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  • Arjun
    07-14 08:49 PM
    If this is the case.
    Given the high number of ROW EB3 it will never help Indian EB3. so spilling some of EB1 over to EB3 doesn't really help Indian EB3. But this letter could hurt Indian EB2. Now there is hope for lot of Indian EB3 to convert to EB2. That could be lost. I am als one of the converts.

    No budy, it is not only EB2 India, it is China too. So it is EB2 getting visa numbers that are not used by EB2 ROW and EB1-ALL.

    EB3 is not getting any spilled over numbers and won't happen until EB 3 ROW is current or EB2 becomes current. Long way to go when that happens.

    When there are more numbers in the pool it helps one way or the other.

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  • sledge_hammer
    03-24 02:44 PM
    Okay, sorry if I wrote H-1B. But the "perm" job requirement is for GC.

    I kind of mixed the H-1B requirement and GC requirement.

    But, the question remains and USCIS needs to clarify what is perm and temp jobs for the purpose of GREEN CARD. D&vgnextchannel=1847c9ee2f82b010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1 RCRD

    Q : What is an H-1B?

    The H-1B is a nonimmigrant classification used by an alien who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.

    As per USCIS, H1B is for temporary job

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  • NKR
    01-06 04:12 PM
    Its upto Indians to decide which type of leaders we need. Like Gandhi or Modi.

    What Gandhi did was right in 1947. Post late 80s, the same Gandhigiri by Indian leaders is not working now. When we are asking Pakistan to reign in terrorism and hand over terrorists, they are laughing at us. Tell me Mr Refugee new, what is your solution to this?.. Note that I am not talking in favor of Modi or anyone here but I hope better sense prevails with our Neighbor.

    Recently during Diwali celebration, one boy fired a rocket and it killed more than six people in Tamil Nadu. Offcourse this rocket was made in Sivakasi and it was an accident. It was a fire cracker. A simple fire cracker can make big accidents like this.

    But whole world is crying that Hamas fired 7000 rockets and killed innocent civilians and Isrealis are defending thier nation by killing thousands. What a crap man.

    Hiding behind Civilian, hiding behind school kids, hiding in hospitals - Full of bullshit lies told by jewish owned medias like CNN and Fox. Have you ever heard from any moderate palestinians about thier plight? This is what those media feed us.

    Infact Isreal blocked medias including CNN from entering Gaza. Why? They don't want the world to watch their attrocities. Simple.

    I neither support Hamas nor justify their action. My point is, one nation is freely killing civilians and school kids, bombard schools, infrastructer, bomb goverment and civilian buildings, destroy roads and bridges, hospitals and destroying everything including their livelyhood.

    Its so pathetic and funny to see the world asking Hamas to stop firing and at the same time encouraging other side to kill more and more.

    What is happening in Palestine is bad, so was what happened in Gujarat post Godhra, what is sad is such things COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED if only Hamas stuck to governance and people from some community in Godhra had not got brainwashed by the neighbor.

    Human suffering is the same everywhere, we need to go behind the suffering and find out who the real culprits are. All the war lords, drug smugglers, dons, some extent army, intelligence and sponsorers of terrorism are the real culprits/benefactors, Did you know that one of the Hamas leader got killed along with his 4 wives and many children, if he is a terrorist he shouldn’t be living with his family, a terrorist has no family and no religion. What is unfortunate is that in this ill conceived game, innocents, women and children, irrespective of religion and nationalities are getting killed…

    When the world is asking Pakistan to reign in terrorism, Pakistan laughed at the world. Now, even if the whole world ask Israel to stop killing, why would they listen?.

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  • rheoretro
    11-12 02:28 PM
    rheoretro Surely there is a distinction between illegal immigrants and Latinos (though I am not sure how thick is the line) but I did say that we cannot have even a whiff of support for illegal immigration be it from any country, including India.

    It is unfortunate that the legal reform package cannot be passed without the CIR and one of the reasons behind that is the tendency of pro-immigration groups to paint both forms of immigration with the same brush.

    A few days ago, I received an email from SAALT (South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow), urging me to lend support to stop passing the anti-immigration bill. Their logic was that there are millions of illegal Indian immigrants as well so we should support them. When I countered them saying that essentially you are asking us to support something based on whether they are "our crooks or not" and not on the basis of whether it is right or wrong, their reply essentially was that we know this better than you so just listen to our argument and support us.

    Bottom line? Illegal immigration in any form is not acceptable.

    English_August: Actually, it is a very thick line between legal and illegal immigration, as far as Latinos are concerned. There has been strong Latino/Hispanic immigration (legal) into the US for several decades now, if not a whole century, which is also possible. There are third and fourth generation people in the US of Latino/Hispanic ancestry. It's just that there was a serious influx of illegal immigrants in the US over the last ten to fifteen years, and the media makes it seem as if they are all illegal. That is not true.

    I agree - illegal immigration in any and every form is unacceptable. I am familiar with SAALT, including their executive director, Deepa Iyer. While I admire the community outreach work that they do, I too differ with them over a blanket amnesty. BTW, it was Deepa who corrected my false impression recently. The numbers for illegal immigrants from India are astoundingly high - the estimate is between 300,000 and 400,000. That number compares with the number of people in the legal immigrant EB pipeline from India, probably.

    At the end of the day, it, sadly, does come down to numbers. Even in 1986, in Reagan's time when the Simpson-Mazzoli bill was passed, amnesty of some form was given to people who had either entered the country illegally or had over-stayed their visas. This time the number of illegal immigrants is much higher, and Congress can't ignore this problem anymore. At least the American people seem to have clearly told Congress to put aside petty partisan squabbling, and get the people's work done on Capitol Hill.

    I am simply amazed by this dismal statistic - IV claims that there are about half a million people stuck in immigration backlogs/retrogression. Then why does IV have a membership that merely represents barely 1% of this pool? 6500 members isn't enough. Capitol Hill treats you differently if you say that you have 20,000 or 30,000 get more attention.


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  • unitednations
    08-08 04:26 PM

    Glad to see you back in the forums!

    Do you have any idea why attorneys strongly discourage their clients to travel after filing 485 but before receiving the receipt notices?

    If you have a H/L visa it may not problem to re-enter US with your visa, but will it affect the 485 filing if you did not have the receipt notice when you traveled outside?

    I had posted before. They don't know exactly when they are going to send out the case. They may have told you they sent it and then you go and they actually send it later and you were not in usa when uscis received it.

    package gets returned due to missing signatures, initial evidence, etc. and they need you to be here to file it again.

    Leaving after August 17th if you have a valid h or L visa you are safe even without the receipt notices.

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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 04:41 PM

    Can you read how much hate you are spewing in your posts? against jews, against hindus...against anyone who disagrees with the mostly wrong opinion you have. Where do you get your information from by the way? I mean the REAL TRUTH?? Have you been to Gaza?

    Read Hamas's is clearly mentioned in there "calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip"

    At the same time read about "Greater Middle East", "Greater Isreal" and "New world Order" , "Unipolar world" etc if you have time.


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  • validIV
    06-05 02:01 PM
    This is your justification for renting? Your 1300 goes to that owners mortgage. You are paying so that he can own the property you live in. I would not be surprised if he has multiple condos renting to others like you.

    Since you cite an example, let me cite one of mine.

    Co-op bought in 2004, Queens NY 2 bedroom: $155,000
    Rented now for $1,350 / month (Wife and I live in another home we also own also in queens)
    Appraised value (Feb 2009) $195,000, Peak market value (my opinion) ~230,000 in 2006 but it seems to be worth more now which is clueless to me.
    Outstanding balance: 60,000
    Current mortgage (15y fixed@4.25): 452 / month (+525 maintenance)
    Monthly cost total: ~1,000
    Comps in area: See for yourself:

    Lets say that person is you renting it. You are paying to stay in my unit, pay my mortgage, pay my monthly, allow me to build equity which i just used to buy another property (thank you) and using standard deductions, allowing me to have a healthy tax return from interest paid based on your money. I dont even need to do any math here to prove I am making money from your rent because believe me I am.

    Renters will never understand why owning a home is better than renting as thus they will continue to make arguments to continue doing so. And I'm sure that giving 1 example or 100 examples will not change your mind in the slightest. Which is why you will always be paying owners like me for a roof to live under.

    I doubt it is as clear cut as you make it to be. Rent vs. buy has two components in each option - the monthly cost and the long term saving/investment. Let me take the example of the apartment I live in. It would cost about 360k (I am not considering the closing cost, the cost to buy new appliances and so on when you move in etc) if we were to buy it as a condo in the market. We rent it for $1300.

    Monthly Cost:
    Interest (very simplistic calculation): 5% on 180k on average over 30 years. i.e. $750 per month. After Tax deduction cost ~$700 (you lose on standard deduction if you take property tax deduction - so effective saving is wayyy lower than the marginal tax rate).

    Property Tax: $400 per month.

    Maintenance/depreciation of appliances: assume $200 per month (easily could be more).
    Total: 1300.
    Long term investment: $360k at 3% per annum (long term housing price increase trend).
    You pay for this saving with leverage and $1000 amortization every month for the loan principal.

    Loss of flexibility/Risk : Not sure how to quantify.

    Monthly cost = $1300.
    Long Term Saving (assuming you put the same $1000 every month in a normal high yeild savings account - a Reward Checking maybe) - you will get a risk free 5%.

    So in this case you are paying the same monthly cost for house purchase vs rent. but you are losing out on the additional 2% per month in investment return.

    Plus - buying gets you into a lot riskier position.

    I have seen the proponents of buying fails to take a couple of factors into account:
    1. Real Estate, historically, is not a good investment. It is even worse than the best savings accounts available. And you could easily save your monthly amortization in better savings vehicles.
    2. Tax deduction from interest means you lose on standard deduction. In the above example - a family of 3 with 1 earner will have NO saving from housing tax deduction. They would be better off using the standard deduction. If there are 2 earners - they could try to work around this by filing separately and one taking deduction for housing interest and the other taking the standard deduction. But even that will probably not save you any money since many other tax rates are stacked up against single filers.

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  • senthil1
    04-07 11:35 AM
    If H1b quota is increased last 2 years it could have done easily as quota was reached much before the start of year. Without union support same thing is going to happen this year as last year. IV members has to wait years to get gc. They will use H1b as shield to gc reform and no one will get anything. Possiblity is H1b and GC provisions can be passed without much visiblity when CIR is passed. Majority of US people does not want unlimited immigration in any section whether legal or illegal. Opinion polls show that. US people wanted moderate increase in immigration and that is reflected in congress but pro immigrants want unlimited number in legal and illegal. That is the problem

    I am glad IV is taking a strong stand against this bill. IV should work with Compete America (they have more of a vested interests in this) to make sure this bill doesn't see the light of day.

    This bill is introduced by 'Pro-Illegal,pro-union and protectionist' section of Democratic party and 'Anti-immigration at all cost' section of the Republican party. I believe both these groups are fringe elements in both parties. But they could use this bill as a bargain chip for CIR and might get it passed because of it. So we should not take this lightly even if we might not be screwed by this. It will definitely hurt people coming behind us.

    Only reform H1b needs is to increase the quota or have no quota. And also to tie the H1b to the worker and not to the employee. And I dont see any in this bill.


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  • calboy78
    08-11 01:23 AM
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  • sundevil
    03-25 12:52 PM
    Thanks UN. Gosh!! this thread is an autopsy of current affairs in EB immigration. Very good going, with what is now a misleading title.

    Do they have any filtering mechanism for lot of these fake future employer GC apps through sister/subsidiary or pay for GC companies. We have had few people come on these forums before or after approval of GC asking what happens if they never work for the sponsoring company.

    I personally know someone who got a GC in 2002 without ever working(not for sponsoring employer or even for some other company) and since never worked in the field they got GC. I bet that involved a lot of faking but slipped through every test.

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

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

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

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

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


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  • ohpdfeb2003
    06-27 11:11 AM

    Excellent points!


    You guys are still going by popular news article and media hype. You fail to understand the ground reality. I bought my house last year in a great school district. I used to pay $1,250 rent for a single bedroom condo of 800 sq ft. I could have as well flushed that money down the toilet. My house now is 1600 sq ft living area + completed basement + garage + deck, all for $2,500 (mortgage + insurance + tax). I'm in the 30% tax bracket and I know I'll get a huge tax benefit. My quality of life has been great with the addition of space in my dwelling.

    I'll have to reiterate - do not generalize your opinions. What's happening in Detriot is NOT happening everywhere!

    EDIT: The rent in my area for my home is of course not $2,500 but between $1,800 to $1,900. After tax deduction I'll be paying the same amount (or a tiny bit more) as a renter. If my home apprecites, I gain, if it doesn't, I DON'T lose anything. But I were a renter, my loss is guaranteed!

    Its not logical to think of rent as money flushed down the toilet. It is the money you pay for a service aka for a service that provides shelter without any maintanance involved.

    Is the money that you are paying as interest for mortgage money flushed down the toilet???:rolleyes:

    Taxdeduction is overrated, remember everyone gets a standard deduction, so even if you
    dont have mortgage you get a break.

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  • ita
    12-18 03:17 PM
    Oh no! I was under spell of the reverse ego where I was so very sceptical about my religion, just skeptical not disbeliever( fortunately) ,thanks to the diluted versions that are sold to us about the Vedic Cuture under various pretexts(be it appeasement of other religions/religious competetion/anything else... not too interested anymore in digging into that).

    I've nothing against you(In fact I find your views/posts sometimes interesting). You want to take liberty (think you know all that is there in Gita ,please yourself) and say whatever you want to say about Gita I can't stop you and even if I could I won't stop you beacuse I know progress can be made even without the aid of these scriptures.
    (After all Budha, JK are all religious dropouts who did not support Vedic culture though were born in the very culture and paved beautiful path for all the religious dropouts that were already there/to come.)

    But yes if you are worried about me being egoistic about my faith I would say thank you but don't worry . Na, I'll never let my self be a slave to mere ego when I know what I can get by trading the ego to egolessness.

    I clearly mentioned in my earlier message that I was posting for the benefit of just few people (who could be like what I was few years back...for anyone that's wondering what I was ...I used to be so skeptical that I didn't want to do anything with any religion even mine, other than following the festivals and praying in ritualistic way as I couldn't be total disbeliever . I was victim to the confusing interpretations (of Gita and other scriptures )by people who were desperately trying to tie them with the evil practices existing in the society .

    Divine/God/UtimateTruth can be realized through religious/Irreligious path.

    Yes one needs to constantly question that is offered in the form of religion.

    I've discovered what I need to and this is possible both religious/irreligious path.

    As per me you posted what you think best and I posted what I've discovered and it's for the reader to accept your version/my version/new version or drop everything.

    If you would like to or if it pleases you , you can come up with theories about my bruised feelings/hurt ego but only that is not the case.

    Thank you.

    oh, ya! So just because you follow a specific faith, it has got to be pious, and books of other religions have been doctored. There is nothing new to this view. Every man on this planet adheres to this view.

    You see, every book has been changed during the course of human history. It doesn't mean that they were tottaly changed, but in a way there have been elements added and deleted from these books. So there are parts of these books which are good and teach us to love all of humanity and our sorroundings, then there are those parts in each such book, and those parts have been very carefully added by thugs and cheats during the period of time, such that they could keep control and grip on the comman people and at the same time spread their religion/world view. Anything that remotely peaches hate towards anyone cannot be the word of "God", whether it calls people of other religions as Kafirs ordering to kill them, or, whether it calls "non believers" as evil going to helll, or if it implements caste system. They are all the same. The true nature of the supreme being, the creator, is nothing but love and every thought in contradiction to the nature of supreme being is plain false. And older the religion, more the chances of that religion getting docotered by greater number of kings.

    You have reasons to accept that these books have been doctored but your ego is not letting you accept that things you have believed in your life could be wrong. Thats not just your problem, any person following any religion has the same problem.

    It is your responsibility that you don't pass on this disease on the mankind called religion, to your next generation. For too long the progress of minkind have been hindered by this disease. The progress you see in 21st century is not because of religion, but inspite of it. 99% of all inventions from Tesla's AC current to the first flight of Wright brother, they were all conducted in the country where there is separation of state and religion. I bet you, if religion was part of the consitution of US, no progress would have been possible.

    Its time to shed your ego that my religion is pious and others religions are wrong because all oraganized religions are wrong. And even if you want to lean against some religion, try to question every part of every religion that is peached and see it with a critical view. it will become easier for you to separate the diamonds from the dunghill.



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  • Macaca
    05-01 05:43 PM
    China’s Political Reformers Strike Back ( By Elizabeth C. Economy | Council on Foreign Relations

    Over the past year, the world has watched with growing dismay as China’s leaders have orchestrated a relentless attack on political and cultural openness in their country. Ai Weiwei. Liu Xiaobo. Teng Biao. Gao Zhisheng. Zuo Xiao Zu Zhou. China has rounded up its artists, writers, lawyers and musicians, releasing some, and then arresting more. The result? The country wounds itself deeply by depriving itself of some of its greatest thinkers, most creative forces, and most determined seekers of justice.

    Premier Wen Jiabao, who has begun to sound like a broken record, clearly recognizes this. He once again gently stepped into the fray, stating at a meeting in mid-April, “We must create conditions for people to speak the truth.” Yet this time he has some back-up—and from a rather surprising place: the Chinese Communist Party’s official newspaper, People’s Daily.

    A few days ago, People’s Daily ran an editorial with a number of striking statements, including:

    “Only in the midst of competition will the value of ideas be shown, and only through practice can they be tested…”
    “…it is inevitable that various values and ideas, traditional and modern, foreign and homegrown, will collide and clash.”
    “Because we serve the people, if we have faults, we do not fear the people criticizing them and pointing them out…”
    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” (quoting Voltaire)
    “Seven mouths and eight tongues are not frightening, but most frightening is when not a crow or sparrow can be heard.” (quoting Deng Xiaoping)

    What is behind this fresh salvo from the reform flank? Chinese media professionals—particularly ones who have retired—have often been at the forefront of calling for greater political openness. We’ll have to wait to see whether any other media support the People’s Daily or whether the bold editorial staff is simply sacked.

    The Chinese frequently, and correctly, remind us that the path of political reform will be decided by the Chinese themselves. The People’s Daily editorial, however, reminds us that the real question is: which Chinese?

    Where China Outpaces America ( By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF | New York Times

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  • manub
    07-07 09:55 PM
    Thank you for all your support.They asked for my husband`s paystubs ,all employment history all W2`s when he filed for AOS as primary.Later we withdrew his petition and only kept petition filed through me as the primary.That officer is extremely detailed oriented ,he/she asked and questioned every minute detail pertaining to our case.
    New update on EAD is that local offices are no longer authorized to issue interim EAD`S.We went to local office in greer, south carolina(we live in charlotte,nc) and the answer we got was that they can only email uscis why there is a delay.and if we wanted to find an answer we should come back in 2 weeks and that they won`t disclose any thing by phone because of privacy act.


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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-22 03:10 PM
    A man walks into a bar and he's really pissed.

    The bartender gives him a drink and asks what the problem is. All he says is, "All lawyers are idiots."

    A man sitting in the corner shouts, "I take offense to that!"

    The pissed-off guy asks him, "Why? Are you a lawyer?"

    He replies, "No, I'm an idiot."

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  • qasleuth
    03-31 09:58 PM
    I was quoting you to make a point, did not mean to put words in your mouth. Apologies.

    I totally agree about the transperancy part and the affect measuring people has on productivity. My receipt date is 07/30/07 and notice date is 09/06/2007, there were cases filed after mine on which RFEs were issued. Does it mean they have preadjudicated/looked at my case ? I can only wish as it is pretty hard to believe that it was looked at.

    Didn't say anything about "systematic" at all - I think we all know better than to use "systematic" and "USCIS" in the same sentence!:D However, they definitely seem to be making some progress on adjudications even if none the country caps limit green cards issual. Aamazing how you can change behaviour when you set a goal and start to measure people on it - looking at the bits and pieces of info being released by USCIS, you can see something is changing and I would suspect a lot has to do with the new leadership in government, that has a mandate for greater transparency (unlike their predecessors). Given the lack of visibility to Case Officers of cases with old PD's (they track by RDs and not PDs), I cannot but believe this will be good for getting some structure into the system.


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  • gcseeker2002
    12-27 12:55 PM
    Found this somewhere in the internet , this is meant for those Indian muslims who want to cause havoc in India.

    Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

    Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians. '

    'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom'

    'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!'

    'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'

    'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'

    'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'

    'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'

    Maybe if we circulate this , Indian citizens will find the backbone to start speaking and voicing the same truths against islamic radicals infesting the country.

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  • satishku_2000
    05-16 05:24 PM
    That's called pandering. To unions like IEEE and hispanic vote base. These ppl don't have any interest in America's competitiveness or interests of people at large rather work in the interests of their party and their re-election.

    But I am suprised at the attitudes of some forums members who want to screw the ppl behind us.
    Anyway I agree, we should be worried about delays to i-485 processing if 11 million ppl are added to USCIS queue.

    Hope you got me right when I asked these rhetorical questions. I dont want to screw any one behind me ... I am all for expanding american dream for as many people as possible ..

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  • Ahimsa
    11-13 06:37 PM
    Just watched Lou Dobbs tonight.

    Lou tried his usual tactic of calling politicians "powerful".
    He said "Next guest is the most powerful chairman, likely chairman, of the ways and means committee in the senate, Charlie Rangel".

    Charlie rebutted immediately "I don't know what you mean by that. You can call powerful or whatever, but what we think will matter is how to get things done by working together..."

    Lou will never change his course...

    12-30 04:19 PM
    But today, as the year ends, the netroots activists who adored Reid at the start of the new Congress have begun turning on him, musing out loud about encouraging senators to oust him as leader. They complained that Reid's Senate caved - allowing continued tax breaks for oil companies, approving a new attorney general who wouldn't call waterboarding torture, breaking the pay-as-you go promise by approving a tax break without a tax hike on the rich.

    Some liberal lawmakers believe the way to accomplish their goals is for Reid to put even more pressure on Republicans to break. Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said Reid should do more to "highlight who's obstructing."

    "The one issue people have with Harry Reid, he's not embarrassing enough people," Frank said.

    Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes Senate politics for The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan firm in Washington, said the problem for Democrats isn't that they haven't delivered much more than the Republicans.

    "It's that voters don't see a difference," Duffy said. "Voters are coming to the conclusion the parties are the same - not philosophically the same, but they conduct themselves in the same way."

    Trying to end a war

    Six weeks into the new Congress, as the promises of comity began to fade, Reid pulled a dramatic maneuver: He kept the Senate in session over Presidents Day weekend for a Saturday vote on Iraq.

    Nine Republicans failed to show up, including Nevada's John Ensign, who was back home playing golf with his son. The Republican whip, Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, praised the absences, saying the senators were right to gum up a vote that his side saw as a stunt.

    The measure opposing Bush's troop surge failed to get 60 votes needed to advance. But it helped set the stage for a poisoned atmosphere that would dominate the Iraq debate for the year.

    The Senate conducted 34 votes on Iraq. Only once did a measure to bring troops home succeed. Bush vetoed it.

    Critics say Reid spent too much time on Iraq, that it became personal. He called it "Bush's war" and "the worst foreign policy blunder in the history of our country."

    By spring, as it became clear he could not find enough votes to override the president on Iraq votes, he embraced the party's left wing by putting his name on a bill to cut off troop funds.

    Vote after vote only hardened Republicans' resolve.

    Anti-war activists grew furious with Reid. All the while, the clock ticked down and other business went undone.

    "If you're going to criticize him, you can criticize him for allocating so much floor time to the debate when it was pretty clear it wasn't going to accomplish anything," Mann said. "And you can criticize him for his emotional investment."

    Could Reid really have stopped trying? Opinion polls show that more than two-thirds of Americans continue to oppose the war.

    The real question is whether Reid missed an opportunity to broker middle ground. As Republicans started speaking out against Bush's war policy in the summer months, Reid failed to entertain a more moderate bill - one without a withdrawal deadline - that could have peeled Republicans away from Bush.

    Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who faces a tough reelection in 2008, said she finds it "frustrating that those of us who were trying to find a bipartisan path forward on Iraq were unable to get votes on our proposals. I think there was an opportunity to change the course in Iraq, and to send a strong message to the president about the future direction, but that opportunity was lost."

    Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University who has written extensively on Congress, said leaders are judged by the choices they make. In his view, Reid made a mistake.

    "The criticism the Democrats have been facing is they weren't aggressive enough," Zelizer said. "I think the bigger failure was that he didn't get something more moderate through. I think it would have been a blow to the administration."

    By fall the mood in Congress shifted as news from Iraq improved. The moment had passed. Before Congress left for the holidays, lawmakers approved another war funding bill, with no strings attached.

    "Great leaders realize there are just moments, windows of opportunity," Zelizer said, "and I think he missed."

    Reid remains optimistic about his chances for securing Republican support in 2008. "We're going to continue putting the pedal to the metal," he said at his year-end news conference.

    But the Democrats and Reid are clearly trying to find their way under the new terms of the Iraq debate.


    The Senate chaplain, a retired Navy rear admiral, opens each day's business with a prayer. On the last Monday of the session, he called on God to remind the senators "that ultimately they will be judged by their productivity."

    The Senate had become gridlocked. Reid had threatened to do cartwheels down the aisle if it would help shake things loose.

    Democrats had accomplished plenty this year - raising the minimum wage for the first time in a decade, adopting the most sweeping ethics laws since Watergate, crafting the greatest college loan assistance program since the GI bill, increasing automotive fuel efficiency standards for the first time in 30 years and providing unprecedented oversight of the Bush administration, leading to the resignation of the beleaguered attorney general.

    Congress worked more days than in any session in years.

    But all that seemed overshadowed by what it couldn't do. Stop the war. Provide health care for working-class kids. Address global warming by rolling back oil companies' tax breaks. Start a renewable energy requirement. End the torture of war prisoners.

    Even passing the budget to keep the government running seemed dicey.

    "It's been a really lousy year," said Norman J. Ornstein, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

    In this hyper-partisan environment, where Reid liked to say Republicans were conducting "filibusters on steroids," could another kind of majority leader have achieved better results?

    Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who was among those leading efforts to provide children's health insurance, said if not for Reid, the State Children's Health Care bill known as SCHIP wouldn't have progressed as far as it did.

    Dozens of Republicans crossed party lines to back the bill, which polls show was supported by 70 percent of Americans. Children's health care would have been paid for by increasing the tax on cigarettes. Bush vetoed the bill twice.

    Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said even if "God himself" were in the majority leader's job, it would not have been a match for Republican obstructionism. Mann sums up Reid this way: "Were Tom Daschle and George Mitchell sort of smoother, were they more effective with the Washington press? You betcha. Could they make a more compelling, favorable case? Yes. Would either of them operating in this environment have a much more productive record? No."

    By the office fireplace again

    People say running the Senate is like herding cats, with 100 Type-A personalities going in every direction. But watching the Senate feels more like being at a baseball game - so much drama happens between the big home runs and base hits, even when it looks like nothing is going on at all.

    The fire continues to burn strongly in Reid's office as snow covers the Capitol grounds. The workday is coming to a close. The Senate adjourns earlier than usual, without having taken a single roll-call vote. Christmas is almost here, and countless bills still needed to pass.

    Reid is not one for regrets, or for comparing himself to those who held the office before his arrival.

    "I can't be an Everett Dirksen, I don't have his long white hair, I don't have his voice. I can't be Mike Mansfield, I don't smoke a pipe," he says. "I just have to be who I am."

    Reid's home state has benefited substantially from his rise to the majority leader's job, as Nevada has enjoyed financial and political gains from being home to arguably the nation's top elected Democrat.

    But on the national stage Reid sees little more he can do when faced with Senate Republicans willing to stand beside Bush, even as they're "being marched over a cliff" for the next election.

    He recalls his first alone time with Bush, years ago. "He was so nice, 'I'll work with you, try to get along with Democrats.' That's Orwellian talk. Because everything he said to me personally was just the opposite ... This is not Harry Reid talking, this is history.

    "I try to be pleasant, he tries to be pleasant," Reid continued, "but there's an underlying tension there because he knows how I feel, that he's let down the American people by being a divider, not a uniter."

    He holds no hard feelings against Pelosi for setting an ambitious agenda. "Next year she will better understand the Senate than she did this year."

    In 2008 he has two legislative goals: "I would like to get us out of Iraq," he said. "I'd like to establish something to give Americans, Nevadans, the ability to go to a doctor when they're sick."

    And one day, when this job is done, "I wouldn't mind being manager of a baseball team."

    08-05 03:35 PM
    Wow ! So you are saying that no one qualifies for EB2 after 2004 !

    I kindly disagree.

    I am not saying no one qualified. Most of the Eb3 jobs requirements were modified to EB2 to cut-short the EB3 line. Then, why every employer (particularly in IT) files EB2 LC, than EB3 after 2005? Why does DOL is autiting EB2 requirements for IT/Engineering jobs now?. Before 2004, even if employers requires MS+4 years or BS+8 years DOL approves the LC. Why they don't do now? It is just everyone wants to go for EB2, if they have that qualification.

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