Tuesday, July 12, 2011

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  • gimme_GC2006
    03-23 12:31 PM
    You/lawyer/employer may have forgotten to shred the extra/unwanted documents. Someone may have got hold of them.

    Google 'identity theft' and you will be surprised.

    Do not answer anyone unless to check. Ask for a call back number. Find the name , badge number. ask them to send you an email with a legit id and you will call back.

    You should anyways never talk alone to such people even if they are real. Ask them to talk to your lawyer. If they ask you his number, tell them to find from the application.

    Basically never give any information on the phone.

    well..I guess..I will take Infopass and checkout whats going on..
    I know my file is at local office..not sure if they transferred it back to NBC or TSC..(atleast there are no LUDs)..

    and I hope whoever called me can see it in their system that this case is pending at local office..so dont know why they wanted all the detailsfrom me rather than taking from the file..may be thats how they work..

    but I am heading to Infopass have enough doubts now :cool:

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  • thakurrajiv
    03-26 03:35 PM
    So my view is that inflation is a bigger problem that Ben B does not want to tackle in the near future(3-4 months). Well in times of inflation your savings/investment is better in real-estate than anything else. But definitely NOT cash.

    So although we might be near the bottom of real estate market, we can never guesstimate the bottom until it has passed. My advice is, negotiate hard(buyers market) and get into a deal now. As a safety net, you can ask for a long escrow(around 180 days). That way you can backout of the deal if things head south. You've only lost the deposit(subject to arbitration at least in California).

    Someone pointed out that Visa Status is a smaller issue, the big issue is if you can hold onto your investment for atleast 5 years, you are golden.
    5 years is too less (you have to hold it for around 10 yrs minimum). 2 years the prices may/will fall. 2 years it would be steady and maybe start increasing slowly after that. so if you buy a house (depends on area ....but broadly) ..a 100K investment in RE (And if we take the best case scenario) after 5 years would be worth 80, 000. if you take inflation in to account.
    in the end it is supply and demand -- supply is huge. where is the demand going to come from ?? immigration is tight and in the fast moving life -- people have fewer and fewer kids. if u want to be safe - cash is good (atleast principal is safe if you get around 4 percent return) ..it is best to have diversified portfolio. many of my friends have put everything in RE and are worried now

    Good points. If I recall correctly baby boomers started retiring 2-3 years ago. With economy going south, I wonder how many of them are in financial trouble. Also, they are growing older and some of them dying. You have to believe this will add to the supply.

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  • americandesi
    08-09 02:03 PM
    While most of us here have US Citizenship as their long term goal, they overlook that fact and focus on manipulating stuff to get a GC which might have severe consequences while applying for Naturalization.

    Let me share with you the story of my friend who just got his US Citizenship in 2007.

    He was out of status without salary for around 6 months during the recession time (2001/2002) and didn’t have W2 for that period either. When USCIS questioned his out of status, he just submitted a letter from the employer stating that they owe some $$$ during that period and will be running his back pay at the earliest. This letter nullified his out of status and was sufficient to satisfy the IO to get his I-485 approved.

    Infact, the company in question didn’t run his back pay at all after his I-485 approval and went bankrupt.

    While applying for Naturalization, one of the items that the beneficiary has to prove is “Good Moral Character”. While scrutinizing his records they found that he didn’t file his tax returns during the year in question and denied his naturalization.

    He had to run from pillar to post and finally got hold of a good attorney who was able to prove that the employer who was supposed to pay the back wages went bankrupt and hence he wasn’t paid, because of which he could file his tax returns. He submitted a letter with proof of bankruptcy and succeeded in his appeal resulting in approval. The whole case dragged for around a year.

    Hence please pay attention to every minute detail before and after you get your GC, so that you don’t end up in a mess while applying for naturalization.

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  • rbalaji5
    07-13 10:38 PM
    Disclaimer: I am an EB3-Indian with a PD of Oct 2003.

    Delax: I agree entirely with what you are saying. Your arguments are 100% valid. The part that I don't get is why are you trying so desperately hard to convince EB3-Indians that their letter campaign lacks merit?

    Remember, a drowning man will clutch on to a straw for hope. You are like a sailor in a boat trying to tell the drowning man that a straw is no good. So, if you cannot get Eb3-Indians to see your point-of-view, just lay off this thread. Do you really expect all EB3-Indians to say "Thanks to delax, we now see the folly of our arguments. Let's stop this irrational effort, and instead just do nothing!"

    I can assure you that despite being an EB3-Indian, I am not participating in this campaign. Because I know that it is a ridiculous argument to expect PD to take preference over skills. And honestly, I cannot come up with a single rational reason to demand a GC for me over any EB1 or EB2 applicant.

    To all you EB3-Indians, chisel this into your brain: The US immigration system wants EB1 first, then EB2 and then EB3. It doesn't matter what your qualifications are or what the profession is...what matters is in which employment-based category was your LC filed. If you think, you are skilled enough, then stop wasting time in arguing with EB2 folks. Use your skills to apply for EB1 (which is current) or EB2 and get your GC fast. Otherwise, get this chiselled into your head as well: You are less skilled than EB2 and EB1 (purely on the basis of the LC category), so it makes 100% sense that US will give you the lowest priority. Period.

    As I wrote earlier, I'm an EB3-Indian as well. Only differences being, I have still maintained my sanity, and I have the patience to wait for IV to deliver the official guidance on proceeding further.

    Great one -

    Yes - if you have enough skills and experience amend your category to EB1, you will get your visa way faster before EB2.


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  • lakshman.easwaran
    07-10 03:19 PM
    After going through this post
    I checked my I 94 last entered in 2006 it has different number than other I 94
    I am working with only one company since 2004
    They wrote company name src number correct on I 94
    but number is not same as the one on I 797 bottom totally different

    should i get it corrected ? How

    I do not think you have to correct anything since your last entry I-94 card will have different number from that in 797 approval notice. I-94 number has to be the same in last entry card and 797 only if you have a situation like me as below

    1) Last entry to US in 2004 - Hence have an I-94 card.
    2) Switched employer in 2006. So received new 797 approval notice alongwith updated I-94.

    In my case, the updated I-94 and the last entry I-94 card have the same I-94 number.

    Hope this helps.

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  • file485
    07-08 07:52 PM
    this is so so jittery...

    this is a post where they r actually checking the from and to date of the dependant's i94 out-of-status


    guys..who just posted before me...pls read the whole thread, her husband had already filed once for AOS and then they had asked for his W2's for which he dint have..they abandoned that AOS and now trying AOS thru the wife..so basically he is still in the records of INS..maybe he dint reply his RFE or god knows what database INS maintains..


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  • Rolling_Flood
    08-05 09:27 PM
    As usual, if the EB3 (i.e. majority) folks here do not like a subject, it gets banned. If something is unpopular, it gets swept under the carpet.

    Go ahead and close the thread, it's in your nature. Plus i already know which members to contact to make this go forward. I said before and i will say it again, i was NOT looking for monetary contributions.

    I was just reading all the posts which i did not get to read since morning when i left for work.

    To answer some people who called me an asshole, a hater, an anti-immigrant, a bodyshop employee, and a number of other things:

    1.) I graduated from one of the IITs in India, came to pursue my Masters in the same field in the 4th ranked university (for that field) in the US.
    2.) Finished my Masters in 1.5 years and got 2 jobs through on-campus placements (one in my field, one not).
    3.) Took the job that pertained to my field of study, been here ever since, company is the number 2 company in its area, and is a US establishment.
    4.) I never paid a dime for my H1-B or my GC processing till date, it was all paid by the company.
    5.) My company is very strict regarding the letter of the law, and so my GC processing was by the rule book, each and every detail (no fake resumes here).
    6.) I get paid the same (actually about 2% more) compared to a US citizen at the same level/position in my organization.
    7.) I have exactly the same medical/vacation/retirement benefits as a US citizen.

    I did not get a chance to read my PMs but will do that shortly after supper. Yes, i am EB2, but a VALID one. I hope, in moments of clarity, people who are shouting and abusing can see that.

    Yes, i do have an attorney and a paralegal i am talking to, and i will file this case in the proper arena. I am fed up and will do what i think is right. Meanwhile, for those who think porting is right, you are welcome to it. No one stopped you from challenging the law either.

    You can talk here all you like, but i pray that your "bring it on" attitude survives till the point where this porting mess is banned by law.

    Thanks for your attention (or the lack thereof).

    Can someone note the

    - Best funny post on this thread
    - Best post of the thread
    - Worse post of the thread

    for the 3 awards and I will go through just those 3 posts and close the thread. :D

    I will open the thread once Rollling_flood files the lawsuit:D.

    What do you say?

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  • Beemar
    12-29 12:01 AM
    Sorry everybody. The war did not break out as I was anticipating. I thought Indian leaders have developed some spine. I should have known better.

    India is no Israel. Israel launched a war on Gaza in retaliation for some rocket attacks which killed, well, zero Israelis. They at least know what the most effective defense is, its called offense.


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  • Desichakit
    08-06 11:01 AM
    I think clearing an exam like IIT-JEE in no way makes a person Superior over others. I my self have cleared IIT-JEE and am EB2 India, but still I see this proposed/planned Law suit to be ill thought off.

    Rolling Flood: I can only say that you can give any logic for this Lawsuit and it can be countered by any other logic why it is incorrect.

    Some body Porting from EB3 to EB2 if it is done sucessfully previoyusly then it is Lawfull.

    Many countries had their Jaichand's who will go to any extent for their own benefit, but society, nations thrive even after that.

    Your comments is very welcome because it gives all of us 1 more reason to be united than divided.

    PS.: When there is flood in Gangaji then it is not revered, only when it is within its banks it is revered and does good for society

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  • delax
    07-13 07:56 PM
    I don't think the issue is that simple. The whole thing just surfaced another screw-up of the system. The actions taken by all the agencies certainly made things worse.

    DoS suddenly interpretted laws differently than before. This just like the PERM, BEC, and last July episode. They took actions without considering people already in line. Those with good faith waiting in line have been constantly pushed around. How many people experienced being stuck in BEC while PERM approves new application like crazy? Who is accountable for all of these? They can't do things willy nilly any more. Someone mentioned lawsuit since DoS either interpret the law wrong now or in the past.

    Needless to say that the distincation between EB2 and EB3 has become so meaniningless now. How many positions really satisfy the EB2 requirements? From what I heard that most people just try to get around the system to get an EB2. One of the persons who filed EB2 told me that a high school graduate would probably be able to work in that position too.

    Just my observation.

    I dont agree at all!!!!!!!

    How can you give consideration to people already in line at the expense of other people from a higher preference category also waiting patiently in line. Regardless of the duration of the wait EB3 is a lower prefrence category and will remain so under any interpretation. Remember that even under the 'old' interpretation EB3-I only got visa numbers after passing through the EB3 ROW and the EB2-I gate.

    Notwithstanding the 'new' interpretation, an argument can always be made that the 'old' interpretation was not only wrong but blatantly wrong where EB3ROW was given preference over an EB2 retro country.

    The only fix for this is elimination of country cap and/or increase in number of visas. The means to acheive that goal may be legislative or administrative. I'll defer to the experts on that!


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  • vikki76
    04-08 01:48 PM
    New H-1B proposed reform bill is approximately same as it was in year 1999-2000.H-1B was never meant for consulting type of work.So, in 2000, there was a rule passed that in whichever state LCA was cleared,employees could work only in that state.Even in 1999 it was illegal for employers to say that they put their H-1B employers on a "client site".But, people did, on various pretext.H-1B employees were even required to keep their LCA petition with them at work all the time.
    8 years is a long time-many people have forgotten that crackdown.Then in 2002,economy nosedived-and most of the H-1B's went back.Silicon valley was deserted area.Highways all clear,restaurants business closed.Now,since 2004, all the closed businesses are back in operation.
    Some one must have remembered original intention of H-1B,and so re-introduced those provisions.
    If this bill passes- definitely, outsourcing will increase.Not every business will be able to afford $100 per hour programmers.But, again, isn't that good for developing world economy?

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  • damialok
    04-08 11:19 AM
    People reading these posts are not cogs. They know that its one person's view. Whatever its worth.

    My post should be read with a context. Its always within a Location. RE is always about location(Core SF Bay Area). Go ahead and plot the interest rate with home prices for the last 20 years and you will see the underlying evidence or argument. AND my analysis is localized to SF Bay Area. Its NOT for Loudon County or Miami Dade County or anywhere else. In my analysis of the demographics of this area, thats what I believe in.

    So whats your recommendation on the subject of this thread? Watch more closely till you reach the bottom? Well you will never know that bottom. Yes, I might be off the bottom price by another 5-10% but with a lock in interest rate of around 5.5-6% thats a deal. Everyone is in a different phase of their life, ppl need to map out their 5-10 year outlook and make a decision. Thats easier said than done.

    WS expects prime to hit lowest this Christmas. To be able to grab that lowest rate I need to start looking now and lock in my rate. Most Financial institutions offer ability to adjust rates once.

    My biggest concern is Inflation/Stagflation and I will do everything I can to protect my assets against that. Thats my view and others should view that just like any other info they get on the web.


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  • pappu
    03-23 11:45 AM
    How did you verify if the call was really from Immigration services?

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  • unitednations
    03-26 03:24 PM

    So whats the way out for people who get into this situation ? Find a job with a non-consulting company and start everything H1/GC from scratch ?


    what i have learned is uscis can do anything at any time if they want to.

    They have different legal cases that they would use if they thought companies/people were doing things that they didn't like. From all the research/cases I have seen, come across; I concluded that uscis could apply these cases to everyone if they wish.

    However; they do not apply it to everyone.

    The h-1b defnesor vs. meissner is something that california service center has beendoing for many, many years and everyone has adjusted to it who file through california.

    However; vermont never used that case. Now; they are using that case as a justification to deny h-1b's across the board for staffing companies because they think there is a lot of fraud involved in the petitions. Califiornia; doesn't apply the case becasue they think there is fraud but rather they are doing what they think is lawful.

    That's why I tell everyone that before you start getting into advoacy; you have to know all the powers that USCIS has and how they can really start making things difficult for everyone.

    Right now; they are not using that case on 140's. If they continue to see in 140 filings by a company that there has been more 140's filed then people on payroll (this will generally be the case as consultants come and go and use ac21) then there might be a shift.

    In last eight years; most of the public memos issued by uscis have been employee/candidate friendly. However, those memos can change at any time based on economic and political winds.


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  • Macaca
    12-27 06:59 PM
    India chasing a U.N. chimera (http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article995760.ece) 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

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  • srkamath
    07-13 05:59 PM
    Agreed.....the categories were made for a reasson.....and the same logic is being followed by the DOS to spillover unused VISAS. While I understand the frustration of EB3 folks, I would encourage those same folks to folllow IVs initatives - call campaigns for House bils...
    While I fear this will create an offshoot EB3 group within IV, I hope that goos senses will prevail.

    FYI - EB2 is still retrogressed over 2 years.....it is not that it is current

    EB1 EB2 EB3 are "preference" categories established by a law. This letter seems to be demanding that the DOS ignore the "preference" - Sorry it won't work.

    Elsewhere in this forum someone has another letter campaign directed at visa re-capture legislation. That might have some influence.


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  • soni7007
    08-06 10:04 AM
    Personally I think "Obviously" response was derogatory and not funny at all.

    I agree with "singhsa".
    I was reading through this thread and couldn't help replying.

    Before i voice my opinion, i would like to mention that I have a Ph.D in Aerospace Engineering (2002-2006 from a very reputed univ. in the US). My husband's employer (non-IT) had applied for his GC in EB3 - in 2005 which makes sense since the job required a B.S (Even though he was MS and was working for this company since 2002). We have our 485s filed and are using our APs/EADs. Now, i haven't applied for GC through my employer yet, but if i apply, it would most likely be EB1 or 2, and would love to port my PD of 2005. The reason i haven't done that is because i personally do not think that getting a GC couple of years earlier is going to make my life any different than it currently is.

    Having said that, I completely understand what "rolling flood" is trying to say. And I also agree to what his point of view is. When a person who initially agreed to apply with EB3, changes his mind/company/ or whatever and wants to apply in EB2, he should theoretically start over. Why is it reasonable that he/she cuts in line ahead of a person who was already there. There is a reason why these categories are formed.

    Shady means or non-shady means, EB2 means that u have superior qualifications and you are more desirable in the US.
    EB3 means there are a lot like u, so u gotta wait more. Period.

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  • damialok
    04-07 02:24 PM
    I firmly believe in the Contrarian Theory. When speculators run, its time to get in and BUY. I owned two homes and I am in the process to getting a third one. I would be a good candidate for those TV shows on HGTv/TLC. I buy a home build equity(through appreciation) and flip. This will get me closer to my DREAM home. I cannot see myself in a home for more than 5 years.

    The inventory glut in (SF Bay Area) is not desirable, they talk about east contra-costa and south Santa Clara but there are not much available in core bay-area. The inventory is basically non-desirable.

    Simple math, just estimate the number of immigrants that will be ready to buy a home in SF Bay. Just look at the inventory in desirable neighborhoods. They dont match.
    Stretching (financially) yourself is always uncomfortable but it can reap you huge dividends. If you are not comfortable, then I would say keep aside monthly payments that would cover 6 months and your home should be sold incase you need to get out of it.

    No other investment in US(for individuals) is as leveraged as homes/real-estate. You invest 5% and reap the benefits(or losses) of the rest.

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  • xyzgc
    12-25 03:41 PM
    Why worry so much about some random terrorist acts in India when billions of people are dying of disease and hunger all over the globe?

    Like somebody once said - let's worry about the enlightened self interests tomorrow, let's be concerned with the self-interests today. Before we even think about becoming Charitable Mr. Gates, let's first come close to being Mr. Gates first!

    You will find your ties to India very difficult to break. You and I are part of the international business community and India plays a significant role in this global economy! Terrorism, anywhere in this economic zone not just India, will impact either you or your employer directly.

    India has a dark chapter in history of repeated Islamic infiltrations, invasions, barbarism and terrorism - all of which goes back to 11th and 12th centuries and more significantly of caving in to them. We see only history repeating itself and all of us must be aware of this fact. Pakistani terrorists attack India with impunity, while the rest of the world dismisses it as an outcome of Kashmir conflict, Hindu-Muslim religious divide and so on. Not realizing that there are deep economic ramifications.
    I'll do my best to educate/remind everyone of this fact, even if it means being branded on immigration forums as a hate-monger.
    I believe that the world opinion has long reaching influence - it may be a slow-acting antidote but its curative effects will be long lasting.

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    Democrats Under Scrutiny As They Shape Lobbying Bill (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/14/AR2007051402086.html) By Elizabeth Williamson (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/email/elizabeth+williamson/) Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    House Democratic leaders yesterday discussed key elements of a long-awaited lobbying reform bill, which has been seen as a signal test of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's pledge to bring unprecedented transparency to the Democratic-led institution.

    While the legislation would open congressional lobbying to greater public scrutiny, its contours hint at a behind-the-scenes battle by the leadership to retain its most sweeping new measures.

    The bill will be unveiled today at a Democratic caucus meeting, where more changes will be discussed. At the meeting last night, party leaders debated the proposal's three most important provisions, which appear headed for varying fates.

    Watchdog groups and freshman members who rode into Congress on promises of ethics reform see as most critical a section imposing stricter reporting guidelines on the practice of "bundling," in which lobbyists gather and deliver bundles of contribution checks to a member. In an effort to prevent opponents of that measure from killing the entire bill, Democrats may address bundling in a separate bill or amendment, to be introduced in tandem with the main legislation.

    The House bill is likely to drop a second key provision, requiring that lobbyists who orchestrate grass-roots letter-writing and telephoning campaigns disclose their involvement.

    The third new element -- a "revolving door" measure doubling, to two years, the time members must wait after leaving Congress before lobbying former colleagues -- is expected to be included in the final bill.

    Other provisions impose disclosure requirements on lobbyist-paid meetings and parties, contributions to charities, and other sponsored activities. Disclosure records would be posted online, in a searchable format.

    The House Judiciary Committee is expected to formally draft the bill Thursday, with a vote anticipated before the Memorial Day recess.

    "I believe that the voters are going to be watching carefully to see whether we address this issue," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), sponsor of the bundling measure. "We are letting our members know that this is an important issue for the Democratic agenda. . . . We're very focused on getting this done."

    Sponsors and watchdogs had hoped the House lobbying reform bill would go further than the Senate's version, passed with great fanfare in the opening days of the new Congress. Instead, it appears to closely track the Senate bill, which also did not include restrictions on grass-roots lobbying. In recent weeks, according to several people close to the talks, the Senate had been pushing the House to narrow the bundling restrictions in its version, by limiting reporting requirements to clearly defined fundraising agreements between lobbyists and members. The House bill as discussed would do that.

    Passage of a weaker bill -- chiefly, one without bundling rules -- would disappoint watchdogs, who have waged a lobbying campaign of their own for the new law.

    "I am sensing a fading of enthusiasm for lobbying and ethics reform, which is why we have to get this done as soon as we can," said Craig Holman of advocacy group Public Citizen. "The longer we wait, the weaker this bill seems to get." Holman said he is lining up legislators to introduce, as amendments, any major portions of the lobbying bill eliminated in this week's discussions.

    Democrats' promise to end the "culture of corruption" they said developed in Washington under Republican rule helped propel the party into the majority in November elections. They quickly tightened the rules over travel, meals and gifts from lobbyists, and improved disclosure rules for earmarks -- the pet projects that lawmakers tuck into legislation.

    But a task force appointed by Pelosi (D-Calif.) to look into creating an independent entity to investigate ethics charges against lawmakers has missed its May 1 deadline for issuing recommendations, amid foot-dragging by members opposed to the idea.

    House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) said the party's leadership considers ethics reform "an obligation."

    "We as a party successfully talked about a culture of corruption, and one of the pledges we made was to change that," he said. To do so, he added, "you've got to change the laws, and people's attitudes."

    07-15 07:16 AM
    I would like to first applaud Pani for this effort. I strongly support his initative. I think his letter is original and from his heart. It is more authentic and human than what some on this forum are suggesting here. I think his gut feeling on this one is more important than the calculated steps IV has been taking so far.
    These kind of authentic letters from members like pani would give IV a more strong foundation to focus their energy. I think all those who want to write letters to the President, Senator, Congressmen, USCIS, DOL, DOS, DOJ, etc should do so and also should write the letter on their own instead of copying one. The reasons, sentiments and purpose will add more flavour to the whole thing. I would go one step further to suggest that some should write the letter in Spanish, French, Mandarin, Hindi, Urdu, etc, etc, if they think that they can express themselves better in their own language.
    Pani once again I would like to say that you are doing the right thing.

    PS: When the ship is sinking everyone wants to escape but the one who is aggresive to save himself has more chance of living than the other who is waiting for someone to save him.

    Best luck for this.

    Hope you have been contributing in past and continue to contribute in IV efforts. If havent think why you didnt yet.

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