Thursday, June 30, 2011

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  • Macaca
    08-01 08:24 PM
    House Votes 411-8 to Pass Ethics Overhaul ( Far-Reaching Measure Faces Senate Hurdles By Jonathan Weisman Washington Post Staff Writer, August 1, 2007

    The House gave final and overwhelming approval yesterday to a landmark bill that would tighten ethics and lobbying rules for Congress, forcing lawmakers to more fully detail how their campaigns are funded and how they direct government spending.

    The new lobbying bill would, for the first time, require lawmakers to disclose small campaign contributions that are "bundled" into large packages by lobbyists. It would require lobbyists to detail their own campaign contributions, as well as payments to presidential libraries, inaugural committees and charities controlled by lawmakers. The proposal would also put new disclosure requirements on special spending measures for pet projects, known as "earmarks."

    "What we did today was momentous," declared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "It's historic."

    The bill is the most far-reaching attempt at ethics reform since Watergate, although it is not as aggressive as some legislators wanted in restricting the use of earmarks and in requiring the disclosure of donation bundling. The legislation, which had been stalled until negotiators worked out a deal in recent days to get it passed before the August recess, is a priority for Democrats, who won control of Congress in part because they had decried what they called "a culture of corruption" under Republicans.

    Although it passed the House 411 to 8, the bill could face hurdles in the Senate, which is under a new ethics cloud after the FBI raid Monday on Sen. Ted Stevens's house. Last night, a group of Republican senators prevented Democrats from bringing up the bill, forcing the scheduling of a vote tomorrow to break the filibuster. Still, senators from both parties predicted easy passage by week's end.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) all but dared Republicans to try to block the proposal when it comes to a vote as early as tomorrow. "With that resounding vote in the House, 411-8, I think people ought to be concerned about voting against it," he said yesterday.

    But in a closed-door lunch with fellow Republican senators yesterday, Stevens (R-Alaska) himself threatened to block the measure, objecting that the legislation's new restrictions on lawmakers' use of corporate jets would unfairly penalize members of Congress who live in distant states, such as himself.

    The legislation would end secret "holds" in the Senate, which allow a single senator to block action without disclosing that he or she has done so. Members of Congress would no longer be allowed to attend lavish parties thrown in their honor at political conventions. Gifts, meals and travel funded by lobbyists would be banned, and travel on corporate jets would be restricted. Lobbyists would have to disclose their activities more often and on the Internet. And lawmakers convicted of bribery, perjury and other crimes would be denied their congressional pensions.

    "These are big-time fundamental reforms," said Fred Wertheimer, president of the open-government group Democracy 21.

    Rep. Michael N. Castle (R-Del.), who failed to get ethics legislation enacted last year, noted that the final bill's disclosure rules are considerably less tough on the "bundling" of small campaign contributions into large donations by lobbyists. The original ethics bill would have required the disclosure of bundled contributions over $5,000 every three months. Under the final bill, lawmakers would have to report every six months any bundled contributions from lobbyists totaling more than $15,000. In one year, a single lobbyist could funnel nearly $30,000 to a candidate or campaign committee without any of those actions having to be disclosed.

    House negotiators also refused to lengthen the current one-year "cooling-off" period, during which former House members are prohibited from becoming lobbyists.

    Some conservatives latched on to the weakening of earmark disclosure rules that had passed the Senate in January. An explicit prohibition on trading earmarks for votes was dropped by House and Senate Democratic negotiators. A prohibition on any earmark that would financially benefit lawmakers, their immediate families, their staff or their staff's immediate families was altered to say that the ban would apply to any earmark that advances a lawmaker's "pecuniary interest." Critics say that would mean the benefit would have to be direct for the measure to be prohibited, and that the ban would not apply to a project that would benefit a larger community, including the lawmaker.

    House members are covered by earmark rules, passed earlier this year, that are tougher than the legislation, which would apply only to senators.

    "Earmarks have been the currency of corruption and, unfortunately, this lobbying reform bill does not adequately address that problem," declared Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a longtime critic of earmarks.

    Reform groups and Democrats accused opponents of using the earmark issue as a pretext to block the other rule changes. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who has blocked the legislation in the past, confirmed that he remains uncomfortable with the broader bill's mandates on lobbying disclosures and gift bans.

    "You could've done nothing, or some staff member could have made an innocent mistake, and now you're defending yourself in a court of law," he said. "It's nuts."

    Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), another critic, had single-handedly blocked the calling of a formal House-Senate conference to negotiate the final deal, forcing Democrats to hammer out the compromise on their own. The House passed it under fast-track procedures that prohibit amendments but require a two-thirds majority for approval -- a threshold that was easily met.

    Now, Reid must get the bill through the Senate without any amendment, using a parliamentary tactic that has been roundly criticized by Republicans in the past as strong-arming. But in this case, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has given his tacit assent, laying the blame squarely on his own conservative hard-liners.

    "In a sense, we made it difficult on ourselves," McConnell said.

    It may be even more difficult for Republicans to block the measure while their senior senator, Stevens, is under a cloud of suspicion. FBI agents raided the powerful lawmaker's house Monday, looking for evidence in a long-running investigation of an Alaska energy firm, Veco, and its alleged efforts to bribe Alaska lawmakers.

    And yesterday, the House ethics committee indicated that it may consider an inquiry into whether Rep. Heather A. Wilson (R-N.M.) violated rules by calling a federal prosecutor about a pending investigation. The committee's staff interviewed the prosecutor, former U.S. attorney David C. Iglesias, yesterday.

    At least eight lawmakers -- six Republicans and two Democrats -- are under federal investigation. Earlier this year, the homes and business interests of Reps. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) and John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.) were searched, and Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) was indicted on corruption charges.

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  • unitednations
    03-26 08:49 PM
    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?

    If you go really far back; california service center when they were adjudicating 140's would the odd time deny a 140 because they didn't believe the intent of joining the company if a person was working in different location (when baltimore case came out; it helped in overturning these types of denials and they stopped doing it).

    Now; nebraska service center the odd time did question the intent at the 140 level and also at the 485 level. I haven't seen it much in last three years. However; the ones I did see (they were all approved; thanks to baltimore decision) were for companies which had filed labors in iowa. I believe that this was also one of the catalysts in looking at iowa companies of what is happening today.

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  • validIV
    06-25 01:46 PM
    I couldn't agree more. My first home is almost fully paid off. Peace of mind is a great thing.

    I will be happy owning one home. And hope to repay it off quickly so i dont have any BANK to answer to. Having a peace of mind that one day when i pay off the home nobody can kick me off my home for any reason is PRICELESS to me.

    It's not for my grandkids. Its for my wife and my kids when I retire.

    Owning 10 homes so that you can donate to your grandkids may be PRICELESS to you. I wish you the best.

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  • willwin
    07-13 12:19 PM
    At the risk of differing with you and inviting unflattering comments from others, but to benefit a healthy debate, I beg to differ that spill over should go to the most retrogressed at the expense of a difference in skill, training and experience level. As you probably may know, EB2 does require a different and arguably more enhanced skill, traninig and experience level than EB3.

    If you beleive in the principle that in a land of meritocracy the higher skilled should have an easier path to immigrate then EB2 should always get a preference over EB3 regardless of country of birth so long as the ROW demand within the same category has been satisfied.

    Understand, that this definition of EB3 and EB2 is all on paper. I am not saying that all EB2 are 'smarter' than EB3 and vice versa, but the letter/intent of the law is what it is.

    Sounds harsh and heirarchical but is true. Obviously I have a vested interest in a favorable interpretation of the law and I welcome the spill over to EB2-I. This does have a flip side if you are EB3-I, but look at a few bulletins from last year/early this year where EB2-I was unavailable and EB3 still was current and/or had a cut off date for a ROW/retro country.

    Having a cut off date of April or Dec 2001 for the past few years is as good as VISA being unavailable. So India EB3 was unavailable for the last 3 years or so (except last july).

    That's not the case with EB2. EB2 on paper has preference, I agree. That does not mean EB2 should have ALL spill over numbers. Split it 75-25 if not 50-50. Dec 2001 for a retrogressed country is just unfair. When you issue some EB2 2006 numbers issue some to EB3 2002 people as well. Is it too much?


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  • copsmart
    01-01 09:39 AM
    Wish You All a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

    May god give this world the strength and courage to tackle Pakistan and its terrorist activities.

    World Peace!

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  • apt29
    07-29 03:36 PM
    I regret the day when Obama became the president, he is just another politician who does not give a damn about EB2,EB3....he is just worried about "re-uniting families" (aka supporter of illegal immigration)

    I am no supporter of either party. To be fair, the economy could have collapsed without him and most of us could have been back home by now.


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

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

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

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

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

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  • texcan
    08-05 01:27 PM
    And if you feel your esteemed queue is getting bigger you are more than welcome to leave this place.

    And Sir dontcareanymore, who are you to show people out.

    Please calm down, its ok if someone has ideas that donot match 100% to your ideas; your decency is in letting people speak and hear them still.

    friend.....Donot get angry, please.

    what a pity, we donot let anyone talk, speak unless they agree with us and we call ourselves educated, democratic....voice of immigration....
    may i dare say ...."we are not even close"..

    lets not fight, please. I am not blaming you sir, but the action. so please
    donot blast me, i know you are a wonderful person; i am blaming the action not you.


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  • gcgonewild
    07-28 03:28 PM
    Yeah Right,

    If I'm the PM, I would be ignoring them for years to come.. May be If I ignore 'em, I would say it. Not keep doing lip service for 2 years. Not be held hostage by CHC.

    Frankly he has a lot more serious problems to worry about than our issues. from the backlog, we are around 0.25 million and you have 300 million people in this country and 10% of them unemployed. So yeah, blame him all you want but any sane politician in his position would do the same.

    Let's consider this for example. Imagine you were in India and you had a few 100,000 decently skilled immigrants from some other country, who were waiting for their green card. Now you are the PM and you have to choose your focus between fighting terrorism, fighting inflation, high budget deficits with healthcare costs, high unemployment rate or giving green cards to these 100,000 people. I would think there would be a lot of pissed off countrymen in India who would scream at you when you are ignoring real issues and focussing instead on giving green cards to foreigners especially when you already have a sky high unemployment rate. Wouldn't be a great political strategy, would it? But maybe you would still do it, perhaps if you have a vested interest in getting it done.

    Still, next year you can bet that he'll do something on immigration since the states have started legislating on their own now and they can't afford this to continue.

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  • GCappli
    11-11 12:52 PM
    Hey its too late to reply but is there any update on this one ..Did the employer revoke his h1b .. In case he did he is out of status ..But if he didi not and employer ..employee relationship existed .. Then it is not considered out of status because one can show leave of abscence ..
    There are various CIS memos which have the out of status interpretation ..


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  • pvadiga
    09-30 09:26 AM
    Well, this entire process of green card is being made so complicated for people who have education and constatly supporting the economy of this country. Illegal Immigrants are getting a cake walk

    I came to U.S in August 2000, completed my Master's and with great difficulty of H1b sponsorship found a job for my qualification in Aerospace Industry. Though I had Master's and was eligible for EB2, my employer disagreed because they had to pay more. I started my EB3 process in Nov 2006 and filed for I-485 in July 2007 in the confusion. I fwas orced to switch job in Feb 2008 and had filed AC21. My I-140 got approved in Apr 2008. Due to the death of my father in Sep 08, I had to travel to India. I attended my H1b interviw on 18th Sep and still waiting for my Passport. There is some unexpected delay due to migration in system. I was schocked to find out on Sep 22 that my I-485 has been denied. My wife is on AP and can't enter U.S now withot her H4.

    My Struggle has been never ending for the past 8 years though I am contributing towards the progress of this country economically a tax payer and intellectualy as an Aerospace Engineer

    We need to fight for this cause and voice our concern, which is in the benefit of both us and U.S

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  • unitednations
    03-24 03:23 PM

    I can't help asking this.
    I have been following your posts for a while. I know you are quite knowledgeable in immigration.

    But many of your posts indicate you have a bias against Indians. You seem to be going hard against H1B and saying Indians are screwing H1Bs.

    I like to believe you are unbiased. Please let us know.

    Ofcourse I am unbias.

    I can't even begin to think how many people I know; cases I know from people who are from india.

    I'd say that it is less then 3% from people with other countries.

    As another poster rightly said that many of the issues happening is mainly to India because it takes so long to get the greencard and eventually everyone gets into these issues.

    Non indians don't face many issues because they get the greencard so fast; and hence they go through very little issues (generally). If other countires had to wait so long then everyone would also have similar types of issues.

    Since most of the forums are related to IT and Indians then if I ever broach on something a little negative or give different perspective then people look at my profile and see I was born in Pakistan and think there is some bias there.

    btw; I left when I was five years old and hardly knew any pakistanis/indians when I was growing up and for what it is worth my wife is Hindu.


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  • just_wait_for_gc
    08-11 02:52 PM
    toung is made of BS

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  • trueguy
    08-08 06:13 PM

    Please vote here :

    It will help us determine future VB for EB3-I.



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  • sledge_hammer
    06-05 12:52 PM
    First off, a house is really both an investment and a home. I would disagree with anyone that says it is one and not the other.

    When you look at a house as an investment, one has to realize that there is a certain risk involved. So unless you are ready to lose some money if you made a bad decision, you should not invest. The most important thing to remember is that "investing" is never a bad decision. But investing w/o analyzing the risk involved is definitely bad. At the cost of sounding like any financial advisor, diversification is the key. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

    1. You do not want to buy a house because the real estate market may collapse.
    2. You do not want to invest in stocks because the stock market could go down.
    3. You do not want to buy gold because their track record for long term returns is a joke.
    4. You do not want to park your money in a savings account because the interest doesn't even beat inflation.

    Then what is an average investor to do?

    The answer is "diversify" to minimize risk. Each of the above is a solid investment if you know how to play it. We need to invest in house, gold, stocks, bonds, savings account, etc, and be prepared to take a the risk of losing some money in any one.

    ..And those who bought in the bubble lost money much faster than they would have "Lost" the money renting! Some of them even lost the whole House along with their Credit score!


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  • Madhuri
    04-05 08:12 PM
    I totally aggree with you. I am also from socal and a regular visior to irvinehousingblog.
    Currenly I am in apt and tired of living in apt, but I am definitely in no rush to buy and would probably find a good private home to rent.

    Please check your PM.

    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.


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  • Sunx_2004
    07-11 12:23 PM
    I'll tell you how I did it:

    1) USCIS administrative appeals office decisions (can be found by navigating around USCIS.GOV

    2) USCIS memos/interpretations/policies (can also be found on uscis)

    3) Go to department of state web-site. Navigate around it and you will find links to their procedures and interpretations

    4) monitor the forums and see postings

    5) immigration portal used to have links or summaries to AILA liaision minutes with service centers

    6) people used to send me their rfe's, denials and what they lawyers did to get them into the mess. Basically learning how people got into a mess and what uscis did to catch them or to deny their cases

    7) go to and look for foreign labor certification; there are FAQ's on perm labors and h-1b

    8) go to and read the INA and CFR's


    If a person is used to reading laws and understanding the hierarchy and then intertwining uscis procedure along with the various service center procedure then you will start to get a clearer understanding.

    All of the information is public. Don't rely on what your friend told you as they usually only know what someone else told them.

    I had a non compete agreement when I left my employer and couldn't work for one year. During that year; I had nothing to do other then watch tv and watch the portal. No matter how small a question was asked/posted I researched it through all the sources I mentioned above.

    Finally; don't do what you think is right or "gut feeling"...

    Research it; research it and research it some more. Sometimes what you read at first glance; you make a conclusion to your own benefit without understanding all the other laws/policies/procedures that override it.


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  • waitnwatch
    08-05 03:13 PM
    It is not the Law. It is just a guidance provide in one 2000 Memo by a USCIS director.

    Wondering whether the post bachelor 5 year experience for EB2 was also a memo. If so when was that memo written - before or after the Yates 2000 memo?

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  • dealsnet
    01-03 08:24 PM
    Terrorist attacked and destroyed two American building. What happened after that; Two of their country are now in American control and carpet bombed. This is a country of brave with brave leaders.
    What happened to India. Our people are strong, courageous, patriotic, but the political leaders are spineless, corrupt and taking the dynastic route of Gandhi/ Nehru.
    We miss a leader like Netaji.
    In America, most of the senators, former top leaders have military background and training. For India also we need a system to make compulsary at least 2 year military training to aspiring politicians, make mandatory thing to stand for the election for assembly and parliament. Then only we will get corruption free good leaders.
    Look world leaders like Putin & Isreal leaders.

    08-26 11:09 PM
    Three mischievous old Grandmas were sitting on a bench outside a nursing home...

    ... when an old Grandpa walked by. And one of the old Grandmas yelled out saying, "We bet we can tell exactly how old you are." The old man said, "There is no way you can guess it, you old fools."

    One of the old Grandmas said, "Sure we can! Just drop your pants and under shorts and we can tell your exact age."

    Embarrassed just a little, but anxious to prove they couldn't do it, he dropped his drawers.

    The Grandmas asked him to first turn around a couple of times and to jump up and down several times.

    Then they all piped up and said, "You're 87 years old!"

    Standing with his pants down around his ankles, the old gent asked, "How in the world did you guess?"

    Slapping their knees and grinning from ear to ear, the three old ladies happily yelled in unison - - "We were at your birthday party yesterday!"

    01-06 12:38 PM
    It is very sad but please post it on the relevant site.

    I think we discuss these kind of news in IV. Don't you know that? In the same forum i have heard people saying Isreal is a peace loving nation and they never commit crime.

    Look at what is happening now. Can we justify killing innocent kids? Who would kill kids? How evil one should be in order to kill school kids?

    How evil this world is, watching these attrocities silently. While pakistani terrorists committed attrocities in India, whole world blamed the entire Muslim communities.

    Now where are those peace loving people have gone while Muslims are brutally murdered and innocent kids are brutally killed by missles?

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