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  • unitednations
    07-19 02:07 PM
    It looks like this thread has really started to make peope think of the "status issues".

    A lot of people have sent me PM's to assist them. However; I can't take this off-line; therefore, please resist from sending me PM's.

    Reason I participated in this discussion was to highlight some of the things that people should think of and determine best courses of actions.

    attornies and the like are very busy doing their current work. There is a high chance that they may not do the proper due diligence or ask you the proper questions before they file.

    You all need to have a very thorough discussion with your attornies and take second opinions where necessary. I can tell you that depending on your attornies case load; how many phone calls they are taking; they may provide you advice that would suit their own needs (ie., get you off the phone the quickest and let them carry on with their normal duties).

    Unless the law changes; everyone will be stuck in retrogression for a long time. If UScis should pre-adudicate and deny 485's then you will lose the opportunity to re-file for quite some time.

    This is an important topic as this is what uscis mainly looks at in the 485 stage. I suggest people discuss it with their attornies and make sure you have every situation covered before you file the 485.

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  • alterego
    04-06 09:35 AM
    I think you missed my point. I was not trying to connect the ARM reset schedule with write-offs at wall street firms. Instead, I was trying to point out that there will be increased number of foreclosures as those ARMs reset over the next 36 months.

    The next phase of the logic is: increased foreclosures will lead to increased inventory, which leads to lower prices, which leads to still more foreclosures and "walk aways" (people -citizens- who just dont want to pay the high mortgages any more since it is way cheaper to rent). This leads to still lower prices. Prices will likely stabilize when it is cheaper to buy vs. rent. Right now that calculus is inverted. In many bubble areas (both coasts, at a minimum) you would pay significantly more to buy than to rent (2X or more per month with a conventional mortgage in some good areas).

    On the whole, I will debate only on financial and rational points. I am not going to question someone's emotional position on "homeownership." It is too complicated to extract someone out of their strongly held beliefs about how it is better to pay your own mortgage than someone elses, etc. All that is hubris that is ingrained from 5+ years of abnormally strong rising prices.

    Let us say that you have two kids, age 2 and 5. The 5 year old is entering kindergarten next fall. You decide to buy in a good school district this year. Since your main decision was based on school choice, let us say that your investment horizon is 16 years (the year your 2 year old will finish high school at age 18).

    Let us further assume that you will buy a house at the price of $600,000 in Bergen County, with 20% down ($120,000) this summer. The terms of the loan are 30 year fixed, 5.75% APR. This loan payment alone is $2800 per month. On top of that you will be paying at least 1.5% of value in property taxes, around $9,000 per year, or around $750 per month. Insurance will cost you around $1500 - $2000 per year, or another $150 or so per month. So your total committed payments will be around $3,700 per month.

    You will pay for yard work (unless you are a do-it-yourself-er), and maintenance, and through the nose for utilities because a big house costs big to heat and cool. (Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti:))

    Let us assume further that in Bergen county, you can rent something bigger and more comfortable than your 1200 sq ft apartment from a private party for around $2000. So your rental cost to house payment ratio is around 1.8X (3700/2000).

    Let us say further that the market drops 30% conservatively (will likely be more), from today through bottom in 4 years. Your $600k house will be worth 30% less, i.e. $420,000. Your loan will still be worth around $450k. If you needed to sell at this point in time, with 6% selling cost, you will need to bring cash to closing as a seller i.e., you are screwed. At escrow, you will need to pay off the loan of $450k, and pay 6% closing costs, which means you need to bring $450k+$25k-$420k = $55,000 to closing.

    So you stand to lose:

    1. Your down payment of $120k
    2. Your cash at closing if you sell in 4 years: $55k
    3. Rental differential: 48 months X (3700 - 2000) = $81k

    Total potential loss: $250,000!!!

    This is not a "nightmare scenario" but a very real one. It is happenning right now in many parts of the country, and is just now hitting the more populated areas of the two coasts. There is still more to come.

    My 2 cents for you guys, desi bhais, please do what you need to do, but keep your eyes open. This time the downturn is very different from the business-investment related downturn that followed the dot com bust earlier this decade.

    The truth is probably between the extreme pessimism in this post and the unbridled optimism in other posts.

    Never trust what realtors tell you, they are in it to make a sale and it is always in their interest to talk up the market. I have never yet seen/read/heard a realtor speak negatively about the market. Even if they are asked an obvious question like do you think prices have fallen in the last year they will say they have trended down a little but the foreclosure crisis is over now, and the fed is acting decisively and the demographics speak to a longer term secular uptrend bla bla blaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Some BS to justify their talk.

    The bottom line is there will be a hangover of a few years from this unprecedented bubble in housing, it will be more severe in hotspot areas we all know about. In those areas you will likely see a 25-30% drop with about half of it already baked in, another half spread out more slowly over the next 3 yrs that that graph illustrated. Additionally the inflation rate of 3-4%(you can expect an uptick over the next 2-3 yrs) will eat away another few percentage points of your capital , while also eating away at your loan.
    The net effect is that you would be another 20% or so the worse off in these hotbed areas in the next 3-4 yrs. In more steady areas, that fall will be much more muted perhaps half or less of that. However sales will slow to a crawl with the slowing jobs market.

    The main determinants of house prices are.

    1) Inventory............a negative right now.

    2) Credit............negative but with scope for improvement in the next 12 mths.

    3) Jobs...........likely to be down for the next 6 months atleast.

    4) Salaries..................Global pressures on these will likley persist with some tax help to average americans likley if Dems. take control.

    5) Market psychology...................likely damaged for the near term atleast 12 mths.

    6) The replacement value of homes. Land is a non factor here in this country. I scoff at suggestions to the contrary. Even in cities with restrictions, this is a yawn yawn factor. Unless you are speaking about downtown manhattan it is not a factor. Construction costs on the other hand are a factor. A value of $100 per Sq Ft of constructed value is perhaps par for the course right now, that can only go up, with rising commodity prices, salaries for construction with illegals kicked out etc over time this will go up.

    7) Rental rates to home prices. This too will catch up. Folks kicked out of sub prime mortgage homes need to go somewhere. They will likley drive demand for rentals.

    All of this points to a fast then a slow correction. I think we are nearing the end of the fast phase of home price correction. 20-25% in hotbed areas and 7-12% in other areas. I think you will see a more gradual correction of a similar magnitude spread over 3-4 yrs now.

    Lets see how it all unfolds.

    Remember Every drinking binge has a hangover! The US housing market is now in one.

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  • mbawa2574
    05-28 08:21 AM
    I think Indian Governernment should report this to WTO. America is creating conditions that are discriminatory and not business friendly. India should start cutting wings of American Companies selling goods in India. IT is our product and in case US people have problems with IT professionals from outside, they don't have any right to sell the goods to my people.

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  • s_r_e_e
    08-11 05:54 PM
    DJ: Come on Sarah... where did you have it?

    :D:D:D:D:D:D joke of the year..


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  • ak27
    01-28 09:54 AM
    Lou Dobbs has found an audience who oppose any form of immigration. Lou picks and choose facts which support his point of view and no one at CNN is stopping him because his ratings have gone up with his rant...

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  • Dipika
    08-05 09:04 AM
    I need to find out how many people are interested in pursuing this option, .....

    Why ppl jump from EB3 to EB2? because EB3 backlog is huge and they are waiting since 4/5 yrs to get GC.
    if these 4/5 yrs experience added, then they are eligible for EB2.
    To stop jump from Eb3 to EB2 best way is to make EB2 current, so EB3 start getting GC and they stop comming to EB2.
    So Lets put efforts to clear backlog, which IV is doing rather differenciating our friends based on different categories.

    we should do progress togather. Remember we are I + We (IV).


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  • NKR
    08-06 11:32 AM
    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.
    But for some getting a GC earlier makes a huge difference in their lives. Ask someone whose kid might just be a few months before he/she becomes 21 (A colleague in my team is in that situation). Ask someone who is dire need for extra money and wish to become permanent.

    I had told in an earlier post, it all depends on individual situation, some people cite an extreme case to put forth their point and some other counters that by citing an extreme case on the opposite end.

    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.
    So you mean to say that an EB3 cannot acquire superior skills over a period of time?.

    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.
    Seriously you should, otherwise you would undermine the value of your education. It runs counter to your argument that EB2 Masters has more value and deserves not to be clubbed with EB3 while you are willing to stick on to an EB3 PD. Something doesn�t sound right here�

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  • ns007
    07-08 06:43 PM
    I am of the opinion that what happened in june 2007 actually helped greatly the oversubscribed countries in probably advancing the dates for next fiscal year as many people got approved who probably shouldn't have.

    I agree with you. I am also of the opinion that July Fiasco has actually helped India and China (oversubscribed countries). USCIS might have approved tons of EB2 and EB3 (India and China) applications to use those 60,000 visa numbers. So, India and China might have got a big pie of the 140,000 EB visas.

    With that said I also felt the pain as other members did due to the July bulletin fiasco.


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  • brshankar
    08-06 10:24 AM
    Okay lets take your example. A & B are graduates with a Bachelors degree (A is a Mechanical and B is Computer Science). A decides to pursue higher study in Mechanical field and B takes up a Software job. After a year they file for B' EB3 at his work, while A is still at school. A joins a software company (His Masters in Mechanical is worth nothing now). EB2 is filed for A just because he has a Masters, B is also eligible for EB2 by that time. Why can't B get a earlier PD? Atleast B got relevant industry experience. How come A is superior than B?

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

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  • rvr_jcop
    03-26 08:37 PM
    With regards to h-1b processing; if you file an h-1b and you are silent as to the work location on the i-129 and you get an lca for your h-1b office location and then USCIS gives you an rfe for a client letter.

    You get a client letter in a different location and did not have an lca for that location prior to the receipt date of the h-1b filing then USCIS will deny the h-1b saying that it wasn't approvable when filed. Therefore, because of this USCIS is essentially saying that you are only getting h-1b approval for the work location specified in the petition when it was filed. It does not include a blanket approval to work at multiple locations.

    Therefore; one should always amend the h-1b for different work location. Everytime you amend; you have to pay uscis/lawyer fees and are at risk of getting rfe everytime.

    With regards to greencard. You don't have to work at the location required in the labor until the greencard gets approved. Most labors state job location is "various unanticipated locations across usa". If it has this statement then you are covered and don't have to locate to the office of the company; you can work in any location.

    If there is not such an annotation in the labor then to make it 100% legal you should go and work in the location covered by the labor. However, as the baltimore decision stated; you can use ac21 for a different locaiton with same employer. Therefore, if 485 is pending more then six months and greencard gets approved; you have essentially used ac21 without even knowing it.

    I do know a few cases where attorney did labor in location of where persons client was located. However, if person has shifted to another location then it would be impossible to justify it legally that you will go back there when greencard gets approved because that job would no longer exist.

    There are a lot of complexities involved in this. It just goes to show that on a whim; uscis can do a lot of things to make peoples lives miserable.

    Thank you UN for wonderful explanation. You hit the nail to the point. Usually USCIS sends these work location queries at the time of 140 processing. I am surprised we are seeing these at I-485 stage. Is there any recent memo related to this by USCIS that you know of?


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  • satishku_2000
    05-16 06:30 PM
    It is very simple -- the 'consulting on the bench' business is ILLEGAL. You can have any opinion on it you wan't, but the bottom line is it is against the law. If you can't meet the legal requirements, you shouldn't be here in the first place.

    And what do you think about the skilled and HONEST people in this world, finding a job and having an H-1B petition submitted on their behalf, only to see all the H-1Bs go in a single day due to the consultants? My sympathy goes to these people instead of any 'consultant'.

    It is amazing that people don't seem to grasp the concept of something being ILLEGAL, and instead seem to rely on some self-perceived logic as to what they can and can't do. Let us focus on the illegal clogging of the system and restore it to the otherwise great visa program it was meant to be.

    What are the SKILLS that are so unique to you in the world? What makes you think everyone is less HONEST and less SKILLED than you are?

    I have seen in many cases why companies wants consultants is because consultants are much more skilled than their regular employees and companies are willing to pay a premium for consulting services.

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  • puddonhead
    06-05 04:42 PM
    >> But going with the spirit of my original post, in the long run, the equity you build (15K/yr) will far out weigh the yearly savings you get by renting.

    You are right in 90% of cases - where people will otherwise spend the money and not save it.

    If you have a mortgage - you are "forced" to save because the monthly amortization automatically builds equity. If you are renting - you are not "forced" to save that amount - and hence would probably be spent (in my case) in a gaming machine with I7 processor (which has NO long term value).

    However, in the hypothetical 10% scenario (in case of immigrants, specially Indians, my gut feel is that it is significantly more than 10%) - where the amount is saved in some sort of investment vehicle instead of being frittered away - you would come out ahead in the long term.


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  • JunRN
    06-06 12:02 AM
    What if a builder offer you a new home with a fixed monthly mortgage that is equal to or lower than your monthly rental on similarly sized home at same zip code, will you take it?

    note: Given that you will get $8k stimulus money to recover your downpayment.

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  • pappu
    03-25 11:58 PM
    I am trying to upload a pdf file but keep getting error message.

    Upload of file failed.

    It is way below the size limit posted for pdf file.

    any ideas?


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  • Macaca
    02-15 05:34 PM
    San Francisco's Democrat ( and_outlooks) WSJ Editorial, Feb 15

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats appear to have decided that November's election is a distraction from their effort to simply pull the plug on a sitting President. How else to explain what is happening in the House this week?

    Democrats voted yesterday, for the first time in decades, to hold two White House officials in contempt of Congress. Hours later it emerged that Ms. Pelosi has apparently decided not to vote on the warrantless wiretap bill passed by the Senate days ago. This means that the Protect America Act -- which conferred Congressional support to wiretapping suspected al Qaeda terrorists -- will expire at midnight today.

    We admit to wondering earlier this week whether Congress's interrogating Roger Clemens was the best use of the Representatives' time. On the evidence, the country will be safer if the House takes up tilting at windmills.

    Speaker Pelosi says that letting the Protect America Act evaporate is no big deal. But the Director of National Intelligence told Congress last summer that the Administration lost two-thirds of its terrorist-surveillance capacity after it agreed to go to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and a judge there required a finding of probable cause to listen in on terrorists abroad.

    There are in fact enough Blue Dog Democratic votes in the House to pass the Senate bill, which had Democratic support there as well. But Ms. Pelosi instructed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Sylvester Reyes to begin negotiations with the Senate on a compromise bill. This effectively tosses the entire surveillance program into a kind of limbo, with all players uncertain about its practical authority.

    This was of a piece with the remarkable contempt vote against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former Counsel Harriet Miers, which passed 223 to 32, as Minority Leader John Boehner led the Republican delegation out of the chamber. The pretext for this historic moment? The fight over the fired U.S. Attorneys. Remember that?

    This is the scandal that vanished because there was nothing to it. U.S. Attorneys are political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the President; he can fire any -- or even all -- of them if he sees fit. This nonscandal seemed to fade into the mists after it hastened the departure of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Ms. Pelosi asserts that this virtually never-used contempt vote is necessary to ensure "oversight" of the executive.

    Mr. Bolten and Ms. Miers, however, refused under orders from the President and on the advice of the Solicitor General, on the principle that the President's advisers should be free to give advice to the President without being called before Congress to explain themselves. Democratic Presidents to the horizon have made this claim.

    Every time he speaks, Barack Obama promises to overcome "bitter partisanship and petty bickering." Good luck with that. The House Speaker from San Francisco is obviously running her own campaign to gain control of the White House. The needs of the party's Presidential candidates appear to be a distraction from this.

    The House Strikes Back ( By Dan Froomkin |, Feb 15

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  • xyzgc
    12-28 03:48 PM
    While I would love India to retaliate in some fashion on Paki soil to show them that there are going to be consequences for messing on Indian soil, I think this is not the time to strike overtly on Pakistan however.

    Why now is not the right time?

    Because this whole War hysteria is mostly being whipped by one side - Pakistan. Immediately after Mumbai atrocities there were street protests organized by Islamic fundoos like Jamat-ud-Dawa, JeM, etc in major cities in Pak to protest against India. They were supposedly protesting because India is going to attack Pakistan! Most Indians were amused at that time as they were busy attacking their own politicians at that time for their Intelligence failures. This shows to some extent that something else is going on here and Pakistan army or elements within it want tensions on Indian border.

    Why will they want that on Indian border in case it boils over into a war that they will never win? Because the Americans on Pak's western border are putting a lot of pressure on Paki Army to attack the Taliban and other Islamic fundamentalist nut cases that their own Intelligence arm - ISI - has helped train and arm. These nut cases are their assets for all the covert attacks on India to keep it tied down in Kashmir and elsewhere.

    Besides they know that India will never attack and even if they did the International community will be pissing in their pants (including US) about the prospects of Nuclear armageddon and come to Pakis' rescue with a ceasefire call. Zardari and his Civilian Govt. Institutions will take the blame in Pakistan for succumbing to international pressure and stopping the brave Paki army from decimating kafir/powerless Indians. Army will announce a coup promising more security against India and overthrow Zardari/Gilani or whoever and entrench themselves again back in power for another decade.

    What will America do?

    US and rest of the world while shaking with fear about the nuclear war that was averted will start focusing foolishly (or maybe for their own clandestine gain) on Kashmir as the core issue and pressure India to give it freedom! What more does Paki army need? India-Pak hypenation is back so that Pakis feel important in International circles again. Tensions alive on their Eastern border to keep the army as center of focus and power internally in Pakistan. Covert terrorism in Kashmir will again resume with all the international attention on it, and Indian army and diplomacy is tied down there, and all the Taliban and other Islamic nut cases that they trained and armed have a cause to give up their worthless lives and not be fighting the Paki army for achieving their goal of going to heaven for quality time with some virgins.

    Besides Americans dont care if Kashmir is blowing up - infact they would love to see an independant state their to get a leg firmly in South Asia.

    So what should India do?

    Not go to war overtly now. Start covert operations inside Pakistan on war footing and start funding and support for Balochi, Sindi, Mohajir, Pushtun, Baltistan freedom movements inside Pakistan. If there is any other terrorist attack in India, activate these people inside Pakistan to blow up their prime targets - Muridke headquarters of Jaamat-ud-Dawa for instance. Assinations of ISI officers, encourage suicide attacks on their army camps, cantonments. In other words make them feel the cost of any further attacks inside India, but covertly. And also take the covert proxy war to their soil.

    For now, India should not attack Pakistan and give their army an excuse to squirm away from fighting their own created Franenstein monster - Islamic Jehadists on Western border. Indian army should sit back, relax and let the Paki army take their own creation on their Western front.

    I hope the internal politics inside India dont come in the way of the above goal.

    Covert operations are also war. Read war as concrete steps to curb this terrorism. Terrorist camps may be moving targets, identify them using intelligence and eliminate them. India is already at war, the world is also at war with Terrorism. Its a global issue - at the very least your coworkers are going to be concerned about business trips to India, if this is not nipped in the bud.

    Here's a thought - India should start manufacturing and exporting armaments.
    We can also export some artillery to Pakistan and invest the profits wisely. That way defence budgets go down and the funds can be used for improving national security (e.g: junk the British Raj rifles Bombay police use, provide them better bullet-proof vests and helmets), humanitarian causes and so on.We can offer it at competitive prices so that Pakistan doesn't have to rely on the Chinese, the Russians and the Americans. And we don't rely on the Israelis and the Americans.
    India can be part of a profitable armament race and build a nation of defence contractors.
    It will also give a boost to allied manufacturing industries in India, generate employment, so that they can also contribute to India's GDP in a big way.


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  • gc_on_demand
    09-30 04:45 PM
    If Obama becomes president can he restore the faith of high-skilled immigrant who play by the books and still have to wait for decades to get their Green Card.

    After graduating with a Electrical engg degree from a top school in India, I got a job with a world leading semiconductor company. I first came to USA almost 12 years ago on a business trip as part of a multinational chip design effort for high end Telecommunication market. I was very impressed with the group of professionals I worked with. I felt the work environment stimulated the creativity in me and brought the best out of me. After the short trip I went back to my home country but that visit left a lasting impression on me and I felt USA would be the place I can further my professional abilities. Couple of years later, I came to USA for my Masters to embark on that journey. Even though I graduated when the US economy was in recession (2001), my unique skill set was much sought after and hence I got a job with a R&D startup division of a popular Japanese company. Working with a great group of professionals brought out the creativity in me. I currently have 10 US patents. The sailing was smooth until I started my Green Card process. The outdated immigration system and the long wait in the limbo state has been impacting my professional and personal life. I am starting to doubt that my American dream is slipping away day by day. I hope if Obama becomes the president he would restore some credibility to my faith in the immigration system. But if Sen. Durbin is driving Obama's immigration policy then I fear even more long waits for high-skilled immigrants because of Sen. Durbin's aggressive stance against H1B's. Mean while I have started to look at immigrant friendly countries like Australia and Canada as my possible future destination.

    Obama has mentioned many times on the campaign trail that "his education" is the reason why he has risen to where he is now. I feel Obama is a person who values higher education and high-skilled professional and I do have great faith in Obama's skills, I hope he takes a strong stance on the need to reform the high-skilled immigration system.

    Many have been looking at the high-skilled immigrants through a narrow pin hole, even Sen Durbin has been swayed by such critics. NFAP report shows that almost 50% of the private venture backed companies started between 1995 and 2005 are founded by immigrants. Guess what Sen. Durbin and high-skilled immigrant critics majority of those immigrants would've taken the route of H1 -> GreenCard -> US citizen. The companies started by those immigrants employ thousands of Americans and millions in tax revenue. Then why is America so hostile towards the same high-skilled immigration system which in the long run benefits America. Why are Sen. Durbin so short sighted on the high-skilled immigration system? Hope Obama can look at the high-skilled immigration system with a long term perspective and persuade his colleagues in Congress to enact a legislation to fix this broken system.

    Here is the link to the NFAP report which I talked about 6.pdf

    I 100% agree with you. We are highly skilled educated people. Legally came to USA , earned Master or higher degree in field of STEM. Working hard and paying taxes , having amerincan babies but still cannot make USA as our permanant home.

    It is very riskey to buy a house without having green card. Not that we will not find job if we loose current one but not sure where we end up getting job. and given housing market condition ,we will be end up loosing money if we sell house.

    I have seen CIR debates for 06 - 07 , Senator Durbin was against H1b people. Even current H1b laws are very strick. After living in USA for 10-12 years if you loose job becasue of given environment and if you cannot find second soon it is possible that you may loose your legal status.

    I love to see OBAMA as next president of USA. Even I am not citizen of this country but my children are. And as a responsible parent of them I wish Senator OBAMA become next president of USA. when I hear speech of Senator OBAMA & Biden I feel security of my children.

    I wish Senator OBAMA will restore my trust in American Dream. Would it be appropriate if I have to move out of here along with my USA citizen children to another country ?

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  • dtekkedil
    10-02 10:46 PM
    I have always been a supporter of Democrats. Because I believe in their philosophy. If I were a citizen, I probably would have even joined the Democratic party.

    However, the past two years have opened my eyes - There is one major difference between the Republicans and Democrats. Republicans are bullies and manage to get away with anything because they stand together. Where as Democrats can't even collectively make a decision on what color shoes to wear - every Democrat has a personal agenda that is more important to them than the good of the country or even the party.

    I truly believe that George W Bush did not win the first election and he did not win the second one either... the Democrats lost it!

    The Republicans may put the wealthy and big corporations ahead of us common folks but they can achieve more than the Democrats and perhaps some of that may trickle down to the rest of us. The Democrats on the other hand will be busy squabbling and nothing will get done.

    So, even if Obama wants to fix immigration or be sympathetic to our cause, there will definitely be others like Sen. Durbin who will attempt to stop him. In the end, four years down the line, we will be hoping for the next President to help our cause.

    I have been in this country for over 10 years and I am still waiting for a Green Card. I love this country and there is no other place on Earth that I want to settle down. However, there comes a point when I have to ask myself if this wait in limbo is worth it.

    Is all this really worth it? Not being able to settle down; not being able to make plans for the future. Worrying everyday if the company that I work for will have a bad quarter and have to let me go? Worrying about when I will have to pack up my things from this country and start fresh in some other place? Will I have to live with all this stress for another five or six years only to be told that my Green Card cannot be approved? Where will I go? Can I go back to India? Will I be able to cope with the culture there anymore? Can it be my HOME anymore?

    I am sure the same thoughts have gone through many of your minds.

    I have always believed that I should be more than what I am. How can I do that when I can't even be what I am. There are so many things I want to do. I am a man of science and I have ideas that could probably change the world tomorrow. But I can't even do my PhD. It is not because I am not smart enough, it is because I have started my Green card process and I cant go back to being a full time student because I need an F-1 visa... which I am not eligible for because I have started my Green card process!

    What I am trying to say is that we are paying too high a price for a Green Card, there is only one life, it is short and you don't get second chances. So, for those who have just started this Green Card process, my advice to you is; Don't let the Green Card carrot steal your life away from you. You still haven't invested many years of your lives, cut your losses and run!

    The last time I came back from India, the first and overwhelming thought I had when I stepped out of the airplane was "I'm Home!". That is when I realized that I am not an Indian anymore, I am an American; at least in my mind! But I cannot let my life pass me by while I wait for a Green Card; not anymore! I am in the process of applying for an Australian PR and will also be applying for a Canadian PR. It is not that I do not want to live in the US anymore - it is just that I cant afford to live here much longer in this situation. The emotional and physical cost is far too high. America has become my home but living here is costing me my life.

    Sorry for rambling on... but my point is that while my heart wants Obama to win (I truly believe he will make a GREAT president) my head tells me that McCain should win. Because, the chances of our issues being solved or even for the good of this country, it is better to have a Republican President and a Republican congress!

    On a side note -

    The point of getting a Green Card is so that I can settle here and raise my family here. But really, is there a future here anymore? Social Security will be non-existent by the time I retire, medical insurance is probably the biggest scam ever, and all jobs will be outsourced to other countries soon. So, will the US remain such a great country 40 years down the line?

    A country can remain great only if men with vision guide it. Over 50 years ago President Eisenhower and his colleagues had the vision to implement the Interstate system. They saw what things will be like 40 - 50 years down the line and prepared for it. Today, the politicians in Washington just think about the next election and that is where the downfall of America begins. It is not Bin Laden who can destroy America, it is leaders without vision or love for the country; Leaders who worry more about elections than making the tough but correct decisions.

    Be it Obama or McCain, this country is unfortunately in a situation where the next President will make or break America. I hope it is the former from the bottom of my heart.

    I came to this country because it meant life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. But today, I realize that I have given up my life, liberty and happiness in pursuit of a Green Card.

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  • unitednations
    03-26 08:35 PM
    That whenever a company now applies for an H1 ( not that many companies are going to do in this climate) they have to put in as many locations/states as possible? By your suggestions if USCIS is deeming most h1b companies as 'Staffing' companies(and if it allows them to exist) then almost all H1 LCA should contain 4-5 states in which the H1B could work? How would prevailing wage calculation be done in that case? Or for that matter if each time an H1B candidate goes to work in a different location and the employer(staffing) company files 'Amend petition for location' does the prevailing wage factor come in to picture?

    your advise in this could help some people who are in consulting so that they can insist with their employers to file for 'amend' in case they are working elsewhere.

    - cheers

    First; it is very easy for me or anyone else to say "amend" and re-file the h-1b. It costs a lot of money to do so and USCIS can give rfe and deny any one of the amendments.

    If you look at the new i-129 petition instructions they have added a part of requesting an itinerary of definitive employment if you are an agent. You are supposed to give an itinerar of where you are going to work for the entire duration that you are requesting. You are supposed to give lca's for different locations for wherever you have the client letters.

    California service center is only approving h-1b's up until the end date of the purchse order you are submitting. If you have a purchase order for four months even if it says extension is possible; then are only approving it for four months.

    With regards to prevailing wage; On the h-1b petition you would always have to put the highest number of all the lca's that you are submitting.

    for example in the lca; if you are putting two locations; one is where your h-1b company is and second one is where your client locatin is where you are actually going to work; the lca won' be certified unless you put the offered wage to be the higher of the two.

    btw; I get too many PM's and I'd rather just post on the forums where I think people need some help or where I don't see people giving right or full picture advice.

    10-14 11:06 AM
    Getting Around Rules on Lobbying: Despite New Law, Firms Find Ways To Ply Politicians ( By Elizabeth Williamson | Washington Post Staff Writer, October 14, 2007

    In recent days, about 100 members of Congress and hundreds of Hill staffers attended two black-tie galas, many of them as guests of corporations and lobbyists that paid as much as $2,500 per ticket.

    Because accepting such gifts from special interests is now illegal, the companies did not hand the tickets directly to lawmakers or staffers. Instead, the companies donated the tickets back to the charity sponsors, with the names of recipients they wanted to see and sit with at the galas.

    The arrangement was one of the most visible efforts, but hardly the only one, to get around new rules passed by Congress this summer limiting meals, travel, gifts and campaign contributions from lobbyists and companies that employ them.

    Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) found bipartisan agreement on maintaining one special privilege. Together they put language into a defense appropriations bill that would keep legal the practice of some senators of booking several flights on days they return home, keeping the most convenient reservation and dumping the rest without paying cancellation fees -- a practice some airlines say could violate the new law.

    Senators also have granted themselves a grace period on requirements that they pay pricey charter rates for private jet travel. Lobbyists continue to bundle political contributions to lawmakers but are now making sure the totals do not trigger new public reporting rules. And with presidential nominating conventions coming next summer, lawmakers and lobbyists are working together to save another tradition endangered by the new rules: the convention party feting one lawmaker.

    "You can't have a party honoring a specific member. It's clear to me -- but it's not clear to everybody," said Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate ethics committee. She said the committee is getting "these questions that surround the edges -- 'If it's midnight the night before,' 'If I wear one shoe and not the other.' "

    Democrats touted the new ethics law as the most thorough housecleaning since Watergate, and needed after a host of scandals during 12 years of Republican rule. Prompted by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff's wheeling and dealing and the jailing of three members of Congress on corruption charges in recent years, the law, signed by President Bush on Sept. 14, was heralded by congressional leaders as a real change in Washington's influence game.

    But the changes have prompted anxiety about what perks are still permissible. In recent months, the House and Senate ethics committees have fielded more than 1,000 questions from lobbyists and congressional staffers seeking guidance -- or an outright waiver -- for rules banning weekend trips and pricey wedding gifts, five-course dinners and backstage passes.

    Looking for ways to keep spreading freebies legally, hundreds of lobbyists have been attending seminars at Washington law firms to learn the ins and outs of the new law.

    At a recent American League of Lobbyists briefing, Cleta Mitchell of the Foley & Lardner law firm said that while the law bans lobbyists from buying lawmakers or staffers a meal, it is silent on picking up bar tabs. A woman in the third row asked hopefully, "You can buy them as many drinks as you want, as often as you want?"

    No, Mitchell said, not unless the drinkers are the lobbyist's personal friends, and she pays from her own pocket.

    If that rule was clear to some, two charity dinners allowed hazier interpretations.

    Most of the 40 lawmakers dining on red snapper ceviche and beef tenderloin at the recent Hispanic Caucus Institute gala at the Washington Convention Center got their tickets from corporations, said Paul Brathwaite, a principal with the Podesta Group lobbying firm.

    Brathwaite said about a dozen of Podesta's corporate clients bought tables of 10 for $5,000 to $25,000 for the Hispanic dinner and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gala over the past three weeks. The companies then gave the tickets back to the foundations -- along with lists of lawmakers and staff members they wanted to invite. Some lawmakers did buy their own tickets, Brathwaite said, but many did not.

    The rules require that charity sponsors do the inviting and decide who sits where. But "at the end of the night, everyone is happy," said Hispanic Caucus Institute spokesman Scott Gunderson Rosa.

    "The corporate folks want us at their tables, of course," said Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who sat at a Fannie Mae-sponsored table at the Hispanic dinner.

    Another provision of the new ethics law bans House members from flying on corporate jets. But senators, including the half-dozen presidential candidates among them, can still do so. Previously they were required to reimburse plane owners the equivalent of a first-class ticket, but now they must pay charter rates, which can increase travel costs tenfold.

    The Senate ethics committee decided not to enforce that rule for at least 60 days after it took effect Sept. 14, citing "the lack of experience in many offices in determining 'charter rates.' "

    The decision surprised some Senate staffers, Mitchell said, one of whom e-mailed her to say, "Welcome to the world of skirting around the rules we pass."

    "Breathtaking. . . . In my view, they're not complying with the plain language of the law," Mitchell said. "I think it should be easier for members of Congress to travel, not harder. But what I don't appreciate as a citizen is Congress passing something but then interpreting it so it doesn't mean what the law clearly says."

    The law has dragged into view several such perks that members long enjoyed but didn't reveal -- until they sought exemptions to the new rules.

    Lawmakers for years have booked several flights for a day when they plan to leave town. When they finish work, they take the most convenient flight and cancel the rest without paying fees, a privilege denied others. But after the new law passed, some airlines stopped the practice, worried that it violates the gift ban.

    Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah) appealed to the Senate ethics committee to allow multiple bookings. Then Reid and McConnell added language to the defense bill that, if it passes, would extend the perk to staffers, too.

    New bans on corporate-paid fun could hit hardest at the 2008 presidential nominating conventions. The law prohibits parties honoring a lawmaker on convention days; some lobbyists say the wording means such parties before or after those days are okay. House and Senate members have asked the ethics committees for guidance.

    "That's one of the issues that's going to need some clarification," said Senate ethics panelist Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), whose home state will host the Democrats in August.

    Meanwhile, lobbyists are booking up Denver's trendy warehouse district and Minnesota's Mall of America, near the GOP convention site in Minneapolis-St. Paul, for the pre-convention weekends. Host committees for both conventions say they will honor state delegations, including members of Congress who take part.

    "I think you'll see a lot of umbrella invitations," said Patrick Murphy, lobbyist for mCapitol Management, who is planning Democratic convention parties. "Invite 'Friends of Montana' and see who shows up."

    One of the most fought-over parts of the law requires that lobbyists who bundle multiple campaign contributions totaling more than $15,000 file reports every six months. But lawyers say that a fundraiser for Hillary Rodham Clinton signals a way to avoid public reporting when that rule kicks in Jan. 1.

    Female politicos have been e-mailing each other a slick online invitation to "Make History With Hillary," a summit and fundraiser on Wednesday. The invitation encourages women to bundle for Clinton by promising them online credit for each ticket they sell. Women who have already donated their legal individual limit of $2,300 cannot attend unless they bring in another $4,000.

    "It's a universe of junior bundlers under the radar screen," said Kenneth Gross, a campaign finance lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. For the lobbyists among them, the amounts are so small that "you don't have to worry about tracking them, and it would add up to a material sum over time" -- but less than the $15,000 limit.

    If a lobbyist asked his advice on the practice, Gross said, "I'd say 'Go for it.' "

    08-11 11:52 AM
    In February, Dobbs asked a guest on his show: "The fact is that we are seeing hundreds of jobs being outsourced on the basis purely of a corporation's interest in achieving the lowest possible price for labor. Does that make sense to you?" Later on the same show, he declared, "Corporate America and U.S. multinationals are shipping jobs for only one reason, not for greater productivity, not for efficiencies, those are purely code words for cheaper labor costs."

    Dobbs even asks viewers to send him the names of companies that outsource. He then posts the list (scroll down) on his CNN website, under the heading, "These are U.S. companies either sending American jobs overseas, or choosing to employ cheap overseas labor, instead of American workers."

    "The results of this issue are crucial to the kind of country we live in," Dobbs told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in April.

    But there comes a time when Dobbs takes off his anti-outsourcing hat. That's when he switches from financial journalist to investment advisor-for-hire, peddling a monthly newsletter containing his investment recommendations. Pony up $398 and you receive Dobbs' investment tips for two years. You'll recognize some of the companies that Dobbs recommends. That's because they're on his list of firms that are "exporting America" by shutting down U.S. operations and opening overseas facilities.

    The Lou Dobbs Money Letter is published by Phillips International Inc., which is associated with Eagle Publishing, a leading publisher of conservative-themed books. In each issue, Dobbs singles out one favored company, in which he encourages subscribers to invest. He conducts an invariably softball interview with the firm's CEO, which allows both Dobbs and his guest to tout the company's prospects.

    Unlike most investment advisors, Dobbs goes beyond talking up the earning potential of these companies. He typically goes out of his way to praise them as good corporate citizens. The newsletter keeps a running tally of the companies profiled, under the heading, "The following companies have been featured in the Lou Dobbs Money Letter as those 'doing good business with good people.'" The appeal is alluring: You're not just buying a smart investment choice, you're buying a piece of good citizenship.

    Dobbs devoted a column in the March issue to touting the prospects of the Minnesota-based Toro Company, which makes outdoor landscaping-maintenance equipment. He told subscribers that Toro was a "long-term wealth-builder," and praised Toro's "formal code of ethics, something I think is sorely needed at more of America's companies," and its "...exemplary corporate governance structure, which aligns the interests of shareholders, employees, and customers." He concluded his interview with Toro CEO Kendrick Melrose by frankly telling him, "I like the way you treat your shareholders, employees, and customers."

    One wonders whether Dobbs' admiration extends to Toro's 2002 decision to move 15% of its workforce -- about 800 jobs -- to Juarez, Mexico. Indeed, CEO Kendrick Melrose might be interested to know that Toro appears on Dobbs' own list of companies that are "exporting America."

    And Toro is not alone. Of the 14 companies Dobbs has highlighted for investors since starting his newsletter last year, eight appear on his CNN website as companies that outsource jobs.

    Greenpoint Financial is another company that's received conflicting treatment from Dobbs. CEO Tom Johnson enjoyed the Dobbs interview treatment in June 2003. Dobbs promised readers, "I think you'll find Tom's comments and the way he runs his business thought-provoking and insightful."

    Apparently one of the "thought-provoking and insightful" methods that Dobbs was referring to was not the 2002 decision by Greenpoint to export much of its mortgage and customer-service operations to Bangalore, India, a move that produced significant savings, but that cost 150 U.S. workers their jobs. Greenpoint Mortgage, a subsidiary of Greenpoint Financial, appears on Dobbs' list of outsourcers.

    When Dobbs features a company in his newsletter, he tends to stand by them, no matter what information subsequently comes to light. In December 2003, Boeing CEO Phil Condit was forced to resign amidst an ethics scandal. Dobbs had interviewed Condit for the newsletter back in June, and wrote at the time: "Boeing ranks Number 35 on Fortune's list of most admired companies. I think Phil has a lot to do with that."

    After Condit's resignation, Dobbs ran a "Special Boeing Update" in the December edition of the newsletter, in which he told subscribers: "In the face of adversity, the company is being up-front and honest abut its problems...Boeing has just proven that its priorities are in the right place."

    But according to the Communications Workers of America (CWA), Boeing has sent 5000 U.S. jobs overseas in recent years. And Dobbs' assurances that Boeing's priorities are in the right place don't seem to square with his inclusion of the company on the "exporting America" list.

    Similarly, in November 2003, Dobbs called Bank One chief Jamie Dimon "a conscientious CEO," who "runs a tight ship with solid corporate values."

    Late last year, Bank One announced plans to merge with JP Morgan-Chase and Co., which has a reputation for shipping jobs overseas. In another special update, Dobbs reassured his readers that, "[Dimon's] ability to orchestrate this merger and have it viewed as a positive move by a testament to the fact that Jamie did it for all the right reasons. As a numbers guy, Jamie knows what works and what doesn't. And I'm confident he's going to do some remarkable work in the coming months."

    Again, Dobbs neglected to tell readers that Bank One is on his "exporting America" list. According to a company spokesman, Bank One has outsourced two to three hundred jobs -- mostly in software development -- to India in the last few years.

    The list goes on. In May 2003 Dobbs talked up Washington Mutual to investors. According to the CWA, the banking services giant has sent 30 jobs overseas. Washington Mutual appears on Dobbs' CNN list of outsourcers.

    In August 2003, Dobbs promoted Office Depot, telling investors that, "[T]he company and CEO Bruce Nelson believe strongly in making Office Depot a 'compelling place to work, shop, and invest.'" Sure enough, Office Depot is on Dobb's list of companies that are "outsourcing America."

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