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  • Macaca
    04-03 08:22 AM
    Soliciting for Good Citizens (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/02/AR2007040201749_2.html), By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/email/jeffrey+h.+birnbaum/), Tuesday, April 3, 2007

    Another backdoor lobbying technique (oops, I mean opportunity to celebrate and assist members of Congress) is to conspicuously contribute to a foundation that supports a congressional caucus.

    Congress is filled with caucuses -- the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus and the Congressional Internet Caucus, to name just a few. These are groups of like-minded lawmakers who meet regularly to discuss the subjects in which they have a common interest.

    But, Washington being Washington, money quickly enters the equation. Some caucuses have foundations that help bankroll events.

    The Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus, for instance, sponsors gatherings in conjunction with the House co-chairmen of the Congressional Internet Caucus. Its "supporters group" includes dozens of tech firms that lobby Congress intensely, including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

    The advisory committee's next large event is an April 25 "Wireless Policy and Practices Dialogue." To pay the tab, its Web site lists "sponsorship opportunities," available for $500 to $5,000. A sampling (before it was apparently altered yesterday):

    "Pens and other promotional items: Distribute pens with your logo to event attendees."

    "Coffee breaks: We'll announce your sponsorship of the morning continental breakfast or mid-morning coffee break and feature your logo or brand in the break area."

    "Wi-Fi Hotspot: We will blanket the meeting area with wireless Internet access and include you as a promotional sponsor."

    "Post-Dialogue VIP Dinner: End the conference on a high note and host a VIP event; choose from some of D.C.'s finest restaurants."

    None of these constitute lobbying. Companies become sponsors "to prove that they are not only a thought leader in the space but also that they are a good corporate citizen," said Danielle Yates, the advisory committee's spokeswoman.

    Oh.





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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 05:24 PM
    What would be the purpose of reading all that? I thought the spotlight was on hamas...this is how you try to move the spotlight away huh!!

    My point is, they keep the spotlight on Hamas and go kill as many innocent civilians as possible.

    Even when they kill school kids, we still blame Hamas. We don't blame the killer and try to stop their mad actions. Thats my point.





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  • ghost
    07-15 01:29 PM
    Every forum has its set of jokers like loveh1b. They live in their own well and think it is the world. Thats how these generalizations come.

    Don't be so harsh on people like "loveh1b". We need to educate them with the actual situation, not scare them away with such statements.

    Hopefully, loveh1b will gain from our perspectives and change his attitude towards the US legal immigration system. Not to mention, s/he can educate other people on how things work in a global economy.





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  • alterego
    11-11 10:50 PM
    Americans are fair minded for the most part. They saw the propoganda of the far right for what it was. This election did not tilt on immigration, but on other issues. However the fact that the conservatives got zero traction from their hard line approach implies that the country was looking for a more comprehensive solution.
    I think that the american public does want secure borders and to some extent is unhappy with the status quo on the border. However they are also cognisant of the fact that immigrant labour benefits them and their lifestyles tremendously. They by and large do not favour a get tough only policy. They could easily embrace a policy where hardworking people can "earn their way" into the kingdom. Bipartisanship will perhaps show the way forward. Imagine those guys like Sensenbrenner,Tancredo would not even negotiate with the Senate or allow anything pro any kind of immigration to a general house vote taking advantage of their majority position by their "majority of the majority rule". They even actively stripped legal immigration provisions in conference last year. As for Sensenbrenner and his types. Lets see how much they enjoy being in the "minority of the minority" now, I guess the bulldog that chewed out the senators and cleaned his teeth with their bones is now but a mere poodle in the room! Gotta love elections in a democracy.



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  • allinall
    01-06 03:21 PM
    Hello all,
    What the starter of this thread saying is human suffering anyhere is the same. Why different yardstick for different re(li)gion? Don't confuse with politics.





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  • conchshell
    08-05 06:51 PM
    By the time, the lion gets the GC, he might have forgot he was a lion, and even after getting GC, he will continue to act like monkey.

    Yes ... this leads to a pale and worried Lion keep worrying that whether he should stay with the current zoo for n number of days before taking a new position at some other zoo.

    Looks like a story plot for Madagascar III



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  • unitednations
    03-25 12:41 PM
    Thanks for the link. Essentially there are 2 issues here

    1. Proving that Employee - Employer relationship exists between H1 beneficiary and employer. The ability to hire, pay, supervise and fire should be demonstrated.
    In cases where it is denying, USCIS is of opinion that the employer is in contract, manpower agency and their variants.

    This is somewhat analogous to similar test done by IRS to establish emploee-employer relationship in case of independent contractors.

    Not sure if it would make much difference, but if the petition letter demonstrates that the employer has control over the employee required matters, provide equipment (laptop etc) and that employer is primarily not in manpower business, it may fly.

    2. Second issue is about need to bachelors degree and that computer programming is speciality occupation. I think there are clear precedents on this with guidance memos from USCIS agreeing that computer analyst /programmer is indeed a speciality occupation and that bachelors degree is a minimum requirement.

    I am unable to attach actual doc on this message because of size limitations. But here is summary quoting from murthy.com

    "In a December 22, 2000 memorandum from INS Nebraska Service Center (NSC) Director Terry Way to NSC Adjudications Officers, NSC acknowledges the specialized and complex nature of most Computer Programming positions. The memo describes both Computer Programmers and Programmer Analysts as occupations in transition, meaning that the entry requirements have evolved as described in the above paragraph.


    Therefore, NSC will generally consider the position of Computer Programmer to be a specialty occupation. The memo draws a distinction between a position with actual programming duties (programming and analysis, customized design and/or modification of software, resolution of problems) and one that simply involves entering computer code for a non-computer related business.

    The requirements in the OOH have evolved from bachelor's degrees being generally required but 2-year degrees being acceptable; to the current situation with bachelor's degrees again being required, while those with 2-year degrees can qualify only for some lower level jobs."

    Onc; uscis determines that company is an agent then they ignore the part of the petition with the job duties. They pass on the burden of job duties, description, etc to the place where person is going to work. Essentially; they state that since h-1b company is not contolling thei work then they are not in position to state job duties or whether job requires a degree.





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  • unseenguy
    06-26 03:02 PM
    There is a myth with deduction:

    Deduction is not same as TAX credit. When you get a tax credit of $3000 . you save $3000, but when you get $3000 tax deduction, you only save $3000 * .28 or .33 whatever is your highest tax bracket. For most married couples it should be either 28% or 33% of their income. Hence you only save 28% of the interest + taxes. It can help further reduce your tax bracket if you have educational loan or charity contributions etc by bringing your taxable income down. Further reduction in tax bracket can help you qualify for additional deductions.

    However, if I am paying $1000 as interest, then I am only saving $310 or $280 in deudctions, but I am still left to pay $690 as interest.

    ValidIV, is stressing on 30 yrs of home ownership, however, what we are saying is prices may go down 20% further. If that happens, then you are losing your downpayment and it may take years for your home value return to what you paid with interest.

    If you buy a house $550K, over 30 years you end up paying more than 600K in interest only. Forget about taxes or HOA fees. Calculate the tax deductions and let me know how much sense did it make to pay that amount if the value of house further depreciates 20% in next 2 years Vs. waiting for 2 years, having 1-2% rate increase, going in with double down payment and flat house price or 1-2% increase.



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  • hpandey
    06-26 03:33 PM
    Would you share what calculator are you using.

    I used one here:
    Mortgage Calculator - Bankrate.com (http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/mortgage-calculator.aspx)

    Loan Amount: 600K (Note much less than million dollars)
    Period: 30 years fixed
    Interest Rate: 5% (On the lower side using historical averages)
    Monthly Payment: 3220.93

    Total Interest Paid across 30 years: 559,534.71

    In general the thumb rule is across 30 years you will always pay interest which is approx equal to the principal you signed up for.

    Am i missing something here ?

    Good figure to make 600K loan .. that must mean people are buying at least a 650,000 house across the whole of US . You are talking about prices going down across economy you should take the average home value also across US which is definately not 600K or else most of people will never be able to buy a house.

    I am taking about a home of an average 450K ( even that is more than the US average ) and at least 10 % down.

    I don't think even anyone here would buy a 600K house in this economy to say the least !

    Lets stick to real world calculations.





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  • mariner5555
    04-14 02:23 PM
    Hi

    I am moving to Atlanta (Meritta) soon. I got new job there.

    I need some advise regarding housing situation in regards to buying home. Currently I dont own home. I went to buy home last spring at my current location ( south carolina) but luckily I didnt buy it as some one advised me not to proceed unless I plan to stay for atleast five years. So that was good for me.

    Any way what are the good developing suburbun areas where we have good schools and property prices are reasonable in atlanta area?

    What is the trend of house price in atlanta area?

    Also regarding renting apratments, my son is in high school and I will be working in the Meritta area. I was looking for highshools and I found that Walton highschool, Pope Highschool and Roswell Highschools may be good choices nearby.

    Let me know your experiences in regards to any of those schools and nearby renatl apartments at low cost. I currently rent twobed room apartment and similar mightbe sufficient for me.

    Also please give links where I can see more info regarding atlanta housing, shcools transport etc.

    thanks
    I am on other side ..but Marietta is a good place. you will get better answers from google. my advice would be ..rent (at a location where you would get good schools ..since school is imp in atlanta) for sometime and then look for deals.
    do you have a GC ? my advice only ..if on EAD or H1 ..keep renting till you get a good deal ..btw ..what is yr platform ...field ..just curious



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  • validIV
    06-25 02:37 PM
    And according to your theory, renting is a better investment? Throwing your money away is a good investment to you? Then I don't think we are on the same page.

    There are many homeowners who are underwater but not foreclosed. That does not make it a good investment. All I'm pointing out is unless your property's rent covers your monthly mortgage+property tax+insurance+maintenance and upkeep it can not be called a good investment. You should have positive (at least non negative) cash flow out of your rental properties. Is this a general case? I think not. At least in my area I'm 100% sure rent does not cover mortgage and the difference between the two is significant.

    If you have a negative cash flow on your rental properties then the only thing you are betting on is price appreciation of your properties (above inflation) in future which is speculation again.





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  • lskreddy
    12-28 02:03 AM
    What about the lives of those 200 people who were killed? Please don't expense those 200 lives and other 100,000 lives in last 10 years

    The lives of those killed are surely very painful and it would demeaning to forget about (which I am sure India is guilty in hoards).

    It may seem like avenging their death by war is the path but if we do take that, what about the soldiers? They are someone's father, brother too. Just remember US Soldiers in Iraq.

    All I am hoping is before they take the war path, all options are expended. If the options are expended by now, and all the big think-tanks decide it is time, yes, by all means, go full throttle and put this to rest.



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  • Macaca
    05-11 05:34 PM
    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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  • Macaca
    12-27 06:50 PM
    A crucial connection (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/A-crucial-connection/articleshow/7173785.cms) By Michael Kugelman | Times of India

    With India's soaring growth and rising global clout hogging media headlines, it is easy to forget the nation is beset by security challenges. Naxalite insurgency rages across more than two-thirds of India's states, while long-simmering tensions in J&K exploded once again this summer. Meanwhile, two years post-Mumbai, Pakistan remains unwilling or unable to dismantle the anti-India militant groups on its soil. Finally, China's military rise continues unabated. As Beijing increases its activities across the Himalayan and Indian Ocean regions, fears about Chinese encirclement are rife.

    It is even easier to forget that these challenges are intertwined with natural resource issues. Policy makers in New Delhi often fail to make this connection, at their own peril. Twenty-five per cent of Indians lack access to clean drinking water; about 40 per cent have no electricity. These constraints intensify security problems.

    India's immense energy needs - household and commercial - have deepened its dependence on coal, its most heavily consumed energy source. But India's main coal reserves are located in Naxalite bastions. With energy security at stake, New Delhi has a powerful incentive to flush out insurgents. It has done so with heavy-handed shows of force that often trigger civilian casualties. Additionally, intensive coal mining has displaced locals and created toxic living conditions for those who remain. All these outcomes boost support for the insurgency.

    Meanwhile, the fruits of this heavy resource extraction elude local communities, fuelling grievances that Naxalites exploit. A similar dynamic plays out in J&K, where electricity-deficient residents decry the paltry proportion of power they receive from central government-owned hydroelectric companies. In both cases, resource inequities are a spark for violent anti-government fervour.

    Resource constraints also inflame India's tensions with Pakistan and China. As economic growth and energy demand have accelerated, India has increased its construction of hydropower projects on the western rivers of the Indus Basin - waters that, while allocated to Pakistan by the Indus Waters Treaty, may be harnessed by India for run-of-the-river hydro facilities. Pakistani militants, however, do not make such distinctions. Lashkar-e-Taiba repeatedly lashes out at India's alleged "water theft". Lashkar, capitalising on Pakistan's acute water crisis (it has Asia's lowest per capita water availability), may well use water as a pretext for future attacks on India.

    Oil and natural gas are resource catalysts for conflict with China. Due to insufficient energy supplies at home, India is launching aggressive efforts to secure hydrocarbons abroad. This race brings New Delhi into fierce competition with Beijing, whose growing presence in the Indian Ocean region is driven in large part by its own search for natural resources.

    India's inability to prevent Chinese energy deals with Myanmar (and its worries about similar future arrangements in Sri Lanka) feeds fears about Chinese encirclement, but also emboldens India to take its energy hunt further afield. Strategists now cite the protection of faraway future energy holdings as a core motivation for naval modernisation plans; India's energy investments already extend from the Middle East and Africa to Latin America. Such reach exposes India to new vulnerabilities, underscoring the imperative of enhanced sea-based energy transit protection capabilities.

    While sea-related China-India tensions revolve around energy, land-based discord is tied to water. South Asia holds less than 5 per cent of annual global renewable water resources, but China-India border tensions centre around the region's rare water-rich areas, particularly Arunachal Pradesh. Additionally, Chinese dam-building on Tibetan Plateau rivers - including the mighty Brahmaputra - alarms lower-riparian India. With many Chinese agricultural areas water-scarce, and India supporting nearly 20 per cent of the world's population with only 4 per cent of its water, neither nation takes such disputes lightly.

    India's resource constraints, impelled by population growth and climate change, will likely worsen in the years ahead. Recent estimates envision water deficits of 50 per cent by 2030 and outright scarcity by 2050, if not earlier. Meanwhile, India is expected to become the world's third-largest energy consumer by 2030, when the country could import 50 per cent of its natural gas and a staggering 90 per cent of its oil. If such projections prove accurate, the impact on national security could be devastating.

    So what can be done? First, New Delhi must integrate natural resource considerations into security policy and planning. India's navy, with its goal of developing a blue-water force to safeguard energy resources overseas, has planted an initial seed. Yet much more must be done, and progress can be made only when policy makers better understand the destabilising effects of resource constraints. Second, India should acknowledge its poor resource governance, and craft demand-side, conservation-based policies that better manage precious - but not scarce - resources. This means improved maintenance of water infrastructure (40 per cent of water in most Indian cities is lost to pipeline leaks), more equitable resource allocations, and stronger incentives for implementing water- and energy-efficient technologies (like drip irrigation) and policies (like rainwater harvesting).

    Such steps will not make India's security challenges disappear, but they will make the security situation less perilous. And they will move the country closer to the day when resource efficiency and equity join military modernisation and counterinsurgency as India's security watchwords.

    The writer is programme asso-ciate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington, DC


    What They Said: Rooting for Binayak Sen (http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010/12/27/what-they-said-press-activists-root-for-binayak-sen/) By Krishna Pokharel | IndiaRealTime
    Indian government criticised for human rights activist's life sentence (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/26/amnesty-criticises-sen-life-sentence) By Jason Burke | The Guardian



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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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  • ssa
    06-25 03:19 PM
    And according to your theory, renting is a better investment? Throwing your money away is a good investment to you? Then I don't think we are on the same page.

    If your monthly rent is less than your mortgage and you do not believe the house price is going to appreciate in near term (both true in the area I live in) then renting is NOT throwing money away. Don't borrow lines from realtors. If you pay more for living in a comparable house and your house is not appreciating what's the return on your money that you are paying extra?



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  • ksr
    08-09 05:26 PM
    Hi UN,

    Sorry to post here. I have posted in some other thread but no response.

    I just got my FP notice for Aug 23rd for myself,spouse and 8yrs old son.My wife and son is in India, we cancelled our trip back in May for my 485.We waited till we got our receipts,they went to India for some important work.At this point they cann't make it by Aug 23rd. They both have valid H4 I797 with them.

    Can you please advice, what is the best procedure to follow here.

    1. Can I take my FP and request to postpone of my wife & son ?
    2. Postpone for all three members, and request for a later date ?
    3. Can we go after Sep3rd with the old receipts dated for Aug 23rd 2007?

    Thanks In Advance,
    kSR





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  • Macaca
    12-27 06:16 PM
    Of luxury cars and lowly tractors (http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/sainath/article995828.ece) By P. SAINATH | The Hindu

    When businessmen from Aurangabad in the backward Marathwada region bought 150 Mercedes Benz luxury cars worth Rs. 65 crore at one go in October, it grabbed media attention. The top public sector bank, State Bank of India, offered the buyers loans of over Rs. 40 crore. �This,� says Devidas Tulzapurkar, president of the Aurangabad district bank employees association, �at an interest rate of 7 per cent.� A top SBI official said the bank was �proud to be part of this deal,� and would �continue to scout for similar deals in the future.�

    The value of the Mercedes deal equals the annual income of tens of thousands of rural Marathwada households. And countless farmers in Maharashtra struggle to get any loans from formal sources of credit. It took roughly a decade and tens of thousands of suicides before Indian farmers got loans at 7 per cent interest � many, in theory only. Prior to 2005, those who got any bank loans at all shelled out between 9 and 12 per cent. Several were forced to take non-agricultural loans at even higher rates of interest. Buy a Mercedes, pay 7 per cent interest. Buy a tractor, pay 12 per cent. The hallowed micro-finance institutions (MFIs) do worse. There, it's smaller sums at interest rates of between 24 and 36 per cent or higher.

    Starved of credit, peasants turned to moneylenders and other informal sources. Within 10 years from 1991, the number of Indian farm households in debt almost doubled from 26 per cent to 48.6 per cent. A crazy underestimate but an official number. Many policy-driven disasters hit farmers at the same time. Exploding input costs in the name of �market-based prices.' Crashing prices for their commercial crops, often rigged by powerful traders and corporations. Slashing of investment in agriculture. A credit squeeze as banks moved away from farm loans to fuelling upper middle class lifestyles. Within the many factors driving over two lakh farmers to suicide in 13 years, indebtedness and the credit squeeze rank high. (And MFIs are now among the squeezers).

    What remained of farm credit was hijacked. A devastating piece in The Hindu (Aug. 13) showed us how. Almost half the total �agricultural credit� in the State of Maharashtra in 2008 was disbursed not by rural banks but by urban and metro branches. Over 42 per cent of it in just Mumbai � stomping ground of large corporations rather than of small farmers.

    Even as the media celebrate our greatest car deal ever as a sign of �rural resurgence,� the subject of many media stories, comes the latest data of the National Crime Records Bureau. These show a sharp increase in farm suicides in 2009 with at least 17,368 farmers killing themselves in the year of �rural resurgence.� That's over 7 per cent higher than in 2008 and the worst numbers since 2004. This brings the total farm suicides since 1997 to 216,500. While all suicides have multiple causes, their strong concentration within regions and among cash crop farmers is an alarming and dismal trend.

    The NCRB, a wing of the Union Home Ministry, has been tracking farm suicide data since 1995. However, researchers mostly use their data from 1997 onwards. This is because the 1995 and 1996 data are incomplete. The system was new in 1995 and some big States such as Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan sent in no numbers at all that year. (In 2009, the two together saw over 1,900 farm suicides). By 1997, all States were reporting and the data are more complete.

    The NCRB data end at 2009 for now. But we can assume that 2010 has seen at least 16,000 farmers' suicides. (After all, the yearly average for the last six years is 17,104). Add this 16,000 to the total 2,16,500. Also add the incomplete 1995 and 1996 numbers � that is 24,449 suicides. This brings the 1995-2010 total to 2,56,949. Reflect on this figure a moment.

    It means over a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1995. It means the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history has occurred in this country in the past 16 years. It means one-and-a-half million human beings, family members of those killing themselves, have been tormented by the tragedy. While millions more face the very problems that drove so many to suicide. It means farmers in thousands of villages have seen their neighbours take this incredibly sad way out. A way out that more and more will consider as despair grows and policies don't change. It means the heartlessness of the Indian elite is impossible to imagine, leave alone measure.

    Note that these numbers are gross underestimates to begin with. Several large groups of farmers are mostly excluded from local counts. Women, for instance. Social and other prejudice means that, most times, a woman farmer killing herself is counted as suicide � not as a farmer's suicide. Because the land is rarely in a woman's name.

    Then there is the plain fraud that some governments resort to. Maharashtra being the classic example. The government here has lied so many times that it contradicts itself thrice within a week. In May this year, for instance, three �official' estimates of farm suicides in the worst-hit Vidarbha region varied by 5,500 per cent. The lowest count being just six in four months (See �How to be an eligible suicide,� The Hindu, May 13, 2010).

    The NCRB figure for Maharashtra as a whole in 2009 is 2,872 farmers' suicides. So it remains the worst State for farm suicides for the tenth year running. The �decline' of 930 that this figure represents would be joyous if true. But no State has worked harder to falsify reality. For 13 years, the State has seen a nearly unrelenting rise. Suddenly, there's a drop of 436 and 930 in 2008 and 2009. How? For almost four years now, committees have functioned in Vidarbha's crisis districts to dismiss most suicides as �non-genuine.' What is truly frightening is the Maharashtra government's notion that fixing the numbers fixes the problem.

    Yet that problem is mounting. Perhaps the State most comparable to Maharashtra in terms of population is West Bengal. Though its population is less by a few million, it has more farmers. Both States have data for 15 years since 1995. Their farm suicide annual averages in three-five year periods starting then are revealing. Maharashtra's annual average goes up in each period. From 1,963 in the five years ending with 1999 to 3,647 by 2004. And scaling 3,858 by 2009. West Bengal's yearly average registers a gradual drop in each five-year period. From 1,454 in 1999 to 1,200 in 2004 to 1,014 by 2009. While it has more farmers, its farm suicide average for the past five years is less than a third of Maharashtra's. The latter's yearly average has almost doubled since 1999.

    The share of the Big 5 �suicide belt' States � Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh � remains close to two-thirds of all farm suicides. Sadly 18 of 28 States reported higher farm suicide numbers in 2009. In some the rise was negligible. In others, not. Tamil Nadu showed the biggest increase of all States, going from 512 in 2008 to 1060 in 2009. Karnataka clocked in second with a rise of 545. And Andhra Pradesh saw the third biggest rise � 309 more than in 2008. A few though did see a decline of some consequence in their farm suicide annual average figures for the last six years. Three � Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal � saw their yearly average fall by over 350 in 2004-09 compared to the earlier seven years.

    Things will get worse if existing policies on agriculture don't change. Even States that have managed some decline across 13 years will be battered. Kerala, for instance, saw an annual average of 1,371 farm suicides between 1997 and 2003. From 2004-09, its annual average was 1016 � a drop of 355. Yet Kerala will suffer greatly in the near future. Its economy is the most globalised of any State. Most crops are cash crops. Any volatility in the global prices of coffee, pepper, tea, vanilla, cardamom or rubber will affect the State. Those prices are also hugely controlled at the global level by a few corporations.

    Already bludgeoned by the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), Kerala now has to contend with the one we've gotten into with ASEAN. And an FTA with the European Union is also in the offing. Kerala will pay the price. Even prior to 2004, the dumping of the so-called �Sri Lankan pepper� (mostly pepper from other countries brought in through Sri Lanka) ravaged the State. Now, we've created institutional frameworks for such dumping. Economist Professor K. Nagaraj, author of the biggest study of farm suicides in India, says: �The latest data show us that the agrarian crisis has not relented, not gone away.� The policies driving it have also not gone away.





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  • pete
    04-09 11:47 AM
    EB1 requires either a tenure track position in research. I am a physician and did not want to be in a tenure track research position.
    Also EB1 without employment is very difficult to get. I would not have qualified for that.

    I am not interested in your rhetoric. It doesnt mean anything.



    Yes, pete, other people should have hurdles. So when they stumble on those hurdles, it would be your gain.

    Its a zero sum game.

    We cannot all unite and work on this issue. So let's divide ourselves. Let's split IV into 2 organization, one for EB3 dumbasses who are getting a free ride and didnt go thru the whole 9 yards , and other for smart kids like you and rimzhim.

    Let me ask both of you. If you are that smart, how come you are not applying for EB1. I thought researchers would qualify for EB1. Why are you facing difficulty? Could it be that you are not really that good? Because the system does have an HOV lane for scientists to cruise to greencard. Its called EB1. And its current for most categories. What about that?

    Why dont you join the fast lane of EB1 and leave the bachelor's degree losers behind who didnt thru the whole 9 yards?





    nat23
    11-15 06:52 AM
    Yesterday Lou Dobb said on his show that he wants the borders and ports to be secured first and then talk about illegal immigration.

    It seems that he acknowledges that 11 million people will have to be given some sort of visa or they will remain in the country and no one will be able to do anything about it without spending billions of dollars.

    Thats an interesting change in his strategy.





    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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