Saturday, July 9, 2011

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  • number30
    03-25 01:09 PM
    UN I think you are hyping up the current situation too much.

    Yes there are raids and arrests,

    But it is not so bad. You are saying as if everyone in consulting is getting denied. If it was so bad, all immigration forums would have been filled up with denial posts and cries for help. Maybe you have encountered people who only faced denials and not the entire spectrum. Thus your judgement may be influenced.

    I guess you are right. My company applied H1 for three people 2 transfers and one extension. All premiums. Two cases got approved and one case got big RFE like consulting company or placement agency, requirement of bachelor degree etc. Etc. We are still waiting for the third one. We are not big company having around 50 people working

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  • Amma
    01-06 06:10 PM
    What Israel is doing is pure state terrorism.Isreal is grid locking the gaza strip and punishing gazans because they elected Hamas. World policeman America will advocate democracy to the world but refuse to accept democratically elected Hamas. What a selective measurement ?

    Israel always sees that they are in upper hand. I strongly condemn the poking of Hamas by firing rockets into Israel.They teased the elephant and now they are suffering. This is a cycle. In this war neither party is going to win.Both fools will suffer because of their madness.But innocent people who got in between these two thugs will suffer the most. That is the fate.
    Take Srilanka. If the srilankan government gives reasonable autonomy to the Tamils , that isssue would have sorted out long time ago. See what is happening now ? Srilanka is air bombing its own citizens and killing in dozens.
    Which country is condemning this ? All are keeping quiet.Now, Tamil tigers will start their terror tactics then whole world will condemn their act.

    So, unless there is give and take policy it is a endless cycle of destruction and agony.Unfortunately, the sixth sense is not working in those conflict regions.And suffering of the common innocent citizens is continuing.

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  • Macaca
    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.' "

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  • gc28262
    09-26 11:42 AM
    -DId cir have stem exemption? answer no
    -Did cir have visa recapture? answer no
    -Did cir increase the eb quota to reduce the backlog? answer no
    -Did cir exempt the existing EB applicants from the new "points based
    system", answer this seems to be a gray area, no clear answer (there is a
    debate about this)
    -Did cir have draconian restrictions on H1, answer yes
    if there are any more nagatives please add to the list.

    I think these provisions were included in CIR to get a bipartisan support from republicans. By including such anti-EB provisions in CIR, McCain, Ted Kennedy etc hoped to get some support from ant-immigrant republicans.

    Yes they were trying to save illegals at our expense :mad:
    With democrats in full control of both senate and house and a democratic president in the office, democrats would come up with a cleaner CIR ( beneficial to both legals and illegals )

    Remember president alone cannot do anything. Democrats are pro-immigrants. Maybe they lean a little bit towards FB.


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  • Macaca
    05-01 06:10 PM
    Integrating immigrants ( By Urvashi Butalia | The Express Tribune

    A few days ago, quite by chance, I happened to find myself at lunch with a member of the British political establishment. For a while, the conversation remained desultory and ranged over the usual subjects � India, economic growth, food, Indian business in Britain and so on. And then, suddenly, things began to heat up. We found ourselves talking about immigrant communities in the West. What began as a general discussion on whether and how immigrant communities �integrate� into the culture of the adopted country, turned specifically to discussing Indians and Pakistanis in Britain.

    Why was it, our host asked, that there was such a strong attachment to the home culture and, in many cases, such a resistance to integrating. In many places, he pointed out, immigrants even refused to learn the language of their adoptive country, in this case English, and this then meant that they could not move into the mainstream economic sphere, and they thus remained economically backward. He pointed to many stories he had heard, especially of Pakistanis, who could go through 16 years of schooling in Britain without learning English, or even showing a desire to learn it. And what mystified him even more was that these were not first generation immigrants who still carried the memory of the homeland with them, these were children born and raised in Britain, and for them there was no such memory to hold on to.

    The politician�s concern was quite genuine. How do you deal with your political constituencies if one set of them always elects to stay �outside�? But I�m not sure the reasons he gave � he pinpointed only the reluctance to learn the language � are adequate to explain what is increasingly becoming a problem in diasporic communities. For too long, migration, � or rather voluntary migration, when people go out in search of jobs or better lives � has been looked upon somewhat askance, especially if it is people from the erstwhile Third World countries moving to the so-called developed world. It�s almost as if, in seeking to improve their lives by going elsewhere, these people are doing something not quite right.

    This attitude towards immigrants holds both for the home country and the adoptive one � in one you are seen as a deserter and in the other as, at best, an unwelcome guest. So the onus of making yourself feel at home, of acquiring a new identity, of �integrating�, is put upon the immigrant. Whatever services the state provides seem almost to be given reluctantly, and are often accompanied by a discourse � not a state discourse but an independent one, which makes it that much more difficult to address � of resentment, anger, prejudice and, sometimes, just sheer envy. None of this encourages immigrants to try and integrate, rather it pushes them in the opposite direction.

    And then, if there�s already a community in existence, as there is virtually everywhere in England and America, you tend to remain within it, not seeking to enter a world that you feel is hostile to you. And you have to be driven to the wall to protest because protest means mobilisation, it means numbers, it means making yourself vulnerable, it means tackling the strength of an increasingly coercive state. Small wonder then, that most immigrant communities duck their heads and carry on doing their own thing.

    It isn�t only their relationship with the adoptive country that is problematic, but, especially for first generation immigrants, it�s very important to keep the connection with home, and to ensure that subsequent generations keep it too. This, as has often been seen, results in a somewhat static idea of what things are like at �home� and has also often led to a more dangerous phenomenon; the tacit support and the very real funding provided by diasporic communities to right-wing movements at home � there�s plenty of evidence of this and I don�t need to go into it here.

    But let me come back to our politician and his concerns. Why should South Asian immigrant communities in Britain be reluctant to learn English? There�s little doubt today that the world over, English has become the language of social mobility, and there�s a widespread desire to learn it. At home, in both our countries, as we know, institutes offering to teach English have sprung up everywhere and they are always fully subscribed. So what is it that holds Indians and Pakistanis in Britain back from this?

    My own sense is that we�re asking the wrong questions here. The question isn�t about whether people wish to learn English or not. Rather, it is much more about how immigrant communities are made to feel at home, about their rights and privileges, about their sense of self. One might just as well ask: What has the state done to help such communities integrate? Have Diwali and Eid for example, become part of the national calendar? Are there community centres and pubs and coffee places that are self-consciously and deliberately multicultural and that encourage people to sit together and talk? Have governments thought of new and innovative ways of ensuring that their �other� citizens have the same rights and privileges as their mainstream citizens, and that they know these rights belong to them?

    Dealing with difference isn�t always easy. Where do you draw the line? How far do you encourage and sustain difference and how far do you try to homogenise things? As the French move to ban the veil has shown, coercion is no answer. People have to be convinced of the logic and reason for change, they have to feel it works for them. How would it be if we insisted that foreign men in our countries had to wear either the dhoti or the awami suit? Much better, perhaps, to engage people in dialogue, to sit down and talk, and to find a solution that works for everyone. I�m not sure what message our politician took back to England with him, but it certainly wasn�t one that blamed communities for not integrating, instead it was one that looked at the question of integration as one from which both sides, if one can say that, gained.

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  • myuname
    04-07 07:55 PM
    When there is no solution is to be found for the illegal immigration issue...then the obvious thing to mess with is the legal immigration! Isn't It? ;)

    Good Job! Kudos to whoever is doing it! :p

    Corporate world drives the laws and lobbying. This bill will be in the bin even before you know it. As for the STIVE etc. none will make it as long as they are comprehensive in nature. That said, the relief to the EB segment is coming soon, so sit tight.


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  • nojoke
    06-26 04:58 PM
    Well - your approach smells of speculation, which is pretty dangerous!!

    I take the following approach

    Left Side: Add my rent

    Right Side: Add all my expenses (mortgage + maintenance + tax)

    As soon as Left > right - it is a time to buy.

    If you get to the nitti-gritties - it can get very complicated. e.g. you usually put 20% down. Plus the principal payment is technically not "expenditure" - it is "investment in your home equity". Owning means you lose flexibility. It is impossible to put numbers against all these.

    However, my personal "estimate"/"Tipping point" (taking into account the loss of flexibility etc) is when I have positive cash flow from owning (i.e. rent > mortgage + tax + maintenance). Some very successful RE investors I know take the same approach and are very successful.

    No. Speculators generally drive up the prices. What I am doing is not speculation. It is being cautious and rational(with the data I have). The one who drove up the housing price are the ones who were speculating that it will go up in price forever and created this huge bubble. You got the meaning of speculation wrong.
    Speculation is "engagement in business transactions involving considerable risk but offering the chance of large gains, esp. trading in commodities, stocks, etc., in the hope of profit from changes in the market price."
    There are people who are waiting for the house prices to come to back to sane levels. And there are people who cannot get loan even if they wish to buy. They are not speculators.

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  • wellwishergc
    07-11 11:48 AM
    Please ignore my previous posting! I saw in one of the earlier postings that you are approved. Congratulations and Best wishes! and welcome back to this forum; Please help us here whenever you can.

    Is your GC approved now?


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  • Macaca
    07-28 07:43 AM
    Democratic Leaders Agree on Overhaul of Lobbying ( By CARL HULSE New York Times, July 28, 2007

    WASHINGTON, July 27 � Congressional Democrats reached tentative agreement Friday night on a major overhaul of lobbying rules that would for the first time require lawmakers to identify lobbyists who assemble multiple donations and turn them over to candidates.

    The disclosure of what is known in political circles as bundling would be a central element of the first major changes made in lobbying rules in the aftermath of the Jack Abramoff scandal and other Congressional corruption cases tied to lobbying.

    Democrats, who intend to push the changes through Congress next week, say the bundling disclosure requirement and a number of other changes would shed new light on the relationship between lawmakers and those who seek to sway them on legislation.

    �This rewrites the rules as it relates to lobbyists and their influence on Washington,� said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Caucus and an advocate for the changes.

    Democrats, who campaigned against what they called a �culture of corruption� in taking control of the House and Senate last year, are eager to finish the package next week as part of their drive to counter Republican accusations that Democrats are making little legislative headway.

    Negotiators for the House and Senate Democratic leadership engaged in talks throughout the day Friday in an effort to reach final agreement on the long-delayed bill. They hit a last-minute snag over the level of bundled donations that would set off disclosure by the House and Senate campaign committees.

    But officials familiar with the talks said that point appeared to be resolved in an evening phone call between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, putting a deal in place.

    �We have reached an agreement,� said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

    There are other potential obstacles. The details had yet to be presented to the Democratic rank and file in the House and Senate. But officials said they were confident the tentative agreement would hold, and a spokesman for Ms. Pelosi said he expected the legislation to reach the House floor as early as Tuesday.

    �We are committed to lobbying reform and we are committed to operating Congress in an open and transparent manner, and we will live up to our commitment,� said Brendan Daly of the speaker�s office.

    Because of objections by one Republican senator, the House and Senate were not engaged in formal, bipartisan negotiations, and Republican leaders said Friday they were unaware of the details of the emerging agreement and could make no judgment. But Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said repeatedly this week that Republicans were leaning toward support of the measure.

    The tentative proposal puts new requirements on lobbyists as well as on lawmakers, and orders disclosure of contributions that have become alternative ways to curry favor with politicians by giving to entities like favored charities, special awards and honors and presidential library funds. Lobbyists would also have to disclose at least twice a year if they paid for meetings or retreats.

    The measure would set a one-year ban on lobbying for former House members and senior staff members, and two years in the Senate. New restrictions would be put on lobbying by spouses, and lobbyists would be required to disclose any previous experience in the executive or legislative branches.

    Politicians would be banned from trying to pressure firms and associations to hire certain lobbyists based on partisan background � the so-called Republican K-Street project. Lawmakers and top aides would have to recuse themselves from issues where there could be a conflict because of negotiations for future employment, and such negotiations would have to be disclosed within three business days. New public databases would be established of lobbyists� disclosures as well as of lawmaker travel and personal financial data. Penalties for violations would be increased.

    Watchdog groups that have pressed for the changes were awaiting the details. �I am very hopeful about this legislation, but the final statutory language still has to be seen,� said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21.

    Bundling became a focus after critics complained it was a back-door way for some lobbyists to ingratiate themselves with Congressional candidates by collecting a series of legal donations from others and then getting credit for delivering the cumulative amount and saving the politician the effort.

    Under the tentative proposal, Congressional contenders and the respective campaign committees would be required to notify the Federal Election Commission once one individual had delivered more than $15,000 in contributions within six months or $30,000 in one year.

    The plan initially approved by the House had put the responsibility for disclosing the bundling on the lobbyist. But in the talks, Senate Democrats proposed shifting the onus to the recipient and making the Federal Election Commission, which handles campaign fund-raising reports, the repository of the record.

    But Mr. Van Hollen said House negotiators decided to consent to the change since the basic information being disclosed remained the same.

    Mr. Van Hollen said he believed that the new requirements, if they became law, could represent a fundamental change in the interaction between lobbyists and lawmakers. �We heard the message voters sent last November and we are following through,� he said.

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  • gveerab
    03-23 02:35 AM
    First sounded funny, then it made helluva sense.

    I suggest to go ahead and buy. I bought a townhome in California. I have been working here from last 8 yrs and thought enough is enough and bought the house.

    if you have plan to stay here for more than 5 yrs you should not wait.


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  • alterego
    07-14 01:12 PM
    Well, why is there 33% quota for EB1,2 and 3 in the first place. They could have very well made it 100% for Eb1 and if there was any spill over, EB2 gets them and then finally EB3! Because, US needs people from all categories.

    Now all that I am saying is there should be some % on the spill over that comes from EB1.

    If there are 300,000 applicants in EB2 and if the spill over from EB1 is 30K every year, you think it is fair that EB2 gets that for over 6-7 years without EB3 getting anything? That is not fair and if that's what the law says, it has to be revisited. I am saying give 75% or even 90% to EB2 and make sure you clear EB3 with PD as old 2001 and 2002. That is being human. They deserve a GC as much as an EB2 with 2007 (and I am not saying that EB3 2007 deserves as much as an EB2 2007).

    Bottom line, EB3 (or for that matter any category) can't be asked to wait endlessly just because there are some smart kids in another queue! We can come up with a better format of the letter; we can change our strategy to address this issue; we do not have to talk about EB2 and mention only our problems. We want EB3 queue to move.

    "Should" has no place in this. That is your opinion. A lot of things should happen in my view, that does not mean they are the law. It would be rather presumptous of us to tell the US legislators or Gov't how things "should" be.

    The laws are made the way they are for a reason, that is what US lawmakers consider to be in the best interest of their country. As for the spillover question, what is clear is that the real shaft was on Eb2I for the past 2 yrs, when all the spillover was erroneously going to EB3ROW. Eb3I was nor is in contention for those numbers. Sadly for EB3I, the country is oversubscribed and that too in a lesser priority category.

    Write this letter if you must, but it will cause the EB3 community to lose credibility with a lot of people, including the executive branch. They do not respond well to illogical letters and those that second guess their right to set the laws as they wish. It will turn out to be a massive distraction and turn into a joke.

    The focus of the EB3 community should be squarely on visa recapture. Technically that will help EB3I the most. Those affected most stand to gain the most as well. Failing this, I am not sure anything you guys do will make an iota of difference.

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  • Macaca
    05-20 06:21 PM
    Diplomatically Insulting the Chinese ( By Ted Galen Carpenter | The National Interest

    May 2011 is likely to go down as an especially important and intensive period in U.S.-China relations. Leaders of the two countries held the latest annual session of the bilateral Strategic and Economic Dialogue on May 9-10. And this week, eight high-ranking Chinese generals, led by Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of the People�s Liberation Army, will meet their Pentagon counterparts and then tour selected U.S. military installations.

    The conventional wisdom is that these events mark a dramatic improvement in a relationship that has been marked by growing tensions in recent years. That interpretation is partially correct, but there are some worrisome countercurrents that are also important. Despite the improving communication between the two sides, U.S.-China relations remain strained, and there are troublesome issues that will not be easy to ameliorate, much less resolve.

    The opening day of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue illustrated both positive and negative trends. On the positive side, the Chinese delegation for the first time included high-level officers of the PLA. Their absence from those meetings in previous years left a noticeable void in the discussions, especially on such crucial issues as nuclear weapons policy and the military uses of space. American officials also viewed the lack of a military contingent in the Chinese delegation as tangible evidence of the PLA�s continuing wariness, if not outright hostility, toward the United States. The presence of those leaders in the latest dialogue was an indication that the cold war that had developed between the PLA and the Pentagon since the collision between a U.S. spy plane and a Chinese jet fighter in 2001 was finally beginning to thaw.

    On the other hand, the opening remarks of Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other U.S. officials struck a confrontational tone. They expressed sharp criticism of Beijing�s recent arrests of activists and artists following the pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East. More broadly, Clinton stated that �We have made very clear, publicly and privately, our concern about human rights.� In an interview in The Atlantic, released during the talks, Clinton was even more caustic, accusing China�s leaders of trying �to stop history,� which she described as �a fool�s errand.�

    It was not surprising that the U.S. delegation would raise the human rights issue in the course of the dialogue. But it was not the most constructive and astute diplomacy to highlight during the opening session perhaps the most contentious topic on the agenda. A senior administration official later stated that the discussions on human rights were �very candid,� which was probably an understatement.

    The broader context of the opening session was not overly friendly either. While that session was taking place, President Obama conducted a lengthy telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The White House issued a bland statement that the two leaders discussed matters of bilateral and international concern, including the killing of Osama Bin Laden, but the underlying message to the Chinese was anything but subtle. The timing especially sent a signal to PRC leaders that in addition to Washington�s strategic links with its traditional allies in China�s neighborhood (especially Japan), the United States had key options available regarding the other rising regional giant�and Chinese strategic competitor�India. As in the case of the lectures on human rights, highlighting U.S.-India ties at that moment did not help ease bilateral tensions with Beijing.

    Even when U.S. officials ostensibly sought to be conciliatory, the attempt often came across as self-serving and borderline condescending. Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, for example, praised some �very promising changes� in Beijing�s economic policy that had taken place during the previous year, especially on the currency valuation issue. But there were few offers of economic carrots from the U.S. side. The emphasis was always on the concessions Washington expected from Beijing.

    The closed-door meetings appeared to be more constructive than the public session, as the participants reached agreement on a number of measures, both minor and significant. In the former category was the announcement of Beijing�s decision to offer twenty thousand scholarships to American students for study in China. In the latter category was a two-pronged agreement, which included both a commitment to conduct regular talks (dubbed �Strategic Security Dialogues�) regarding security problems in East Asia and a �framework for economic cooperation� to address the full range of occasionally contentious bilateral economic and financial issues. In addition, Beijing made commitments to increase the transparency of China�s economy, especially the government�s use of export credits.

    Progress on security and economic topics was gratifying and holds considerable potential. But whether the outcome deserves the label �milestone agreement,� as officials contended, remains to be seen. The significance of the accord depends heavily on the subsequent execution, especially on the Chinese side. Nevertheless, the dialogue clearly ended on a high note, and one that was better than anticipated following the U.S. delegation�s brusque comments at the opening session.

    Expectations regarding the visit of General Chen and his PLA colleagues are also upbeat. The visit itself is a significant breakthrough. Military-to-military relations have been tense and episodic for years. The most recent disruption occurred in early 2010 when Beijing angrily severed those ties following the Obama administration�s announcement of a multi-billion-dollar arms sale to Taiwan.

    Despite the cordial rhetoric accompanying this trip (and the full military honors accorded Chen during a ceremony at Fort Myer), the visit has far more symbolic than substantive importance. The U.S. and Chinese militaries are not about to become best friends. The best that can realistically be expected would be measures to improve communications between forces deployed in the air and on the sea in the Western Pacific region to reduce the danger of accidents or miscalculations. Any breakthrough on larger strategic disagreements will have to be reached between officials at higher pay grades than even General Chen and his American counterparts.

    The change in tone in the U.S.-China relationship is welcome, since better cooperation on both economic and strategic issues is important. Trends on both fronts over the past several years have been worrisome. A failure to cooperate on economic matters not only jeopardizes both the U.S. and Chinese economies, it also poses a threat to the global economic recovery. Animosity on security topics creates dangerous tensions in East Asia and undermines progress on such issues as preventing nuclear proliferation.

    Nevertheless, while China and the United States have significant interests in common, they also have some clashing concerns in both the economic and strategic arenas. There are bound to be tensions between the United States, the incumbent global economic leader and strategic hegemon, and China, the rapidly rising economic and military power. The critical task for leaders in both countries is to manage those tensions and to keep them under control.

    The political and diplomatic dance between such great powers is inevitably a wary, delicate one. But the alternative would be the kind of outright hostility that marked the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, and that would be to no one�s benefit.

    China must stop being so secretive about its military rise ( By Peter Foster | Telegraph
    Stealth has the smell of success ( By Carlo Kopp | Asia Times
    A Rare-Earths Showdown Looms
    WTO litigation over China's export limits is inevitable unless Beijing comes to its senses. (
    By JAMES BACCHUS | Wall Street Journal
    Chinese interests in Pacific nations: mining ventures in PNG ( By Graeme Smith | UTS and ANU
    China-risers should pause for breath ( By Tom Engelhardt | Asia Times
    How China Gains from Fukushima ( By Saurav Jha | The Diplomat


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  • jkays94
    05-24 01:48 PM

    He cautioned against ghettoizing immigrants, which he noted has brought about disastrous results in France, and criticized elements in his own party as �nativist� before lambasting the punditry of Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs and Michael Savage for helping to �fuel the problem,� according to two of the sources.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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  • Macaca
    12-26 08:38 AM
    Congressional Quarterly now conducts multiple voting studies and often does not count procedural votes. To get the most politically accurate result, the NRCC monitors only how often the freshmen vote with Pelosi, who as speaker usually votes only on the most important issues.'s party unity score is based on all votes.

    Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.), who has opposed more than half the journal votes, called his opposition "protest votes against little things I heard during the day" before.

    "I hope the people back home are monitoring all my votes," he said.

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  • ItIsNotFunny
    03-27 09:02 AM
    10 Reasons to Lobby for your cause ( (courtesy krishna.ahd)

    For many of us, lobbying is something other people do�people who wear fancy clothes and buy politicians lunch at expensive restaurants. But lobbying, or more simply, trying to influence those who make policies that affect our lives, is something anyone can do. And it is something all of us should do if we believe in a good cause and in a democratic form of government. Read on to find out why.


    Very nice post.


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  • smisachu
    12-30 10:01 PM
    Why should we waste our resources when Pakistanis are doing the damage by themselves??? The joke is Pak blaming some poor Indian for a bomb blast which was quickly owned up by a domestic terrorist organization!!
    Pakistan is a begging bowl which is trying to blackmail US by threatening to pull out troops from Afgan US and UK are trying to pacify India telling them that they will put pressure on Pak to do something.
    And you know what a bigger joke is? your slum dog cum president who told Larry King that no one from "his part of the country" were involved in the attack!!! What is his part of the country? his toilet seat??? It has not been 1 year since he killed his wife he was jumping all over Sarah Palin like a horny dog!! Barking dogs seldom bite, so don't just thump your chest just yet. When the fox has to die it runs towards the lion. That is what Pakistan is doing by pretending to pose as if it will go to war with India. If India attacks Pak will fold it's tail between its legs and run to US, like Nawaz sherif did during the Kargil war. We have beaten you in 4 wars, how may more beatings will it take for it to sink into your thick skull that Pakistan can NEVER beat India. Period!!

    Pakistan will disintegrate with in the next few years if they don't seek India's support in whacking them Jehadi SOB's. Baluchitan, NWFP, Sindh are all going to be independent countries and the Pak president can easily rule " his part of the country"

    Buddyinsfo you might try to bring friction among Indians by pitting people from different states against each other, but remember when it comes to any outside force we are all Indians first and we will Kick your Ass...

    This is like an ant taking on an elephant, if half the men in Punjab, Guj and Rajastan stand on the border and Pee; Pakistan will be washed away in a flood of Urine...If you poor people want to get killed, there are better painless ways than enrage India. So it is in Paks best interest to request India to come in clean up the terrorist camps which are now turning against Pakistan itself!!

    Pranab Muks, the foreign minister needs to be applauded (?) for creating a drama of sorts by setting up the army against Pakis assuming that the Pakis will give in to the pressure and return the militants that India is looking for. On the other hand, the Prime Minister ManMohan Singh was consistently giving out statements that India is not in favour of war and never was (completely contradicting Pranab Muks' moves) and as per the latest news that emerged out of nowhere (???) there seemed to have been some kinda communication between the military officials of both the countries and they've come to some sort of understanding that war was not in the best interest of both the countries and only dialogue was as India was apprehensive as to what Pak's response to a military strike wud be...the drama continues and its a big joke. With China playing the mediator and India (silently and 100% dependent on US and UK put pressure on Pak but to no avail) had to succumb to the boomeranged efforts by playing the peace game now. One only needs to wait to see what happens next. But one thing is for sure...India will never strike Pakistan at a point when there is really no open support from anywhere. At some point (yesterday?) the honorable Prime Minister was looking for Iran to pressurise Pakistan (by calling Ahmadinejad) and this in itself speaks volumes !!! India is making a joke of itself...Had it been US, they'd have made a strike at Paki's terrorist sites in no time (as they did after 9/11). Its been over a month of Mumbai strikes and the way India is showing its weakness makes us wonder if they really have solid evidence against Pakistan. The latest news goes like...The Mumbai Govt has ordered probes into the attacks...Wonder what needs to be probed now(after one month) and that too after the entire nation has been made to believe that it was always Pakistan and claiming and shouting at the top of their lungs that they had SUFFICIENT evidence!!!!

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  • Ramba
    09-28 01:50 PM
    Last time the CIR bill died because a lot of people are against granting amnesty to illegal immigrants ( both Republicans and democrats ) . The president alone ( read Obama ) cannot decide that he wants to pass this bill because remember last year Bush was strongly in favour of the CIR bill and even had a conference with Senate leaders to push it through but it failed . The politicians know that the American people don't like the bill but they have to show that they are concerned with solving the illegal immigrant issue. This CIR bill is only a political gimmick. It came into picture because of the upcoming elections and next year I am pretty sure with no more elections the interest would not be that much to get it passed ( although I am sure there will be a lot of people interested in getting it to the House and the Senate ).

    As someone said before if they try to bring some anti - highly skilled workers bill then the big companies are sure to cry out loud ( Microsoft , Cisco , Oracle etc etc ) and the politicians don't listen to us but they will surely listen to them. They have got the clout to get themselves heard.

    Right. CIR (amnesty bill) is a gimmick to win vote bank. Mcain drafted in 2007 in view of winning hispanic bank in his prez bid. Recently he flip floped to concervatives that enforcement is first. Though BO has reservation about EB/H1B/oursourcing, he is right and has right judgement. If unemployment reaches historically high, how one can expect they will increase the foreign workers? They are elected by USC not by H1Bs or GCs os AOS guys. If economy bounces back, if more jobs are created, if market needs more workforce then they (Mcain or BO) will increase H1/EB etc. Otherwise, they (either BO or Mcain) wont touch the immigration that increses foreign worker.

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  • H1B-GC
    02-21 12:24 PM
    But this *****(offensive word deleted) has 800,000 Viewers on his Show.Gets $6 Million From CNN and lives in a 300 Acre Home in Sussex County, New Jersey.:eek:

    03-24 06:19 PM
    My Dear Friend:

    Why do you want to defend crooks? Instead of ackowledging the fact that desi consulting companies are exploiting loopholes, you rather want to know why other companies are not feeling the heat. This is typical of us desis. There is absolutely no introspection.

    For once, accept that we are at fault.

    Its like this - You are in school and your teacher catches you copying off the next person. Now instead of correcting yourself, if you complain to the teacher that another classmate was also copying so you should not be penalized, will your treacher let you go?

    Again, I am not defending anyone, I am saying that we should point all the consultanting...not just desi consulting ones...just don't descriminate...from your theory, it looks it is ok to copy unless you are caught.....I don't want to argue on this and deviate from the OP .

    07-14 01:12 PM
    Well, why is there 33% quota for EB1,2 and 3 in the first place. They could have very well made it 100% for Eb1 and if there was any spill over, EB2 gets them and then finally EB3! Because, US needs people from all categories.

    Now all that I am saying is there should be some % on the spill over that comes from EB1.

    If there are 300,000 applicants in EB2 and if the spill over from EB1 is 30K every year, you think it is fair that EB2 gets that for over 6-7 years without EB3 getting anything? That is not fair and if that's what the law says, it has to be revisited. I am saying give 75% or even 90% to EB2 and make sure you clear EB3 with PD as old 2001 and 2002. That is being human. They deserve a GC as much as an EB2 with 2007 (and I am not saying that EB3 2007 deserves as much as an EB2 2007).

    Bottom line, EB3 (or for that matter any category) can't be asked to wait endlessly just because there are some smart kids in another queue! We can come up with a better format of the letter; we can change our strategy to address this issue; we do not have to talk about EB2 and mention only our problems. We want EB3 queue to move.

    "Should" has no place in this. That is your opinion. A lot of things should happen in my view, that does not mean they are the law. It would be rather presumptous of us to tell the US legislators or Gov't how things "should" be.

    The laws are made the way they are for a reason, that is what US lawmakers consider to be in the best interest of their country. As for the spillover question, what is clear is that the real shaft was on Eb2I for the past 2 yrs, when all the spillover was erroneously going to EB3ROW. Eb3I was nor is in contention for those numbers. Sadly for EB3I, the country is oversubscribed and that too in a lesser priority category.

    Write this letter if you must, but it will cause the EB3 community to lose credibility with a lot of people, including the executive branch. They do not respond well to illogical letters and those that second guess their right to set the laws as they wish. It will turn out to be a massive distraction and turn into a joke.

    The focus of the EB3 community should be squarely on visa recapture. Technically that will help EB3I the most. Those affected most stand to gain the most as well. Failing this, I am not sure anything you guys do will make an iota of difference.

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