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  #676 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2006, 12:41 PM
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pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdasara
good article.

we must thank
The Bee's Susan Ferriss can be reached at (916) 321-1267 or sferriss@sacbee.com.

for this article
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  #677 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2006, 12:43 PM
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pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute
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Hired hands: Wait for green card tries visa holders
Obtaining permanent residence frustrates foreign professionals.
By Susan Ferriss -- Bee Staff Writer

Raghu Ballal, a civil engineer for the Shaw Group, plans to get his MBA in the United Kingdom after being frustrated at the wait for a green card in the U.S. He will apply for fast-track residency through the U.K.'s Highly Skilled Migrant Program. Sacramento Bee/Autumn Cruz


Raghu Ballal hates feeling forced out of America.

The Indian-born engineer regrets leaving a well-paying job with the subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company -- and giving up opportunities to pursue a master's degree in business administration at the University of California at Berkeley or Los Angeles.

The long wait Ballal and his wife face for legal permanent residency -- for green cards -- has pushed them to pursue the American dream in another country.


Their house in the Sacramento suburbs is up for sale and the couple will use some of the money to pay for Ballal to study at Oxford University in England this fall, or perhaps in Paris. Armed with an MBA, Ballal will apply for fast-track residency in Britain through the United Kingdom's new Highly Skilled Migrant Program.

"If I go to the United Kingdom now, I would be a U.K. citizen even before I became a green card holder in the United States," said Ballal, 30.

Ballal earned a master's in environmental engineering from Lamar University in Texas in 1999. For six years, he has worked on a H-1B temporary visa for the Sacramento subsidiary of the Shaw Group, a Baton Rouge, La., firm that sponsored him for legal permanent residence last year.

Ballal's decision to try his luck in Europe is the byproduct of America's overtaxed system for legally admitting foreign workers, which could leave him hanging for five or more years and prevent him from pursuing a promotion while he waits.

The experiences of Ballal, as well as his friends and relatives, offer some insight into the complex issue of gaining legal residency in the United States.

One of his neighbors waited five years for a work-related green card, giving up only after he married a U.S. citizen and received residency through his marriage. A brother-in-law working at a high-tech company decided to return to India rather than wait for a green card because so many Indian companies are now doing information technology work.

The debate about legal immigration is now in the hands of Congress, with the American public just as torn over how many people, and under what conditions, the country should admit legally, as it is over illegal immigration.

Business groups and economists tend to argue the United States should raise the annual ceiling on work-related green cards, reducing the waiting time for applicants and opening up new spaces. Otherwise, they say, America risks losing talented people it needs as the U.S.-born work force shrinks and competition from the global economy grows.

Population-control and immigration-control groups like Numbers USA or the Federation for American Immigration Reform favor a general decrease in immigrant visas.

And some take an especially hard line on the temporary non-immigrant visas -- H-1Bs -- that employers often initially use to hire professional workers and retain them while green card applications are in progress.

"There wouldn't be so many people waiting for green cards if there weren't so many people on H-1B visas," said Kim Berry, a Sacramento high-tech worker who is president of a group called Programmers Guild, an anti-temporary visa group.

Although employers must prove they tried to recruit U.S. workers first before they can sponsor someone for a green card, Berry complained that employers are not required to comply with the same rule before seeking temporary visas for foreign workers. Intel's Folsom branch, he said, announced plans to cut jobs, while the company has pushed Congress for more H-1B visas.

H-1B visas are less controversial in Ballal's field, civil engineering, where qualified professionals are in short supply.

Ballal has led projects to design landfills in the Sacramento region and the Bay Area, and he's been trained as the company's West Coast radiation safety specialist. He's paid $62,000 a year.

Before helping him submit his green card petition, Ballal said, Shaw advertised and interviewed people. "They ended up hiring a guy for a job," Ballal said, "but it wasn't my job."

Ballal has always wanted to pursue an MBA, and he was thrilled to be admitted to UC Berkeley and UCLA. He was even more thrilled when Shaw offered to help with the $82,000 tuition for a part-time program that allows students to continue working.

But once he got the MBA, Ballal wouldn't be able to accept a promotion or change jobs because his green card petition is based on Shaw demonstrating to the Labor Department that it needs him for the job he had when he applied.

Yet Ballal knows he's better off than many temporary visa holders. The H-1B allows a professional foreigner with a college degree to work for a U.S. employer for up to six years, with the potential for one-year extensions if a residency petition is pending. While many companies gladly sponsor employees for permanent residency, some employers, critics say, depend on a revolving stable of cheaper H-1B holders who are rarely offered a chance to become residents.

A recent Government Accountability Office report found that the Labor Department's system of reviewing H-1B applications from employers "lacks quality assurance controls." The department, which must certify the application before a visa is granted, failed to identify thousands of instances where wages did not meet legal prevailing wage standards, according to the report.

In March, David Huber, a high-tech American worker, complained at a congressional hearing that he been laid off from two jobs and replaced by H-1B workers. "It is wrong to force American workers to compete against such a program," he said.

Huber said the temporary workers are "often treated as indentured servants" dependent on their employers' "good graces" to stay in the country.

Companies have committed H-1B abuses, said Delhi-born Sumeet Aggarwal, a friend and neighbor of Ballal who has worked under the visas for high-tech companies.

He said he believes the U.S. government should fix the system, which provides a legal path into the United States, rather than scaling it back or abolishing it.

"We've been contributing to the United States," Aggarwal said. "This country is about immigrants, right?"

Aggarwal, 28, petitioned for a work-based green card five years ago, but dropped his bid when he received residency after marrying a U.S. citizen.

Even though he now has greater freedom to change jobs, he still plans to head to Paris in January and get his MBA. He and his wife, he said, might decide to stay in Europe or Asia. "I think the governments there understand the value highly skilled workers bring," Aggarwal said.

In the United States, about 140,000 employment-based green cards are available annually for applicants and their families. As of January of 2005, more than half a million applicants were waiting for visas, which are granted after a prolonged, multi-agency review.

The true number could be more than 1 million, counting dependent spouses and children whose visas are drawn from the same annual pool of green cards, according to Immigration Voice, an applicants' advocacy group lobbying for a faster process.

Every nationality is subject to the same per-country limits on how many U.S. immigrant visas can be granted each year. As a result, the wait for work-related green cards for workers from India and China, where technological expertise is widespread, is often longer than for others because so many applications have piled up over the years.

A pending Senate immigration bill would more than triple the 140,000 annual visa supply to 450,000 a year for a decade before lowering it to 290,000. Supporters say this would decrease the backlog of applications and add more workers wherever they are needed. The bill would also raise the 65,000 H-1B annual cap to 115,000.

Ballal said he'd be content to stay at Shaw and wait for his green card if he weren't frozen in his job category, even if he gained an MBA.

In Britain, he could put the degree to use immediately. In Britain's point-based system for highly skilled visas, his MBA from Berkeley or UCLA, not just Oxford, would give him a boost. So would his perfect English, education and work experience.

Britain's highly skilled program doesn't require that an employer sponsor him for his initial visa. He can petition for himself even without a job offer if he can prove his skills are in demand.

If he's accepted, he can change jobs and apply for the equivalent of a green card in two years, likely getting it in weeks. After two years he can apply to become a U.K. citizen, which would take months rather than years.

At the Shaw Group, co-workers said they would be sorry to see Ballal go. Spokesman Chris Sammons in Baton Rouge said his company has a larger concern: the shortage of civil engineers. Surveys of universities show that the majority of U.S. civil engineering advanced degrees -- as well as those in many math and science disciplines -- are going to foreign nationals.

With a work force of 25,000 and 135 offices carrying out environmental, petrochemical and other engineering projects in the United States and overseas, "We have hundreds of job openings, I'm sure," Sammons said.

The company will have another opening soon, as Ballal prepares to pack. Leaving, he said, is bittersweet because he's spent many productive years here.

Rather than quitting Shaw, he'll take an official leave of absence. In Europe, he plans to watch for job opportunities wherever the global economy beckons. To prepare himself for a possible return , he's already considering studying another skill to add to his résumé: Spanish
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  #678 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2006, 01:08 PM
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Jimi_Hendrix will become famous soon enough
Default What a bad joke?!

So far all dire predictions are turning out to be true. Retrogression is worsening, people are fleeing for foreign shores and these politicians are content with delaying/killing CIR with no care or respite for legal immigrants. Unless there is some stop-gap immigration reform for legal immigrants, things will worsen from here on.
__________________
"Hope is not a strategy" - Rick Page
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  #679 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2006, 01:24 PM
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yabadaba is a glorious beacon of light yabadaba is a glorious beacon of light yabadaba is a glorious beacon of light yabadaba is a glorious beacon of light yabadaba is a glorious beacon of light yabadaba is a glorious beacon of light
Default a google on hr 5744

This what it brought up

http://www.cputah.org/html/h1-b_visas.html


if this is the ammount of misinformation that is being circulated by these people, maybe its time to head out
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  #680 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2006, 01:46 PM
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sr123 is on a distinguished road
Default Wish I could edit that page

Wish I could edit that web page and counter falsehood such as "temp workers and their families dont pay for services used" in big red.
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  #681 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2006, 02:00 PM
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pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sr123
Wish I could edit that web page and counter falsehood such as "temp workers and their families dont pay for services used" in big red.
the only good thing i saw on this site was a tell a friend feature
http://www.cputah.org/html/tell_a_friend.html
we need to have this module on IV site where people can forward useful posts, pages and site information to their friends. another tool for publicity..
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  #682 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2006, 02:07 PM
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pankajkakkar has a spectacular aura about pankajkakkar has a spectacular aura about pankajkakkar has a spectacular aura about
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pappu
the only good thing i saw on this site was a tell a friend feature
http://www.cputah.org/html/tell_a_friend.html
we need to have this module on IV site where people can forward useful posts, pages and site information to their friends. another tool for publicity..
We also need a general information page that goes deep and explains the issues simply. Our current home page is geared towards *us*, not towards Americans who we hope to convince.

Ideally we should have a separate domain - say, www.why-immigration.com or www.why-h1bs.com.

Pankaj
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  #683 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2006, 05:39 PM
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retropain is on a distinguished road
Thumbs up Immigration Voice featured in Sacramento Bee

Great going, IV

http://www.competeamerica.org/news/m...iredhands.html
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  #684 (permalink)  
Old 08-09-2006, 10:50 AM
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yabadaba is a glorious beacon of light yabadaba is a glorious beacon of light yabadaba is a glorious beacon of light yabadaba is a glorious beacon of light yabadaba is a glorious beacon of light yabadaba is a glorious beacon of light
Default A heated immigration discussion

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...5/1002/OPINION
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  #685 (permalink)  
Old 08-09-2006, 05:26 PM
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pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute pappu has a reputation beyond repute
Default

interesting study.

http://www.ailf.org/ipc/infocus/infocus_8_1_06.pdf


http://www.ailf.org/ipc/perspective_index.shtml
http://www.ailf.org/ipc/ipf_index.asp
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  #686 (permalink)  
Old 08-09-2006, 10:10 PM
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a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold
Question SKIL bill (Aug 4)

http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/sh...?t=1278&page=3
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  #687 (permalink)  
Old 08-09-2006, 10:24 PM
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a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold a1b2c3 is a splendid one to behold
Default

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...1.2bcf0d6.html
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  #688 (permalink)  
Old 08-10-2006, 11:39 AM
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like_watching_paint_dry is infamous around these parts like_watching_paint_dry is infamous around these parts like_watching_paint_dry is infamous around these parts like_watching_paint_dry is infamous around these parts like_watching_paint_dry is infamous around these parts like_watching_paint_dry is infamous around these parts like_watching_paint_dry is infamous around these parts like_watching_paint_dry is infamous around these parts like_watching_paint_dry is infamous around these parts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1b2c3
This article says it very well. Top talent, especially the ones who come out of top universities in the US, should not have to face these meaningless barriers that prevent companies from getting their hands on them.. no matter where they are from.

I wish there was some way to get this article into the face and into the thick heads of politicians like Sensenbrenner.

lwpd
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  #689 (permalink)  
Old 08-10-2006, 02:43 PM
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BumbleBee will become famous soon enough BumbleBee will become famous soon enough
Default Immigrants seen not taking Americans' jobs

Seems old news to me, but 'New' on MSNBC


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14285172/

BumbleBee
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  #690 (permalink)  
Old 08-10-2006, 04:53 PM
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styrum is a jewel in the rough styrum is a jewel in the rough styrum is a jewel in the rough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by like_watching_paint_dry
This article says it very well. Top talent, especially the ones who come out of top universities in the US, should not have to face these meaningless barriers that prevent companies from getting their hands on them.. no matter where they are from.

I wish there was some way to get this article into the face and into the thick heads of politicians like Sensenbrenner.

lwpd
Still illustrates the writer has no idea how crippled H1B status is compared to GC and hence calls for more H1Bs not GCs
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