  • How To Write To Congress (http://consumerist.com/consumer/your-government/how-to-write-to-congress-302775.php) BY CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER | Consumerist, SEP 23 2007

    Writing to Congress is the single best way to express your view on public policy. The average consumer has a surprising ability to influence legislation by crafting a well written missive and avoiding several common mistakes.

    Why Personal Letters Beat Form Letters

    Don't get suckered in by the quick and easy "Write to Congress!" form letters littering the internet. Form letters are not an expression of values; they are a show of organizational strength. If the NRA convinces five million people to send letters opposing gun control, it shows that the NRA can muster five million people to action, not that five million people necessarily care about gun laws. Congressional offices know this and generally disregard form letters.

    So what happens when you send a letter?

    Every office has its own procedures for tabulating constituent correspondence, but most will produce a report at the end of week breaking down how many letters were received by issue area, separating out form letters from letters sent by individual constituents.

    Members treat each type of letter differently, but most look for individual letters as a barometer of their district's concerns. These are the letters that have the most influence, the ones we will show you how to write.

    What Should Your Letter Say?

    We adhere to the three paragraph rule: introduce yourself, introduce your issue, request action. Congressional offices have staffers whose days are spent solely on the mail, so make their lives easier by keeping letter succinct and to the point.

    Introduce Yourself: There is a two-prong test for determining your worth: 1) Are you a constituent? 2) Are you an important constituent? Feel free to puff up your chest. Are you a lifelong member of the district? Are you associated with community groups? Say so! Convince the reader that yours is a voice of experience and wisdom.

    Be specific: Don't just ask a Member to oppose mandatory binding arbitration agreements. Ask them to rush to the floor to support S.1782, The Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007.

    Marshall Facts: Your argument - and you are making an argument - must be supported by facts. Feel free to use facts gleaned from us or other sources, but don't copy and paste paragraphs of pre-written text from form letters. Personal experiences are particularly effective, and often moving. Share them!
    Be Exceedingly Polite, Please: Congress attracts haughty personalities. Staffers don't appreciate being spoken down to or insulted. You are trying to rally them to your cause, so be nice!

    Clearly State Your Request: Plainly tell your representative that you want them to support or oppose a certain bill. If you want a response, explicitly (but politely!) ask for one.

    It should go without saying that your letter should follow all formal style guidelines, such as a return name and address, and should be free of spelling and grammatical errors.

    Send Your Letter To The Right Place

    Only write to your representatives. You have three: one Representative in the House, and two Senators. Do not send more than three letters. Some citizens try to get their voice heard by writing to all 435 members of the House. Congressional courtesy compels the 434 Members who do not represent the zealot to forward his letter to the one lucky Member who does. This angers the Member's staff greatly at the expense of any point you are trying to make.

    The addresses for your Representatives and Senators are available online, but don't waste your time with an email. Letters carry significantly more weight. Send your letter to the Capitol, where the legislative staff is based, though it will take a while to arrive since all incoming Congressional mail is irradiated thanks to those still-unidentified Anthrax mailers.

    For an even greater impact, send your letter care of the staffer covering the issue. These staffers - called Legislative Assistants - are the Member's eyes and ears on their assigned issue areas. Finding the staffer destined to read your letter is easy: call the Capitol switchboard (open 24 hours a day!) at (202) 224-3121, ask for your Member's office, and ask the person who answers for the name of the staffer handling the issue area or bill number. Once you get that name, address your letter like this:

    Member Of Congress
    c/o Staffer
    Office Building/Number
    Washington, DC 20515

    What Should You Expect In Return?

    Depends. There are 535 Congressional offices and each handles constituent correspondence differently. The vast majority respond to letters with either a form letter pre-written by a Legislative Assistant, or with a more personal response written by a Legislative Correspondent. Controversial issues that attract many letters normally receive a form letter response, while smaller issues or specific questions often receive the attention of a personalized response.


    Members of Congress work for you. Without your votes, they won't stay in office. They go to great lengths to cultivate a positive relationship with you, their boss. Very few people take the time to write to a Member of Congress, so the few that do carry a disproportionate influence.

    Fifteen minutes is well worth the time to influence a $2 trillion enterprise.

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  • UN, thanks for the time you spend giving us your educated advice.

    I would greatly appreciate a response on my situation.

    I currently work in a big IT consulting firm (company A) thru H1. My uncle owns a very small (less than 100 ppl) consulting shop (company B). I want to join his company, but i dont want to transfer my h1 since B is small and there is lot more job stability in company A. S i want to go through the route of future employment.

    I will be joining company B in the same job desc as im working in company A. As it looks right now, I might have to take a small cut in salary to join company B, however im sure that salary difference will be a lot more once it gets to the 485 stages.

    What do you think are the risks as compared to having a GC sponsored through a company where u already hold a H1? I understand that my intention to join might become an issue because of the salary issue, but wouldn't that be the case even if i filed for Company A, since company A would file a LC based on current wage and by the time of 485, I will be making a lot more.

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  • IMHO, It does not matter what your status in this country is. Or how much you make and all other parameters you need to consider while buying your primary residential home. If you are in the home flipping business please ignore the post.

    There is too much data out there which says housing will go down for at least another year, and will then stay flat for a long time.

    I know home is not an investment. But buying something when you know its gonna lose value just does not make sense even with all the credits + low interest rate out there. For me the most important thing is the total principal you pay to buy the home. Everything else are cheap gimmicks. Its like a car salesman saying you monthly payment for this car is only $200, but wait you will be paying this $200 for the next 10 years instead of 5. Or a Bank saying you get $50 to open an account etc. Also as others pointed out even in 2004/2005 there was enough data being floated that the housing bubble will crash, but i guess lot of people just ignored it.

    If you need a house for luxury, Go ahead and rent one for the next couple of years. Not sure why people think renting restricts them to only small apartments. I am pretty sure renting a house in today's market will be lot cheaper than buying. I am currently renting a home and very happy in it.

    Also consider that housing market is not as volatile as the stock market. So once the correction is complete it will take a long time for the appreciation curve to kick in. So timing the housing market dynamics would be different compared to the stock market.

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  • ok..never mind..I called the officer and informed that I don't have any such information and since it was taken over by a different company, I am not in a position to get it..so Officer seemed satisified but asked few other related questions..and it is good for now..

    Dear friend - looks like ur sugar levels are going up and down - hang in there. I think you will be fine. Thanks for sharing your experiences with people here.

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  • ok..never mind..I called the officer and informed that I don't have any such information and since it was taken over by a different company, I am not in a position to get it..so Officer seemed satisified but asked few other related questions..and it is good for now..


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  • With Israel on the offensive and so many jihadis getting whacked - don't you think that there'll be a serious shortage of virgins in jihadi heaven :D

    they dont need virgins man....:p

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  • I heard about Prithvi Raj killing Ghori and it's called Shbda Bhedi Bana Vidya.
    They say that Prithvi raj knew Shabda Bhedi vidya.

    Ghazni's best-kept secret - The Indian Express
    S.C. Sharma ()
    April 25, 1998

    Title: Ghazni's best-kept secret
    Author: S.C. Sharma
    Publication: The Indian Express
    Date: April 25, 1998

    Provocative Ghauri was the title of an editorial that appeared
    on this page earlier this month. Pakistan has named its missiles
    Ghauri and Ghaznavi with the specific intention of taunting
    India. These worthies' claims to fame and glorification, in the
    perception of the Pakistanis, lies in the fact that they were
    credited with plundering and devastating north-western India time
    and time again in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

    In their enthusiasm to score brownie points, the Pakistanis have
    got mixed up on chronology, they have produced Ghauri before
    Ghaznavi. Also, they have perversely sought to commemorate these
    Afghan rulers of Turkish descent in utter disregard of the fact
    that most of the territories they plundered are their own - the
    North West Frontier Province, the Punjab and Sind. The men and
    women they tortured, enslaved, ravished and put to the sword were
    their own forebears.

    If Pakistanis wish to revel in the inglorious misdeeds of
    foreigners perpetrated on their own soil and on their own
    ancestors, they are welcome to twirl their moustaches in euphoria
    and say: " Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to he wise."

    Indians may look forward to future generations of Pakistani IRBMs
    and similar sophisticated weaponry named after the likes of
    Changez Khan, Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali. Alexander the
    Great and Harshavardhan also have strong claims, but they might
    be disqualified for obvious reasons.

    In the course of his many abortive forays into India, Mohammad
    Ghori is said to have been captured once by the forces of Delhi.
    But Prithviraj Chauhan, king of Delhi, magnanimously let him off.
    Legend has it - and it is widely believed in India - that when
    Ghori eventually succeeded in defeating Prithviraj Chauhan at the
    Second Battle of Tarain in 1192, he blinded him and took him in
    chains to Afghanistan along with his friend, the poet

    Ghori held a grand durbar to celebrate his victory. His prize
    catch, the king of Delhi, blind and a prisoner, was paraded and
    publicly humiliated. Deeply incensed by the treatment meted out
    to his monarch, Chandravardai took refuge to a subterfuge. He
    announced that though completely blind, Prithviraj could still
    hit a target guided solely by sound, and he asked for permission
    for this feat to be performed.

    Prithviraj Chauhan was handed a bow and arrow, and Chandravardai
    sang a now-famous verse which told him of the elevation and
    distance to Ghori's throne. And thus, guided solely by sound,
    Prithviraj shot his arrow through Ghori.

    The legend may not be entirely true, but it would be absolutely
    accurate to say that even after eight centuries have elapsed,
    Prithviraj is regularly subjected to indignity in the land where
    he was taken as a captive. I have seen it at first hand.

    Many years ago, while travelling by jeep from Kandahar to Kabul,
    I had to make a night halt en route at Ghazni. At the hotel, I
    learned that there was a grand mausoleum over the tomb of Sultan
    Mahmud Ghaznavi near the town, and I determined to see it. A few
    extra Afghanis (the local currency) helped my driver to
    comprehend the necessity of making a small detour the next

    The mausoleum was indeed grand -judging by local standards - with
    a high, arched doorway like the Buland Darwaza. lie tomb proper
    was in a cellar about four or five feet be low ground-level. It
    intrigued me considerably to note that there were no steps
    leading down into the tomb. Instead, a metal chain hung from the
    ceiling of the cellar. I was told that I would have to hold the
    chain and jump down.

    I asked for the reason for this peculiar method of entry. The
    caretaker was evasive at first. But after much persuasion, he
    disclosed that there was another tomb at the exact spot where you
    jumped down. There, the infidel king of Delhi, Prithviraj
    Chauhan, lay buried.

    ================================================== =====================
    Might I add, that the very Islam these Pakis seem to be proud of, was forced down upon them.
    Most of these are descendents of forced converts to Islam!

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  • You are wrong - many other categories are allowed to be adjusted to the status while being in the country. For example look into latest CSR report - you will know that in year 2007, USCIS adjusted 621,047 foreign nationals to LPR status among this number EB's are only around 160K remaining or in other statuses.

    The family based immigration is important and can be very painful for some cases - like spouses and sons/daughters - and that is why congress has correctly amended laws to make these cases as exceptions (there are no numerical limits and also no country quotas). That was a correct thing to do and any wait in those relationships is much more painful. But for other categories in the family based immigration - like the cases you gave as examples (like brother and sister of a US citizen) - I dont really consider them as more painful than ours actually I dont even consider them as even comparable to ours. I dont know your case, but I came to US in late nineties with couple graduage degrees and acquired one more here - started my career here and justifiably feel that I considerably contributed to success of atleast one company which grew to 200+ people at one point. I emotionally and careerwise invested here. Now after 10+ years still no greencard and know how many career moves I had to let go becuase of this. While the decision to pursue the greencard is mine and I am not trying to blame anyone here, I dont think that our pain is less than someone who is "waiting" because his brother or sister sponsored him/her doesnt make sense (note: well I do have brother and sister and cherish those relationships but expecting a lifelong/career move based on their location of living is not there; and even if there is an expectation I wont consider that even comparable to someone living there and letting go many opportunities despite of talent just because of administrative issues).

    You are right - things are getting worse - there may not be any congressional activity on this issue for sometime and if USCIS try to screw us in other ways - then its going to be a rough ride. But the EB community activism (congressional or otherwise) will actually help in at least staying things more fair towards us.

    Yes; I read all of the reports and I have intimate knowledge of how all of this works.

    Fact only dual intent visas are H/L/O and K visas.

    All other visas are non immigrant intent. Therefore, how do we have so many 485 approvals.

    Just about all family base i-485 adjustment of status approvals are people who overstayed their visitor visas, student visas, etc and adjusted status by marrying a US citizen or used 245i to forgive their unlawful status and got greencard through a different way.

    Many people who got aged out and weren't able to come with their parents wanted reunification but it would take many, many years for them to come to USA. They get student visa; lie that their parents are not in USA and when they get here then they go through EB route.

    Many people who overstayed their visas got 245i protection through a family member and then went through EB route because it was faster then family route. Here is an example;

    Person comes from India in early '90s. Wants to stay and winds up overstaying. Lawsuit is filed against 1986 amnesty and people win that USCIS has to open it up and allow people to file even though it is many years after 1986. People start faking things to show that they were here during that time. At same time they get 245i protectin by getting relative to file petition for them. They see none of it goin anywhere and then get labor substitution through eb and go this route and finally get greencard this way.

    There is so much of this that goes on with immigration and in USCIS heavy handed way they go after everyone to try to get the people who they think are dirty.

    I think everyone needs to understand that this is employment base immigration. It is not on your merits it is based on an employer needing you. H-1b was created to mainly get poeple here because it took too long for an employer to get a body by going through consular route; same concept with K-3 visas;.

    In many of the compalaints I see on the forums; people start thinking that EB greencard is a humanitarian greencard. It is very simple and employer needs you on a permannet and full time basis. If they have the resource then they generally do not care how long it takes you to get the greencard. Like it or not this is the way it currently is.

    I remember taking a local office appointment with San Jose local office to determine where my file was. It mistakenly got sent to San Diego office. Officer said I should write to San Diego and get them to transfer it to San Francisco which had jurisdiction to where I was living. I told here why doesn't she request it and I made the comment that I had been waiting for four years since I had filed the 485. Her response with a straight face was hey that's not too bad; some people are waiting for last 20 years.

    Talk to a normal American and they are not going to think that you are being disadvantaged because you are allowed to live and work here while waiting for the greencard.

    If there was no h-1b or no seventh year extensions and employers couldn't get the workers then you would really see some action because employers wouldn't be able to get the resources.

    Nurses generally weren't able to get h-1b's and they had to go through consular route. Since, employers couldn't get the resources then that is why they set aside extra 60k greencards for them a couple of years ago. It had nothing to do with the individual but rather the employer needs in getting the resources.

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  • The Next Great Resource Shortage: U.S. Scientists (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2074024,00.html) By ANDREW J. ROTHERHAM | Time

    The word "stem" is tossed around so much at education meetings these days, you'd think you were at a gardening seminar. STEM is shorthand for "science, technology, engineering, and mathematics" � all fields that are growing, providing lucrative jobs, and key to future American competitiveness. That's why everyone from President Obama to the United States Chamber of Commerce is worried about whether we're producing enough STEM graduates from our colleges and universities. That this is a problem is one of the few things that everyone in education seems to agree upon.

    Part of the push for better STEM education stems � sorry � from American companies claiming there are shortages of American workers able to take on certain roles. Each year, American technology and engineering firms push to expand the number of workers allowed under the "H-1B" visa program, a category that allows companies to hire foreigners in roles where they cannot find a qualified American citizen. Critics claim the H-1B program is more a ploy to allow companies to hire skilled workers cheaper.

    STEM anxiety is also an outgrowth of larger concerns about American competitiveness. The growing number of STEM workers in countries like China and India has policymakers on edge. You often hear that China and India are producing many more engineers than the United States, but when researchers from Duke University looked closely at the numbers, they found that what's counted as an engineering degree in those countries would often be considered a vocational certificate or two-year degree in this country. The Duke team found relative parity between the United States and China and India when the engineering comparison was apples to apples.

    And part of our STEM obsession is frankly just longtime habit. In the 1950s, it was Admiral Hyman Rickover calling for more math and science education as part of the effort to keep us competitive with the Soviets. Congress passed legislation to support math and science education in 1958 and advocates have been pushing for more ever since. Congress passed several STEM measures in just the last decade, including the 2007 America Competes Act, which includes measures to recruit and train teachers in STEM subjects.

    Still, debatable need, confused statistics, and force of habit doesn't mean there isn't an actual STEM problem facing the United States. American students should be doing better in math and science than they are now, and we are arguably producing too few college STEM majors. If the global competitiveness race turns into a numbers game, we're in trouble absent dramatic improvements: If it were its own country, the populations of China and India aged 14 and younger would each still be among the top five nations in the world in terms of population. That means that even marginal improvements in education in those countries will pay big dividends and put them on a stronger competitive footing. Besides, there is little doubt that our own economic future hinges in no small part on remaining a leader in innovation in science and technology.

    So we want more college graduates in STEM careers. How do we get them? Right now policymakers are fixated on upgrading the quality of the math and science teaching force through better recruitment and training. "Out-of-field" teachers � meaning those without proper training in the subject � remain an acute problem in math and science. Scholarships, loan-forgiveness, and even higher pay are all used to attract more teachers into STEM fields. More creative ideas are emerging, too. Math For America provides $100,000 fellowships for math teachers and Partners in Science gives science teachers the opportunity to undertake actual scientific work at national laboratories during the summer. All good ideas, but to some extent we're chasing our tail: Not enough STEM graduates means not enough STEM teachers, regardless of the incentives.

    The second answer is to expose students to STEM fields early on and use scholarships and inducements for them to choose STEM careers. This is where the STEM rhetoric meets our educational reality: A lot of students are not going into STEM careers today not because they're unaware of the choice, but rather because they cannot make that choice because of the quality of education they are receiving.

    Think about it. With high school graduation rates of only about 75 percent overall (and 64 percent for Hispanics and 62 percent for African-Americans) we lose a lot of potential STEM students long before college. At the same time, many students graduating from high schools are not taking the math and science courses necessary to pursue a STEM career. Experts estimate that only about one-third of graduating high school students are genuinely college-ready.

    Of course, not all currently underserved students would choose STEM careers either. People chose their work for a variety of reasons. Yet it's a reasonable assumption that some percentage of currently underserved students would choose STEM just as some percentage of more advantaged students do now. So rather than trying to squeeze a few more STEM students from populations that can already choose STEM if they want to, perhaps policymakers should focus even more on giving currently under-served populations the ability to make a STEM choice in the first place. If you're not taking the right classes � or worse, if you're not in school � STEM careers are not a viable choice for you. Fixing that seems the path to the richest untapped vein of future American talent.

    In other words, in the long term, the STEM agenda really isn't that different than the more general school improvement agenda. Linking the two more explicitly would also help make the push for STEM more relevant and engaging for parents than it is today. Because while education leaders can't shut up about STEM, it's hardly even on the radar of most parents � when they talk about stems they usually are talking about plants.

    The Right Job? It�s Much Like the Right Spouse (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/22/business/22corner.html) By ADAM BRYANT | New York Times
    The Downsized College Graduate (http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/05/24/the-downsized-college-graduate) The New York Times
    Top Colleges, Largely for the Elite (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/business/economy/25leonhardt.html) By DAVID LEONHARDT | The New York Times
    Five myths about America�s schools (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-americas-schools/2011/05/09/AFunW27G_story.html) By Paul Farhi | The Washington Post
    The Failure of American Schools (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2011/06/the-failure-of-american-schools/8497/) By Joel Klein | The Atlantic

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  • UN,
    Sorry for sending the PM.

    This link was provided in another thread regarding H1B status. Not entirely sure what it means.

    http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=a62bec897643f010VgnVCM1000000ecd190aRCR D&vgnextchannel=1847c9ee2f82b010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1 RCRD

    Q : Must an H-1B alien be working at all times?

    As long as the employer/employee relationship exists, an H-1B alien is still in status. An H-1B alien may work in full or part-time employment and remain in status. An H-1B alien may also be on vacation, sick/maternity/paternity leave, on strike, or otherwise inactive without affecting his or her status.

    first i'll tell a brief story.

    I am a chain smoker. my brother is a ph.d who researches cancer. He told me I would die one day of cancer (thanked him for that advice). I told him that you gotta die one day.

    he is the only person who had this comeback. He said that is what everyone says until they are on their death bed.

    now; why is this story relevant? How comfortable are you in arguing this. I remember a long time ago a person had this query; and he responded that he was on medical leave. USCIS came back and asked for verification with medical records. Others tried to get letters from their employers saying they had extended absences, etc. but employers won't give the letters because they think they will be on hook for payment of wages to you if they give such a letter.

    It is not an easy thing to overcome or argue as one may think.

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  • a very nice video. Shows unity in a very nice perspective..


    The song is a Bengali poem written by Rabindranath Tagore.

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  • You are wrong, see my post above. Even if you stay at same employer, your H1 wont be extended if you file for extension. If extension fails, its goodbye for employee and loss of employee and revenue for employer.


    Thanks for the clarification.

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  • it is not just america losing - the person who has bought the house would lose his downpayment / equity too -not to speak of the mighty credit score - am I right ??


    Most of the answers in this thread point that you need to have a good life when you and your kids are young. Not for people who want to get money out of an investment.

    Also a reply suggests what you can do in worst case.

    Don't count how many days you are going to be in this country, but live every day for you and your family.

    I am sure you were not born in this country and brought up. Think about the enjoyment you had when you were young. Playing with 10 kids of your age everyday, running stairs up and down, cycling around the communities. Don't our kids deserve the same?

    They should not end up as "GC" victims.

    I just decided its my responsibility to give them a good living environment when they are young if I can. I dont' care about downpayment. If I was good enough to save the downpayment amount in 4 years, surely I can earn it back in 2 years somewhere in worst case scenario.

    Credit score? Sorry, I already built the score and bought the home, now I have many other things to worry about in life.

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  • Oh, and I think I should elaborate just a little more.

    I am not asking whether the USCIS can or cannot exercise scrutiny on approving 485s where a person, under AC21 provision, switches to a small consulting company.

    Of course they can, the 485 is for a full time job, and whether a job with a small consulting company is of a full time nature or not, is up in the air and they can 'scrutinize' it all they want, if they choose to.

    My question to UN is whether he thinks if they will choose to go after 485 AC21 job switches to small consulting companies like he thinks they will for small consulting company H-1Bs, and not whether they can.

    Thanks again,

    You see on all these ac21 issues we rely on uscis memos. Every one of these memos state pending change to the regulations; we are going to follow the principles of this memo.

    it has been 8 years and they still haven't changed the regulations. Memos can be changed at their whim at any time.

    Currently; uscis position is that if someone ports to another company; they are not supposed to check the ability to pay criteria. However; they left themselvees an out that theey can check the genuineness of the ac21 employer. Becasuse of this last statement; what they have been doing is asking for ac21 employer tax returuns, and quarterly wage reports. If you are already on payroll then size of company doesn't matter. However; if you are not on payrroll and it is a very small company then they can challnge it.

    btw; I am not epecting quota to finish early this year. Many companies/lawyers are very frustrated with h-1b right now. I was talking to education evaluator and he told me that there is litteally no business right now. Companies I know of how filed 70 cases last year are not filing any this year due to a combination of issues (iowa issue, lack of approvals and great demand for tansfers by thos who were laid off or had theirr h-1b's cancelled.

    Right now; newer companies who don't have much experience with h-1b are going into the lions den without knowing there is a lion in there.

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  • Hello Guys,

    I am a bit confused, I always thought or heard (John Kerry, last Presidential debate) Democratic (Most of them) candidates pro to legal immigrants who have been here from last 5-7 yrs, regularly paying taxes and have not broken any law, there can be few exceptions but over all above democratic strategy have been to support immigrants who meet above three criteria.

    What am I missing?


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  • China�s recent obstreperousness may yet backfire, frightening the United States and its Asian partners into doing more to balance against its growing power. For now, however, the alarming news is that China�s strategy seems to be working much better than America�s. Washington has made basically no progress in pushing China toward democracy, nor has it succeeded in persuading Beijing to abandon ambitions�like controlling the entire South China Sea�that threaten the interests of America�s allies. For its part, China�s Communist Party remains firmly in command. Meanwhile, as China�s economy and military have matured, it has begun to mount a serious challenge to America�s position in Asia.

    Beijing has now become the most important trading partner for the advanced industrial nations of Northeast Asia and Australia, as well the comparatively poor countries on its frontiers. It is a leading investor in infrastructure development and resource extraction across the region. These thickening commercial ties have already begun to complicate calculations of national interest in various capitals.

    China�s rapid economic growth has also enabled a substantial expansion in military spending. And Beijing�s buildup has begun to yield impressive results. As of the early 1990s, the Pacific was, in essence, a U.S. lake. Today, the balance of military power is much less clearly in America�s favor, and, in certain respects, it has started to tilt toward China. While its arsenal remains comparatively small, Beijing�s ongoing deployment of intercontinental ballistic missiles will give it a more secure second-strike nuclear capability. Washington�s threat to use nuclear weapons, if necessary, to counter Chinese aggression against its allies is therefore dwindling toward the vanishing point. As happened during the cold war, once the Soviets achieved a form of nuclear parity, the burden of deterrence will fall increasingly on the conventional forces of the United States and its allies. And, here, the trends are, if anything, more worrisome. Since the mid-1990s, China has been investing heavily in so-called �anti-access� capabilities to deter or defeat American efforts to project power into East Asia. People�s Liberation Army (PLA) strategists appear to believe that, with enough highly accurate, conventionally armed ballistic and cruise missiles, they could, in the event of a confrontation, deny U.S. forces the use of their regional air and naval bases and either sink or push back the aircraft carriers that are the other principal platform for America�s long-range power projection.

    If the PLA also develops a large and capable submarine force, and the ability to disable enemy satellites and computer networks, its generals may someday be able to convince themselves that, should push come to shove, they can knock the United States out of a war in the Western Pacific. Such scenarios may seem far-fetched, and in the normal course of events they would be. But a visibly deteriorating balance of military power could weaken deterrence and increase the risk of conflict. If Washington seems to be losing the ability to militarily uphold its alliance commitments, those Asian nations that now look to the United States as the ultimate guarantor of their security will have no choice but to reassess their current alignments. None of them want to live in a region dominated by China, but neither do they want to risk opposing it and then being left alone to face its wrath.

    When he first took office, Barack Obama seemed determined to adjust the proportions of the dual strategy he had inherited. Initially, he emphasized engagement and softpedaled efforts to check Chinese power. But at just the moment that American policymakers were reaching out to further engage China, their Chinese counterparts were moving in the opposite direction. In the past 18 months, the president and his advisers have responded, appropriately, by reversing course. Instead of playing up engagement, they have been placing increasing emphasis on balancing China�s regional power. For example, the president�s November 2010 swing through Asia was notable for the fact that it included stops in New Delhi, Seoul, Tokyo, and Jakarta, but not Beijing.

    This is all to the good, but it is not enough. The United States cannot and should not give up on engagement. However, our leaders need to abandon the diplomatic �happy talk� that has for too long distorted public discussion of U.S.-China relations. Washington must be more candid in acknowledging the limits of what engagement has achieved and more forthright in explaining the challenge a fast-rising but still authoritarian China poses to our interests and those of our allies. The steps that need to be taken in response�developing and deploying the kinds of military capabilities necessary to counter China�s anti-access strategy; working more closely with friends and allies, even in the face of objections from Beijing�will all come with steep costs, in terms of dollars and diplomatic capital. At a moment when the United States is fighting two-and-a-half wars, and trying to dig its way out from under a massive pile of debt, the resources and resolve necessary to deal with a seemingly distant danger are going to be hard to come by. This makes it all the more important that our leaders explain clearly that we are facing a difficult long-term geopolitical struggle with China, one that cannot be ignored or wished away.

    To be sure, China�s continuing rise is not inevitable. Unfavorable demographic trends and the costs of environmental degradation are likely to depress the country�s growth curve in the years ahead. And this is to say nothing of the possible disruptive effects of inflation, bursting real-estate bubbles, and a shaky financial system. So it is certainly possible that the challenge posed by China will fizzle on its own.

    But if you look at the history of relations between rising and dominant powers, and where they have led, what you find is not reassuring. In one important instance, the United States and Great Britain at the turn of the twentieth century, the nascent rivalry between the two countries was resolved peacefully. But in other cases�Germany and Britain in the run-up to World War I, Japan and the United States in the 1930s, and the United States and the Soviet Union after World War II�rivalry led to arms races and wars, either hot or cold. What saved the United States and Britain from such a clash was in part the similarity of their political systems. What made conflict likely in the latter scenarios were sharp differences in ideology. And so, unless China undergoes a fundamental transformation in the character of its regime, there is good reason to worry about where its rivalry with the United States will lead.

    Aaron L. Friedberg is a professor at Princeton University and the author of the forthcoming book A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia

    Dr. K�s Rx for China (http://www.newsweek.com/2011/05/15/dr-k-s-rx-for-china.html) By Niall Ferguson | Newsweek
    The China Challenge (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703864204576315223305697158.html) By Henry Kissinger | Wall Street Journal
    Henry Kissinger on China (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/books/review/book-review-on-china-by-henry-kissinger.html) By MAX FRANKEL | New York Times
    Modest U.S.-China progress (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ed20110514a1.html) The Japan Times Editorial
    U.S.-China's Knotty but Necessary Ties (http://www.cfr.org/china/us-chinas-knotty-but-necessary-ties/p24973) By John Pomfret | Council on Foreign Relations
    Do Americans hold �simple� ideas about China's economy? (http://curiouscapitalist.blogs.time.com/2011/05/12/do-americans-hold-%E2%80%9Csimple%E2%80%9D-ideas-about-china%E2%80%99s-economy/) By Michael Schuman | The Curious Capitalist

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  • we've found that the more compelling arguments tend to be those related to US competitiveness. If I was to use the housing argument in a meeting, I would use it in a light hearted way while making a serious point. But it would certainly not be an issue that would be worth focusing on.

    You said it in post above -- e.g. competitive with European blue card.
    (The Blue Card is not like GC, however, comparing with UK and right to remain after a fixed 5 year period would be an argument more compelling than housing)

    Which are the most compelling arguments will also depend on the law maker's background. For some family issues are a factor, then housing can be brought into the mix with other issues like age out. However, law makers with which the family issues hold greater sway also are more likely to hold us hostage for CIR and relief for the undocumented.

    For most, common sense of justice is an issue, in which case housing can be brought up, but again, not an issue to focus on too much, more in the context of 'it is ironic that many of us want to buy houses but GC wait is what prohibits that, not the credit crunch'. Can be mentioned in passing, but not worth focusing on.

    UN..after I read your story..

    god..you r so gutsy.. must appreciate you..!!

    Just follow the law. There are lots of protections in it for us.

    Catching Scent of Revolution, China Moves to Snip Jasmine (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/world/asia/11jasmine.html) By ANDREW JACOBS and JONATHAN ANSFIELD | New York Times

    Do not be lulled by its intoxicating fragrance or the dainty, starlike blossoms whose whiteness suggests innocence and purity. Jasmine, a stalwart of Chinese tea and the subject of a celebrated folk song often heard while on hold with provincial bureaucrats, is not what it seems.

    Since Tunisian revolutionaries this year anointed their successful revolt against the country�s dictatorial president the �Jasmine Revolution,� this flowering cousin of the olive tree has been branded a nefarious change-agent by the skittish men who keep the Chinese Communist Party in power.

    Beginning in February, when anonymous calls for a Chinese �Jasmine Revolution� began circulating on the Internet, the Chinese characters for jasmine have been intermittently blocked in text messages while videos of President Hu Jintao singing �Mo Li Hua,� a Qing dynasty paean to the flower, have been plucked from the Web. Local officials, fearful of the flower�s destabilizing potency, canceled this summer�s China International Jasmine Cultural Festival, said Wu Guangyan, manager of the Guangxi Jasmine Development and Investment Company.

    Even if Chinese cities have been free from any whiff of revolutionary turmoil, the war on jasmine has not been without casualties, most notably the ever-expanding list of democracy advocates, bloggers and other would-be troublemakers who have been pre-emptively detained by public security agents. They include the artist provocateur Ai Weiwei, who remains in police custody after being seized at Beijing�s international airport last month.

    Less well known are the tribulations endured by the tawny-skinned men and women who grow ornamental jasmine here in Daxing, a district on the rural fringe of the capital. They say prices have collapsed since March, when the police issued an open-ended jasmine ban at a number of retail and wholesale flower markets around Beijing.

    Zhen Weizhong, 47, who tends 2,000 jasmine plants on about an acre of rented land here, said the knee-high potted variety was wholesaling at about 75 cents, one-third last year�s price. �Even if I could sell them, I would lose money on every plant,� he said, glancing forlornly at a mound of unsold bushes whose blossoms were beginning to fade. Asked if he knew about the so-called Jasmine Revolution and whether it had played a role in collapsing demand, Mr. Zhen shrugged. �I don�t know anything about politics,� he said. �I don�t have time to watch television.�

    Much like the initial calls on the Internet for protesters to �stroll silently holding a jasmine flower,� the floral ban is shrouded in some mystery. The Beijing Public Security Bureau declined to answer questions about jasmine. But a number of cut flower and live-plant business owners said they had been either visited by the police in early March or given directives indicating that it had become contraband.

    Several of those who run stalls in one large plant outlet, the Sunhe Beidong flower market, said the local police had called vendors to a meeting and forced them to sign pledges to not carry jasmine; one said she had been instructed to report to the authorities those even seeking to purchase jasmine and to jot down their license plate numbers. (She said she had yet to detect any subversives seeking to buy jasmine at her stall.)

    Although some vendors were given vague explanations for the jasmine freeze � that the plant was �symbolic� of those people who wanted to sow rebellion � most people involved in the flower trade have been largely left in the dark about why they should behave with such vigilance, and some professed ignorance of the ban altogether. Thanks to a censored Internet, most Chinese have never heard of the protest calls in China, nor are they aware of the ensuing crackdown.

    In the absence of concrete information, fantastic rumors have taken root. One wholesale flower vendor at the Jiuzhou Flower and Plant Trading Center in southern Beijing said he heard the ban had something to do with radiation contamination from Japan. A young woman hawking floral bouquets at Laitai, a large flower market near the United States Embassy, said she was told jasmine blossoms contained some unspecified poison that was killing people. �Perhaps you�d like some white roses instead?� she asked hopefully.

    Wu Chuanzhen, 53, a farmer who tends eight greenhouses of jasmine on the outskirts of the city, said other growers had insisted that adherents of Falun Gong, the banned spiritual movement deemed an �evil cult� by the authorities, might use the flowers in their bid to overthrow the governing Communist Party. �I heard jasmine is the code word for the revolution,� she said. Her laughter suggested she thought such concerns were absurd.

    Many sellers, however, were less than eager to discuss jasmine with a foreigner, particularly at the Sunhe Beidong market, where a policeman could be seen last month nosing around the bouquets. Most quickly steered the conversation to more promising topics. �You don�t want to buy jasmine. It�s just not trendy this year,� said one clerk at the Laitai market, pointing to pots of lavender and rosemary.

    As is often the case in China, controls have a tendency to wilt in the face of mercantile pressures. After two months with little sign of jasmine at the markets, a few vanloads of the plants, their branches thick with blossoms, began to show up at wholesale centers last week. They were priced so low, the buyers could not resist. One retailer, who asked that only her surname, Cui, be printed, acknowledged that the original order had not been officially lifted but that the authorities had yet to interfere.

    Another vendor waved away talk of revolution and broke into a rendition of �Mo Li Hua,� a version of which was played each time medals were presented during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing:

    A beautiful jasmine flower,

    A beautiful jasmine flower,

    Perfumed blossoms fill the branch,

    Fragrant and white for everyone�s delight.

    Let me come and pick a blossom

    To give to someone,

    Jasmine flower, oh jasmine flower.

    US lambasts Chinese repression of dissidents as 'trying to stop history' (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/us-lambasts-chinese-repression-of-dissidents-as-trying-to-stop-history-2282122.html) By Clifford Coonan | Independent
    Chinese Crackdown on Domestic Critics Extends to Writer Barred From Traveling (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/10/world/asia/10writer.html) By KEITH BRADSHER | New York Times
    A Cardinal's Warning on China (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704132204576285221267394028.html) By MARY KISSEL | Wall Street Journal
    China: A sharper focus (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/849f75dc-7b36-11e0-9b06-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1M2hLbDiL) By Jamil Anderlini and Kathrin Hille | Financial Times
    Fire and Ice
    Ai Weiwei�s cutting edge art, blogging, and sacrifice on behalf of freedom in China. (http://www.tnr.com/article/the-picture/88115/ai-weiwei-china-artist-arrested-moma-exhibit)
    By Jed Perl | The New Republic
    The Great Firewall of China (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/10/the-great-firewall-of-china/) The Washington Times Editorial
    Anish Kapoor Dedicates Art Work to Ai Weiwei (http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2011/05/11/anish-kapoor-dedicates-art-work-to-ai-weiwei/) By Margherita Stancati and Josh Chin | IndiaRealTime
    A Tale of Nanjing Atrocities That Spares No Brutal Detail (http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/movies/city-of-life-and-death-from-lu-chuan-review.html) By MANOHLA DARGIS | New York Times

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