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  • sanju
    04-08 07:17 AM
    Good post, I would like to add that:

    This is an interesting bill and I feel it'll pass. There are lot of gotcha's but there are some good things. I'm glad to see H1-B rights and whistleblower sections. This was way past due. Really, this is more of a culmination of those few employers who have tried to exploit the system / employees.
    The summary document says that Whistleblower protection does not protect immigration status. So the current language of "Whistleblower protection" has NOT much new to offer because Whistleblower protection is already part of the federal law (outside of immigration act). Here is some info:

    key points to ponder:

    - Finally IRS and USICS have come together. !! .. thats a big blow to the body shoppers ( may be a good thing)

    There is already a requirement in the Tax law to send the datab/W-2 of each employee (including the employees on H1) to IRS. So much so that if a company you worked for last year has closed down, you could go to the local IRS office to get your W-2 (from IRS).

    -> 50 employees cant have more than 50% H1B's. I think this will basicaly create many smaller consulting companies nothing else. This I don't like .. could be bad for genuine businesses.

    To get around 50% requirements, as the greenguru mentioned, the employers could bend around the system by having companies with employee size < 50. So it will be an inconvenience for them, but there are ways and means to get around. The problem will be faced by people already here waiting for green cards. If your employer has more than 50% on H1, they will have to file H1 from the sister company and the new law will be applicable to the new H1. So the people already here on H1 will suffer the most.

    I hope it doesnt, without any amendments. Maybe a friendlier bill with strict H1-B rights would be nice.
    Well said!! This bill is not friendly and a better bill, which is not imposing unnecessary restrictions and has worker protection provisions for all H1 employees will be better in making the H1 process equitable and workable.

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  • amsgc
    07-15 12:01 AM

    I think there will be legislation; if not in the next few months, then next year for sure. Note that the movement in EB2-I has been at the cost of EB2-China and EB3-ROW. Also, there are too many people stuck in EB2 as well, so this movement in PDs will come back to a more realistic level pretty soon. I reckon there will be another push after the elections. My only worry is that our provisions will get all mixed up and confused with those of undocumented workers. This was the best time for us - it is indeed very frustrating to see less than 200 people who make the calls out of an apparant sea of half a million(i am begining to doubt that number now). Only 200 made a contribution to keep this organization strong. what can you really expect? Some of us are just stuck with a large number of people who don't want their GC bad enough.

    Anyway. Come October, many of us will be where we are today. We just have to convince the lawmakers to pass some piecemeal legislation that will give relief across the board - bills like the Lofgren bills is the answer.

    I am not sure what the USCIS can do in this regard - they are limited by the law and the numbers. The most we can expect from them is admin fixes where they relax/remove the requirement of a "job offer", give a temp. green card etc. etc.

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  • qasleuth
    03-31 07:44 PM
    May be their receipt dates are close.. Remember, CIS can't sort the application by PD. They can process in FIFO of RD.

    Nope...was keeping an eye on that too. Sent PMs to a few and could see no trend in the receipt date/notice date either.

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  • rsdang
    08-22 11:56 AM
    Once Indra Gandhi was invited by queen Elizabeth for a tea party.

    Zail Singh wanted to know why he would not be taken to the ocassion by indra gandhi. Indra said that he did not have any table ettiqquette but she would train him for it. After six months of rigourous training, they went to the party.

    After tea the queen kept her cup upside down while indra kept it the right way. Giani was utterly confused and so he kept his cup laying on its side. After the party indra wanted to know why he had kept his cup that way.

    He asked the reason for her keeping the cup the right way and the queen keeping it upside down. She said"i wanted more tea and the queen didn't.

    Why did you keep the cup on its side? Giani thought for a moment and said "my message was - agar chai hai to de do nai to koi gal nahin."


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  • xyzgc
    01-03 05:02 PM
    When they get bribes, why bother about pay? Sorry, I've no respect for these low lifes who take bribe and make common man run from pillar to post.

    I think before we get into the generics of bribery and corruption - we should examine it from the context of the lack of security. Blaming the local police force for everything wrong that goes on is a natural reaction. This was my initial reaction too.

    Yes, the Bombay police has not been effective but you must realize that when the police is underpaid, they will remain incompetent I'm not justifying bribery and corruption, just trying to suggest that provide them with proper arms and give them proper remuneration. Most of the retired police commissioners have also complained of lack of free hand and interference by officious politicians.

    Major Unnikrishanan received a paltry compensation of Rs 500k with humiliation to his father as a bonus. Abhinav Bindra - an olympic gold medalist - received Rs 5 million.
    Is there a sense of proportion? Obviously, we don't care for our fallen heroes, we don't care for our security forces...

    Would you rather be a sportsman or a Bombay policeman/a commando? Decide for yourself.

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  • pete
    04-09 08:15 AM
    I think this bill ironically works out well for doctors and researchers!

    We are not consultants.Most of the times we stick to one place. Either doing residency or postdoc we are usually in one place. Most universities are very rigorous with the labour certification process and residency is obtained via "match".

    The consulting companies have been responsible for for flooding the GC process. Consequently researchers and doctors have to wait with the rest of the crowd. This new bills will turn out to be very advantageous to doctors and scientists ( in nonprofit organizations).

    Would like to hear opinions for and against this view......


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  • amulchandra
    04-07 02:39 PM
    There are many big companies that depend completely on consultants for their software projects. Example Sony, Boeing... If this applies to existing H1bs then their projects will suffer a great loss.

    ERP softwares basically are implemented by consulting firms .Then all big companies including Oracle,SAP cannot implement their applications anywhere as they have to hire people on their own to implement.All ERP implementations can be treated as consulting.This is going to be a big mess.

    I don't think this bill is going pass successfully.

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  • SunnySurya
    08-05 01:43 PM
    No body is saying that you have full rights to apply in EB2
    I am an EB3 2003. I think I did qualify for EB2, but the job position did not require me to be in that category, moreover EB2 & Eb3 were both current and various other factors were considered and they decided to apply in EB3.
    NOW: It was my bad that I got stuck in the stupid BEC. A fellow I know with lesser qualifications applied in EB3 in 2004, then changed jobs, applied in EB2 in 2004 and has a green card already.
    DO YOU MEAN TO SAY: THAT YOU ARE GOING TO DENY ME MY 2003 PD IF I APPLY IN EB2. FORGET THINKING ABOUT IT! Not that it is easy or I am doing it. As a matter of fact, I am not interested!.


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  • oliTwist
    12-24 02:05 PM
    How old is the technique of discrediting my links to win the argument. Of course, if I tell you of all the atrocities of Indian army in Kashmir, or punjab, or assam, to you I am a muslim, and my default I hate India. Of course, it wouldn't matter if good old amnesty internationl would raise a red flag against india...

    wait they have raised a red flag a million times, anybody paying attention, or just shaking head in disbelief?
    or you do not want to loose your right to dance on murder of muslims had it not been a country like India where Modis, advanis, uma bhartis can roam freely....
    ...oh wait, but India also denies any trials against in military in Kashmir, so they can do what they want, and never be challenged in court of law, and amnesty's report goes to garbage, because this is Hindu india, and minorities like Sikhs, Bodos, muslims, dalits, dravidians will have to put up with their hegemony...

    ... and yes, if somebody losses his mind because his home has been bulldozed by indian army, or women raped and murdered ... he will be branded terrorist and shot.

    ... but of course this is a rambling of muslim, and all muslims are terrorists, and all hindus are protector of bharat mata, so when a hindu kills a muslim, he kills a terrorist, but if a muslim rebels in lack of justice and equality, he is a terrorist.... it's a fair game!

    I know you must have left the forums by now. But I find it interesting how you are being misled by the so called leaders in India itself. Check this column by Tarun Vijay Check out the differences between Shabana and other muslim leaders on the forum. Interesting!

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  • Rolling_Flood
    08-05 09:45 PM
    teri life mein koi accomplishment nahi hai to gussa kyun ho raha hai??!!

    haan, i cracked the JEE...........aur har kaam tere se behtar kar sakta, sports, you name it........

    saale insecure tu hai...........main to wohi karunga jo mere ko theek laga....

    take care, BUDDY!

    started by a guy/gal who possibly spent the formative years of his/her life buried in text books because mama/papa wanted him/her to crack the JEE and get into IIT... possibly feted with flowers on his/her trip to the US...after lying on the F1 visa interview about intent to immigrate...and now seeking to raise a hue and cry because the protectionist sense of entitlement is being challenged by law abiding immigrants...someone that is obviously closeted in perspective...

    obviously, a spoilt child crying sour grapes...

    i still dont see the EB2 job posting for this #1 guy/gal in a #2 company... what a #3 (third rate :)) poster with a #4 (fourth degree) threat that started this all... i can help your company find a qualified US citizen for YOUR EXACT JOB...

    PM me and I can help your company. No, I am not a body shopper and wont take commissions, thank you. Just thought I'd help a US company not have to deal with this immigration BS, so they can let you go and hire a US citizen instead.

    My last post for this obvious loser... mama/papa would be proud, indeed :D... sad, sorry state of reality that we call the 'high skilled immigration cause' ...


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  • logiclife
    05-16 12:14 PM
    No need to have Durbin's bill. Just ban Outsourcing, then all jobs will come back and everybody will be happy here in US.

    US congress cannot force investors to invest money only in US and get work done only in US.

    Its not possible for US Government to ban outsourcing. The only thing they can do is create incentives to limit outsourcing. However, if a company still wants to outsource jobs overseas, Congress cant do ANYTHING about it.

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  • sledge_hammer
    03-23 03:11 PM
    I'm sure you meant Larry David ;)

    Did you send Seinfeld a royalty? :D


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  • Macaca
    12-27 12:34 PM
    The following appeared in NYT yesterday. It was discussed by Pat Buchanan (hosting Tucker Carlson's show on MSNBC) last evening. Pat was surprised that Demz were considering it.

    It is available here

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 � Counting on the support of the new Democratic majority in Congress, Democratic lawmakers and their Republican allies are working on measures that could place millions of illegal immigrants on a more direct path to citizenship than would a bill that the Senate passed in the spring.

    The lawmakers are considering abandoning a requirement in the Senate bill that would compel several million illegal immigrants to leave the United States before becoming eligible to apply for citizenship.

    The lawmakers are also considering denying financing for 700 miles of fencing along the border with Mexico, a law championed by Republicans that passed with significant Democratic support.

    Details of the bill, which would be introduced early next year, are being drafted. The lawmakers, who hope for bipartisan support, will almost certainly face pressure to compromise on the issues from some Republicans and conservative Democrats.

    Still, the proposals reflect significant shifts since the November elections, as well as critical support from the Homeland Security Department.

    Proponents said the prospects for such a measure, which would include tougher border security and a guest worker plan, had markedly improved since Nov. 7.

    The Senate plans to introduce its immigration bill next month with an eye toward passage in March or April, officials said. The House is expected to consider its version later. President Bush said last week that he hoped to sign an immigration bill next year.

    The major lawmakers drafting the legislation include Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, and John McCain, Republican of Arizona, along with Representatives Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, and Luis V. Gutierrez, Democrat of Illinois. The four met this month, and their staffs have begun working on a bill.

    �I�m very hopeful about this, both in terms of the substance and the politics of it,� said Mr. Kennedy, the incoming chairman of the Senate Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship Subcommittee.

    Mr. Kennedy acknowledged that there would be hurdles. But he and other lawmakers say Republicans and Democrats are now more likely to work together to repair a system widely considered as broken.

    House Republicans blocked consideration of the bill that passed the Senate this year, saying it amounted to an amnesty for lawbreakers and voicing confidence that a tough stance would touch off a groundswell of support in the Congressional elections. The strategy largely failed.

    Hispanic voters, a swing constituency that Republicans covet, abandoned the party in large numbers. Several Republican hardliners, including Representatives John Hostettler of Indiana and J. D. Hayworth of Arizona, lost their seats. After the dismal showing, House Republicans denied F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin, the departing chairman of the Judiciary Committee and an architect of the House immigration approach, a senior position on any major committee in the new Congress.

    Domestic security officials have voiced support for important elements of the framework under consideration. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has repeatedly raised doubts about the effectiveness of border fencing in remote desert areas. Mr. Bush signed the fence bill this year, but Congress did not appropriate enough money for it. Officials say they would also prefer a less burdensome process than the original Senate bill outlined.

    That bill divided the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants into three groups, those living here for five years or more, those here for two to five years and those here for less than two years.

    All but the illegal immigrants living here for five years or more, roughly seven million, would have to leave the country briefly to be eligible for legal status. Those here for fewer than two years would have to leave the country and would not even be guaranteed a slot in a guest worker plan.

    Domestic security officials said the original plan would have been enormously difficult to administer because many illegal immigrants lacked documentation to prove how long they had been in the United States.

    The officials said it would have fueled a market in fraudulent documents as illegal immigrants scrambled to offer proof of residency.

    The three-tiered approach would also discourage millions of illegal immigrants from registering, driving millions deeper underground.

    �We do have concerns over breaking it down into that tiered system,� said a domestic security official who insisted on anonymity. �When you do that, you run the risk of people trying to create false documentation that would get them the highest benefits.�

    Also expected to have prominent roles in the debate are Representatives Zoe Lofgren, the California Democrat who is likely to head the House Immigration, Border Security and Claims Subcommittee; Howard L. Berman, a California Democrat who has followed immigration issues closely for many years; and Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who is set to lead the House Homeland Security Committee and has said he plans to re-evaluate the 700-mile fence.

    But Mr. Flake described himself as optimistic, saying the elections had disabused many Republicans of the notion that opposing legalization and guest worker plans would win widespread support.

    �That illusion is gone,� he said.

    The percentage of Hispanics who voted for Republicans fell to 29 percent, from 44 percent in 2004, and some Republicans say passing immigration bills is a crucial part of the effort to win them back.

    Mr. Flake warned that some Republicans might balk at proposals like broadening the number of illegal immigrants eligible for a less burdensome path to citizenship, making passage of bipartisan legislation potentially �politically more difficult.�

    The prospects for a bill that contains such a proposal remain particularly uncertain in the House, where many prominent Democrats want to ensure broad bipartisan backing as part of their efforts to maintain their majority in 2008, Congressional aides said.

    The House Democrats are concerned about protecting newly elected moderate and conservative Democrats, some of whom had campaigned against legalizing illegal immigrants.

    It is also unclear whether Mr. Gutierrez and Mr. Flake will produce the only House legislation on immigration and whether their plan will ultimately become the basis for the bill that emerges.

    In the Senate, Mr. Kennedy�s bill certainly has the backing of the Democratic leadership, Congressional aides said.

    Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, argued that expanding citizenship eligibility and abandoning financing for the fence would alienate moderates in both parties. The three-tier legalization system, a hard-fought compromise, was critical for moderate Republican support for the original bill.

    The plan under consideration would allow 10 million or 11 million illegal immigrants to become eligible to apply for citizenship without returning home, up from 7 million in the original Senate bill. To be granted citizenship, they would have to remain employed, pass background checks, pay fines and back taxes, and enroll in English classes.

    �I think it�s a nonstarter,� said Mr. Cornyn, who opposes a path to citizenship for illegal workers, but supports a plan for temporary workers that would let foreigners work here temporarily before returning home.

    Congressional aides and lawyers familiar with the proposed bills emphasize that it will be very difficult for a smaller group of illegal immigrants, those who arrived after a certain date, perhaps 2004, to become citizens. The aides said the bill might include incentives for illegal immigrants to leave the country. While they hope such elements may ease concerns, many challenges remain.

    Some powerful unions, which expect to exert more leverage in the new Congress, remain deeply opposed to the temporary worker program in the Senate bill. The unions say it threatens American jobs.

    Officials at the A.F.L.-C.I.O. say they can scuttle such a plan next year, even though Mr. Bush and businesses say it is critical to ensure an adequate labor force.

    There is also the political clock to consider. Supporters of immigration measures acknowledge that the prospects for a bipartisan bill will dim significantly if a bill is not passed before the presidential primaries of 2008 are in full swing.

    Some Congressional aides and immigrants� advocates worry about the commitment of Mr. McCain, a likely presidential candidate in 2008.

    Mr. McCain has long supported legalization that would not require illegal immigrants to leave the United States. Some advocates fear that his ambitions may lead to a shifting of that stance to avoid alienating moderate Republicans.

    A spokeswoman for Mr. McCain said last week that he was not available to comment on the bill being drafted.

    Many lawmakers say their hope is growing that Congress will pass an immigration bill next year.

    �There are going to be hard choices that are going to be made, because we need to build a bipartisan, broad-based coalition,� said Mr. Gutierrez, who leads the House Democratic immigration group. �But I�m hopeful that in the environment in which we�re working now we can get it done.�

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  • Imigrait
    03-24 01:55 AM
    ok...this is something..

    apparently they called my employer also and has asked them to provide all details.

    All I-9s
    All performance appraisals
    my works schedule
    my vacation requests this year
    current salary
    supervisor details


    Are you sure they asked about performance appraisals? That's personal information . In fact, how are they going to justify why they need this information?


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  • perm2gc
    08-11 11:54 AM
    The following month, Dobbs featured ITT Industries, an engineering and manufacturing firm. One of the things he liked about ITT, he told readers, was that CEO Louis Giuliano "puts such a high premium on his employees, and their involvement in 'value creation.' A lot of CEOs view employees simply as fat to be cut in service to the bottom line or in pursuit of a better stock price. Louis is one CEO who knows better than that..." Is ITT on Dobbs' list of companies moving jobs overseas? By now, you know the answer.

    And in February of this year, Dobbs focused on energy company Pinnacle West. After touting the company's "rapid growth," he told readers, "The second reason I like Pinnacle West is its model corporate governance." He went on to ask CEO William Post: "Last year, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council awarded you the Outstanding Regional Contribution award, recognizing a lasting contribution to regional economic development efforts. How important is it to you, as a corporate leader, to contribute to your region's economic development?"

    Pinnacle West -- like Toro, Greenpoint, Boeing, Bank One, Washington Mutual, ITT Industries and Office Depot -- appears on Dobbs' list of companies that are "exporting America."

    Dobbs is careful in his televised comments for CNN not to attack individual companies directly by name, and he's never called for viewers to boycott companies that outsource. But by posting their names on a website titled "Exporting America," and by making on-air declarations like, "U.S. multi-nationals are shipping jobs for only one reason...cheaper labor costs," Dobbs leave little doubt about how he wants his attitude toward the companies to be perceived by viewers.

    Dobbs says the website was set up merely to fill a vacuum. In an email to Campaign Desk, he wrote: "We began compiling our list of companies outsourcing jobs overseas because the information was not available anywhere, and we wanted to know how widespread the practice is, and report it to our viewers. The Labor and Commerce departments, the Business Roundtable, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have never kept records of jobs lost to outsourcing. Our list of corporations now exceeds 800, and grows daily."

    And he sees no contradiction in fingering outsourcers with one hand, while recommending the same companies as investment opportunities with the other: "[Y]ou seem to be suggesting that one cannot criticize corporate America without calling for its destruction," he told us. "Or because one believes a company to be well-managed that's its beyond criticism...Surely, you don't believe that your readers or my viewers are incapable of abhorring a business practice, and at the same time acknowledging the success of a corporation?" He makes a distinction, he said, between bad practices and those who practice them.

    But Dobbs' newsletter doesn't just "acknowledge" successful corporation. He goes further, painting his featured companies as good corporate citizens -- and encourages readers to invest in them partly on that basis -- without mentioning that they conduct business practices that, by his own admission, he "detests."

    Most of Dobbs's CNN viewers don't have access to the information in "Money Letter," his investment guide. So the larger public sees only one Lou Dobbs: the outspoken anti-outsourcing crusader. The other Lou Dobbs is available only for that $398 fee. And that's the Lou Dobbs who doesn't appear to be putting his money where his mouth is.

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  • Mahatma
    10-02 09:10 AM
    Dear Ivians,

    I have not read all the mails. However, I want to express very naive thoughts (without a reading bias from previous mails) for now. I might reconsider some notions by the weekend until I am satisfied.

    I have studied Obama, CIR and immigrants plights all these years. Here is what I think could be positive:

    Obama is the kind of leader whao gets at the bottom the issues and tries to do the right thing (Watch Clinton's Florida speech, Oct 01, 2008 as to why he likes Obama!). He has the leadership skills and the strength of character to sway enough votes for any legislation including CIR. To me, so far he has shown Lincolnian charm. He is a serious guy who wants to do the right thing.

    He would try to balance middle class american families and unemployment situation. When close to half a millions jobs are lost, it is illconceivable for anybody to push for immigration reform eventhough we may be on the right side of justice and victim of broken system.

    There may be some tough situations for immigrants such as less outsourcing, american worker priority and other programs to promote STEM within the company. However, he will be the person to stand up for plights of tech workers. He understands the need and benefits of tech-immigration. As far as I know, his voting for H1 and CIR has been positive. It will be Obama and not someone elase whao will decide the policy. Durbin might tie the loose ends.

    My feeling is this: Let us trust this man. Explain to him through IV and any other channels our problems and how it impacts present and future of America. If we could successfully argue (by all pure means) for a "A business model where tech-immigrants bring benefits and rate of returns in a much higher and assured fashion than the stock market", we could win this debate.

    We are dealing with reasonable, smart and patriotic people. We need to continue to explore better methods to effectively communicate and win the deal. It is all about intellectual exercise to win a deal....

    It is always prudent to have back up plans, however, it should not distract us too much.

    haven't we agreed that GC is only worth so much and we do not want to have our life hostage to GC. At the same time, timely GC status gives better control of our career and discharging our family obliations. Sooner is better. However, we could do only so much.

    Let us continue to do our best and hopefully with a new administration, we would learn new equations.

    I trust in the ability of IV and IV-sympathetic constituencies to bring us deserved reward and recognition sooner rather than later.

    Staying positive, continuing to learn (lobbying and swaying), adapting to the environment (what are the business needs of main street and wall street and how leaders perceive those) and doing our best (use best of our minds and achess game of life.....a special gift of God to Indians and others) and learn to be happy.

    Remember, this is the first stroke of my pen.... I might revisit and reconsider some thoughts based on what most others are thinking.


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  • unitednations
    07-08 04:47 PM
    thanks UN..

    we don't mean to bug you..!!

    but sometimes these r so feels we r better off being illegal in this country..

    all this is just plain BS..when we r paying so much in taxes and SS in this country..we r still chopped and diced like vegetables ...

    btw..on the same note since you r here..does the 'out of status' count only after the last entry in to thr country..or it is still scrutinised right from the time you land into the US..

    pls post..

    Unlawful presence; overstaying i-94 card and not filing a timely extension before expiry of non immigrant status. Very serious issue; especially if someone overstays y more then six months.

    Out of status; legally here (unexpired I-94 card) but not complying with terms and conditions of the I-94 card.

    In both situations; everything is wiped out upon exit and re-entry. However; if someone has unlawful presence of more then six months then it is fatal if you leave as the 3 and 10 year bars apply to re-entry.

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  • grupak
    07-13 01:40 PM
    If you were hoping for overflow from EB3ROW, it would still have to pass through the gate of EB2I.
    Perhaps the person drafting the letter can explain their rationale on including this in the letter.

    First off, we are here to get our GC faster so the effort is commendable.

    However, I was also wondering about the old interpretation of the law. After the EB2-ROW numbers fall through to EB3-ROW and presumably make it current, the excess numbers go to EB2 China and India or does it go to EB3 China and India? Glad that someone else also caught this.

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  • Macaca
    12-27 06:59 PM
    India chasing a U.N. chimera ( By K. S. DAKSHINA MURTHY | The Hindu

    In recent years it has become standard practice for the Indian media to ask visiting foreign dignitaries where they stand on New Delhi's claim to a permanent seat in the UNSC. If the answers are in the affirmative, there are smiles all round and the glow is then transmitted to readers or viewers as the case may be.

    Among the Permanent Five in the Council, the United Kingdom has long affirmed support, so have France and Russia. China has remained non-committal. So the United States' stand was deemed crucial. When President Barack Obama, during his recent visit, backed India for a permanent seat, the joy was palpable. The media went to town as if it were just a matter of time before India joined the select group of the World's almighty. The happiness lasted a few days until the first tranche of WikiLeaks punctured the mood somewhat.

    The revelation of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's classified whisper, describing India as a self-appointed front-runner exposed Washington's innermost thoughts on the subject. Though the embarrassing leak was subsequently sought to be played down, it opened the curtain to a larger truth which is that the U.S. and the other four have never really been interested in real reforms to the Security Council.

    Public pronouncements, positive affirmations and slap-on-the-back relationships don't necessarily translate into action on the ground.


    Jakob Silas Lund of the Centre for U.N. Reform Education states a few individuals within the process believe that some of the Permanent Five countries “are more than happy to see reform moving at near-zero-velocity speed”.

    The reforms are open to interpretation. Broadly, they mean democratisation of the Security Council to make it representative and in tune with the contemporary world. This, for some, means more permanent members. The Group of four — India, Brazil, Japan and Germany — has been the most vocal in demanding it be included.

    What is surprising, especially where India is concerned, is the hope and optimism that it is heading towards a permanent seat. In reality, a committee set up by the United Nations 17 years ago to go into reforms shows little signs of progress.

    The first meeting was held in 1994 of the U.N. group, a mouthful, called the “Open-Ended Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters Related to the Security Council”. Until now, this group has completed four rounds of negotiations, just on preliminaries.

    A brief peek into the past will make it clear that the addition of more veto-wielding permanent members to the Council is a veritable pipe dream. For any amendment to the U.N. charter, two-thirds of the General Assembly needs to acquiesce. This may be possible but the next requirement, that of ratification by the Permanent Five, is the real obstacle.

    Since the formation of the United Nations in 1945, there have been only a handful of meetings of the Security Council to discuss the original charter, and even that, merely to discuss minor amendments. One of some significance came about in 1965 when the membership of temporary, non-veto powered countries in the Council was increased from six to 10 and the number of votes required to pass any decision increased to nine from seven.

    As academic and U.N. commentator Thomas G. Weiss wrote in the Washington Quarterly, “Most governments rhetorically support the mindless call for equity, specifically by increasing membership and eliminating the veto. Yet, no progress has been made on these numerical or procedural changes because absolutely no consensus exists about the exact shape of the Security Council or the elimination of the veto.”

    The argument for a bigger, more representative Council is undoubtedly valid but the issue is who will implement it and how.

    U.S. is the prime mover

    In today's global equation the U.S. is the acknowledged prime mover. It has already had to sweat it out to convince the other four members to go with it on several issues, like the sanctions against Iran. If more countries are allowed to join the Council the difficulties for U.S. interests are obvious, even if those included are vetted for their closeness to Washington.

    Real and effective reforms should have meant democratisation of the Security Council to reflect the aspirations of all its members. Ideally, this should mean removal of permanency and the veto power to be replaced with a rotating membership for all countries, where each one big or small, powerful or weak gets to sit for a fixed term in the hallowed seats of the Council. This is unthinkable within the existing framework of the United Nations. At the heart of the issue is the reluctance of the Permanent Five to give up the prized veto power.

    The situation is paradoxical given that democracy is being touted, pushed and inflicted by the U.S. across the world. But democracy seems to end where the Security Council begins. The rest of the world has no choice but to bow to its decisions. The consequences for defying the Council can be terrifying as was experienced by Saddam Hussein's Iraq through the 1990's. Iran is now on the receiving end for its defiance on the nuclear issue.

    Not just that, the credibility of the Security Council itself took a beating over its inability to prevent the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Having failed to convince France, Russia and China to vote for invading Iraq, the U.S. went alone. The Council was reduced to a bystander. It failed to fulfil its primary task, that of ensuring security — to Iraq.

    What this also implies is that Council or no Council, in today's unipolar world, the U.S. will go with what it decides and no one can stop it. This has been the case particularly since the end of the Cold War. “With a U.S. global presence as great as that of any empire in history, Security Council efforts to control U.S. actions are beginning to resemble the Roman Senate's efforts to control the emperor,” writes Weiss.

    Instead of trying to clamber onto a patently unfair arrangement it would have made more sense if the four self-appointed front-runners along with the rest of the world had demanded a more equitable and representative Council.

    To achieve this, academic and U.N. expert Erik Voeten suggests pressure tactics to counter veto power. One tactic is for countries en bloc to ignore the decisions taken in the Security Council. Another is for Germany and Japan, which are among the largest contributors to the United Nations, to turn off the tap.

    Despite this, if nothing happens, countries may have no choice but to look for, or at least threaten to float, an alternative U.N.-like organisation whose structure would be more in tandem with the contemporary world. Idealistic, perhaps. But this should force the Permanent Five to sit up and take real notice.

    K.S. Dakshina Murthy was formerly Editor of Al Jazeera based in Doha, Qatar

    07-14 04:23 PM
    I hope not. We dont seem to be open to another point of view. All of a sudden when the shoe is now on the other foot there is a lot of heart burn. Look up the March 2008 visa bulletin.

    EB2 ROW was Current
    EB3 ROW was Jan 1, 2005
    and EB2-India was a big U

    Effectively EB3ROW got preference over EB2-I which was a mistake to negate the category preference. This has been corrected now and I welcome the change.
    Where was all this heart burn at that time. All of a sudden when EB2-I moves ahead I hear voices of 'injustice', fair play and demands for visa number handovers. Sorry aint gonna happen.

    The reason for this was not because of EB3ROW getting preference, it was because USCIS illegally used up entire year's quota before the congress actually authorized them to. Stop making false claims about EB3ROW getting preference over Eb2-I

    05-17 01:50 PM
    Of course I don't work for a consulting company. And if I did I wouldn't be here UNLESS I WAS EMPLOYED 100% FROM DAY ONE.

    What people look like doesn't matter in regards to the H-1B. You are implying that I am doing something wrong in encouraging people TO OBEY THE LAW. That says a lot more of you and your standards than anything else. People are not committing crimes by being consultants. SOME people are comitting crimes by being here illegally because they don't meet the requirements for the H-1B they hold, because they went through a body shop. You can defend it all you want, IT'S ILLEGAL.

    To start with, you are not the only one with a full time job in America. Just so that you know I do FULL-TIME job. But I take no pride in bashing people who are not exactly the same as I am. I think you are doing that well and one fool is more than many.

    BTW, each consultant is also full time employee with some company. And stop calling "ILLEGAL" just becuase you can. Apply some logic to your agruments. Is Accenture, KPMG, D&T, Oracle consulting, IBm consulting body shops??? Just want to understand your defination of body shops


    H-1B is also allowed for part times.

    SOME people are comitting crimes by being here illegally because they don't meet the requirements for the H-1B they hold, because they went through a body shop. You can defend it all you want, IT'S ILLEGAL.

    Also, some people are killing others by causing accidents when driving cars. Do we ban ALL cars? Likewise, some people are not following the law completely, should all H-1Bs be banned??? Also, Breaking a law doesn't necessarily means CRIME. Speeding is breaking the law, but it is NOT a crime.

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