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H1B_CIVIL_ENGINEER
06-20-2010, 04:16 PM
I wrote the following e-mail to my local congressman and 2 senators from Texas. The local congressman has not responded yet, but the 2 senators have responded. I will post their replies separately. I am using zzzz to replace identifying information.

Dear Senator,
I am a legal immigrant in the United States and I have been living in Texas for 8 years approximately and in the United States for close to 10 years. I have a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from zzzz and I have been working in the US for the past 8 years helping relieve congestion on roads and at airports across the US. Despite being a legal immigrant for all this time and making a lot of contributions to the American society, I have not been able to obtain a Green card due to several problems in the legal immigration process.
I am writing to you to request that changes be made to the legal immigration process to the USA as thousands of legal immigrants like me are facing decades of wait for permanent residency status.
The biggest change that needs to happen as soon as possible is that per-country quotas in the employment based immigration system should be eliminated as they are unfair to high-skilled workers from India like me. Even though I have been a legal resident of the country for this long (close to 10 years), I face decades long wait to become a permanent resident because of the limits on number of green cards given to workers from each country every year.
Unless Congress acts to eliminate the per country quotas, high skilled Indian immigrants will continue to face this problem.
The other change that needs to happen is that immigrants' priority dates in the green card process should be based on when they first came to the USA or when they start working, rather than when their employers file a green card petition for them. Even though I came to the USA in August of 2000 and started working in July of 2002, my priority date for a green card is June of 2008, as that is when my second employer filed a petition on my behalf. I started the green card process with my first employer in October 2004, but had to abandon that process as I changed jobs in 2006 and had to restart the entire process. While I wait for decades for my greencard I will have to continue to work on an H1B visa, here are the disadvantages I face because of this:
1. I cannot start a business as easily as permanent resident or a citizen can as there are very stringent restrictions on people on work visas starting businesses.
2. I cannot go back to school to get a PhD as I have already filed an immigrant visa petition and I will not be granted an F-1 visa any more.
3. I will have to pay attorney fees (which is currently $2200 for me) every three years to renew my work visa every three years for decades to come.
4. My employer will have to pay over $2200 to USCIS every three years to extend my stay for several decades more.
5. Every time I renew my work visa and travel outside the US, I will need to visit a US Consulate overseas to get my work visa stamped on my passport, which takes time and costs money each time it is done, and creates a lot of uncertainty on whether I will be able to come back to the USA.
6. If I want to leave my current employer to work elsewhere , I will have to restart my entire greencard process with another employer
7. If my employer lets me go, and I cannot immediately find another job within weeks, I will have to leave the country after spending more than a decade here legally and I will have to start over in a different country. Even if I find another job in the US that quickly, I will have to restart my entire green card process with the new employer.
8. My wife, who also has a Masters degree from a US university, cannot get work authorization (EAD) to work in the US as my greencard process is stuck due to per country limits.

The latest Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill being considered by congress has provisions to eliminate per country limits and grant green cards to people with US masters degrees immediately if they have a job offer with a US employer related to their major field of study. I strongly encourage you to vote for this proposal considering how broken the current system is. Please let me know if you need clarification on any of the issues mentioned above.

Sincerely,
zzzz
Phone:123-456-7890

H1B_CIVIL_ENGINEER
06-20-2010, 04:16 PM
Dear Mr. ZZZZ:

Thank you for contacting me about immigration reform. The need to fix our broken system is clear, and I appreciate having the benefit of your insight on one of the most important issues of our day.

Immigration reform must ultimately be about improving our system for legal immigration, not about creating new benefits for illegal aliens. Although we are a proud nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws. If policymakers will agree that all immigrants must abide by the rule of law, then we can reach a consensus on ways to improve the legal process so that it meets the needs of our society, our economy, and our national security.

During the 110th Congress, the Senate considered comprehensive immigration reform legislation (S. 1639). I had serious concerns that the legislation, as drafted, would have repeated the well documented mistakes of the 1986 amnesty bill. Furthermore, Senators were not allowed the full opportunity to offer amendments to this flawed legislation, and as such, I was one of 53 Senators who voted against the cloture motion to bring S. 1639 to a vote.

I have been working throughout my time in the Senate to develop a solution to this problem that I believe will work. I encourage you to visit my website at http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/immigration for more information regarding the immigration reforms I support. As we consider immigration reform proposals in the future, I will continue to promote these policies, but I will oppose any bill that rewards illegal conduct and encourages further disrespect for our laws.

I appreciate the opportunity to represent the interests of Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.

Sincerely,

JOHN CORNYN
United States Senator

H1B_CIVIL_ENGINEER
06-20-2010, 04:17 PM
Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting me regarding border security and comprehensive immigration reform. I welcome your thoughts and comments.

As a border state, Texas benefits from the contributions of legal immigrants, but it is also uniquely vulnerable to the negative impacts of illegal immigration. My principles on this issue have been clear and consistent: we must secure our borders and discourage illegal behavior.

We must address the safety and security needs of the United States. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I have worked to appropriate increased funding for border security, which includes high-tech tools, additional Border Patrol agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators, detention officers, and detention beds.

Far too much of our border goes unprotected. I have pushed to expand the presence of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, to help provide the tools that law enforcement officers need to protect the southwest border. I set the goal of covering all 2,000 miles of the U.S-Mexico border every single day of the week.

I recently joined with other border state Senators to offer a series of amendments to heighten border security. Shortly after my colleagues and I introduced our amendments, the President announced a proposal for increased border security funding. After de-emphasizing border security, and even proposing to cut forces on the southwest border, this was a welcome shift in policy. Unfortunately, our border security amendments failed in the Senate, but we will continue to work toward providing the tools, manpower, and resources needed to protect our border.

We have a broken immigration system that is not fair to those who are waiting to enter the country through the legal channels, or to the American people who live by the rule of law. We need fundamental reform of our visa policy, our temporary worker program, our identification systems, our family unity laws, and so much more.

We have the 21st century technology to make our safety and security a reality. It is the responsibility of the federal government to fix our broken immigration system and to secure our borders. This is a duty that I take very seriously. You may be certain that I will keep your views in mind immigration reform is considered in the Senate.

I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope that you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue that is important to you.

Sincerely,
Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator

284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
202-224-5922 (tel)
202-224-0776 (fax)

kishorek111
06-20-2010, 05:06 PM
I think we should request the senators/congressmen to work separately on a bill for legal immigrants if CIR is not possible anytime soon. It is unfair to hold off legal immigrants just because they cannot agree on illegal immigrants.

roseball
06-20-2010, 11:45 PM
Well, these seem to be the standard replies no matter what you right in your email to them. I contacted them as part of the IVs contact lawmakers initiative and after about a week got the same replies as mentioned above. No matter what you write in your email, as soon as they see the term "immigration" in the text, it seems they will reply about illegal immigration.

rporandla
06-21-2010, 12:06 PM
This is the story of many brothers who are sailing in the same boat; after being in this country for almost 10 years now, I have been in the same situation as you are. Transportation/Traffic Engineer with 8 years of experience, serving both public and private sector still at the ground zero position, because of the recent economic situation and change in employers. Frustration has build up to the brim. I feel that we are loosing our individualities with this immigration problems. Though you like your work environment or not; if you like your job or not; if you have differences with your employer or not.

Regards,

ambals03
06-21-2010, 12:37 PM
Yes. I agree. Whatever we email. We get the same standard reply. I got the exact same reply from both the senators.

Winner
06-21-2010, 12:45 PM
I got the same response.

dingox100
06-21-2010, 02:16 PM
I was watching "Shashank redemption" the other day and in that the Hero wants to setup a library and he writes two mail every week to the authorities for 6 years. Finally he gets the donation for the library.. So what i am saying is everyone should write a letter to the president and send it every week Or someone collect all the letters and send it as a package every week to the president.

frostrated
06-21-2010, 02:32 PM
It is the same canned response. I wrote last year and this year too. I got the same response from them. Now, I keep getting all their junk emails.

sayantan76
06-21-2010, 06:31 PM
I was watching "Shashank redemption" the other day and in that the Hero wants to setup a library and he writes two mail every week to the authorities for 6 years. Finally he gets the donation for the library.. So what i am saying is everyone should write a letter to the president and send it every week Or someone collect all the letters and send it as a package every week to the president.
great movie.....an all time "must watch"........

in reality though - politicians have bigger fish to fry right now.........and issues that get their attention are issues that impact people who are "current voters" as opposed to "future potential voters"........who knows how you or i will vote 7 or 10 years from now if and when some of us become naturalized citizens........we will probably vote on issues that will bother us then (jobs, economy, national security, illegal immigration etc) and not really based on who helped us 7 years ago to get our GCs?.......

i think the politicians are acting in a perfectly logical, predictable and transparent manner from their standpoint on the issue of legal immigration.