Voice for rights goes online
Thursday, April 27, 2006 01:23
WASHINGTON: In December 2005, when the US Senate Budget Reconciliation Bill S.1932, which contained two sections with provisions that would have helped legal immigrants, was killed. Dozens of people got together online — and addressed one another.
Today the organisation they dubbed Immigration Voice boasts 3,000 members; a fundraising goal of $200,000; and, most notably, a partnership with a high-powered lobbying firm, Quinn Gillespie & Associates LLC.
The organisation says it acts as an interface between, highly skilled foreigners waiting years for their green cards.
According to The Washington Post, the group’s transformation from an insular circle to a politically active movement offers a window into an alternative immigrant campaign being waged as the Senate this week resumes its work on immigration laws. Most of the members of the group Immigration Voice hail from India.
Like most, Aman Kapoor, the co-founder of Immigration Voice, have been working in the US for a longtime. A large number usually, arrived on an international student visa or the H-1B visa.
Over the past decade, the largest numbers of H-1Bs have been awarded to high-technology workers from India and China.
According to the Post, while the passage of a strict border-security bill introduced by Rep F James Sensenbrenner Jr (Wisconsin) mobilized many other immigrants in December, members of this high-tech group had their eye on another: a budget reconciliation bill that, in the Senate version, would have allowed those waiting in line for a green card to proceed even if the quota had been exhausted.
The provision was cut in conference committee, stirring many to action and leading to the founding of Immigration Voice. While hundreds of thousands have been taking to the streets all over the US for change, Immigration Voice took a decidedly different approach.
Shortly after the group was established, Kapoor and other volunteers began interviewing lobbyists, relying mostly on Google searches and data from the Center for Public Integrity’s Web site.
Although their numbers are far smaller — fewer than 2 million — they are trying to focus on other ways they can exert power.
Mostly, through their positions of influence in the high-tech and business communities, and their alliances.
While the immigrant marchers’ demands have covered a range of issues, including allowing immigrants to gain legal status and eventually citizenship, the members of this association are more narrowly focused: They want Congress to pass measures that would end the years-long wait for a green card.
at Daily News & Analysis, is a joint venture between two industry majors – the Dainik Bhaskar Group and Zee TV.