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dupedinjuly
07-10-2007, 03:48 PM
http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,680197801,00.html

Workers feeling cheated by green-card reversal
By Deborah Bulkeley
Deseret Morning News
A surprise government announcement that there were plenty of employer-sponsored green cards available raised Mehul Kapadia's hopes that his wait for permanent residency was finally over.
But then, a sudden announcement that no new green cards will be issued for highly skilled workers until fall has Kapadia wondering if he'll ever find stability in America.
The State Department announced last month that employment visa numbers were available for all people seeking employer-sponsored green cards, except unskilled workers.
Applicants often wait years for those numbers. Kapadia, an Ogden software engineer originally from India, says he's been in line since Dec. 16, 2003.
For now, he's a legal worker with a temporary visa. So, when he saw he could apply for the green card number, Kapadia underwent the required medical exam and submitted his documentation July 2, the first day it could be submitted.
Then, that same day, the State Department issued an update stating that "sudden backlog reduction efforts by Citizenship and Immigration Services during the past month have resulted in the use of almost 60,000 employment numbers." The department called the backlog reduction an "unexpected action" and said employment visa numbers would be available again Oct. 1.
CIS had been working since May to reduce a backlog in applications it already has on file, said Bill Wright, spokesman for the agency.
"There's a numerical limitation of roughly 147,000 visas available (annually)," he said. "Once we met that numerical limitation, we requested that the State Department post a brand new, revised bulletin that anything after that is no longer eligible."
The State Department had originally posted the bulletin to ensure that all available visas for the fiscal year would be issued, said Steve Royster, State Department spokesman for consular affairs. Last year, he said, roughly 10,000 such visas weren't issued.
"Processing visas on file with CIS is going to benefit all the applicants in the pool, and this will ensure the entire allotment of visas for 2007 will be used," he said.
But Kapadia now says he feels cheated by two federal agencies that said one thing one day and another the next.
"Nobody knows what happened," he said. "This was kind of a big rejection and sense of being let down, but for what? We still can't comprehend why they acted in this extraordinary manner."
Kapadia isn't alone. Tens of thousands of people who work in the United States under employment visas and their families were affected by the change, said Crystal Williams, associate director for programs at the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
"There are people who flew to the United States so they could apply and had their families fly back. They paid attorney fees," Williams said.
AILA's sister organization, the American Immigration Law Foundation, is considering a lawsuit against the two federal agencies, Williams said.
"We've gone back now about 25 years and have never found a situation in which a bulletin was revised after the first of the month," she said.
Neither Royster nor Wright would comment on potential litigation. Wright suggested that anyone who filed an application on July 2 contact their local CIS office to find out the status.
The fee to apply for a green card increases July 30 from $395 to $1,010, including a fingerprinting fee.
Kapadia says he isn't worried about the fee hike so much as the freedom he'd receive with permanent residency. He'd be able to travel internationally without restrictions, and establish residency to study for a master's degree. He and his wife would be able to remain in the country if he loses his job, and they'd eventually be able to apply for citizenship.
"It's kind of a golden cage we are in. We are free, we are in America, but we are stopped from doing anything," he said. "I am looking for the American dream, but it is looking like more of a mirage."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Contributing: The Associated Press

E-mail: dbulkeley@desnews.com

GCin2050
07-10-2007, 06:33 PM
Great,

We need more people going to press and television with stories of how it affects us and then following it up with Senators and Congressman of their district. This will create more awareness with human face and emotion behind the issue. After all this is what illegal aliens did, they took out rallies and ran stories of how families will be separated, they have worked for years, their kid is US citizen but parents are illegal and deporting them is not good, they are hardworking, church going people. We need to replicate that thrust on our issues. I think this should be the next drive of the media campaign - Personal Stories.
We need to highlight how july bulletin affected us and more importantly we were not allowed to file. Also, all of us need to join the class action lawsuit without fear. United we stand, divided we fall.

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http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,680197801,00.html

Workers feeling cheated by green-card reversal
By Deborah Bulkeley
Deseret Morning News
A surprise government announcement that there were plenty of employer-sponsored green cards available raised Mehul Kapadia's hopes that his wait for permanent residency was finally over.
But then, a sudden announcement that no new green cards will be issued for highly skilled workers until fall has Kapadia wondering if he'll ever find stability in America.
The State Department announced last month that employment visa numbers were available for all people seeking employer-sponsored green cards, except unskilled workers.
Applicants often wait years for those numbers. Kapadia, an Ogden software engineer originally from India, says he's been in line since Dec. 16, 2003.
For now, he's a legal worker with a temporary visa. So, when he saw he could apply for the green card number, Kapadia underwent the required medical exam and submitted his documentation July 2, the first day it could be submitted.
Then, that same day, the State Department issued an update stating that "sudden backlog reduction efforts by Citizenship and Immigration Services during the past month have resulted in the use of almost 60,000 employment numbers." The department called the backlog reduction an "unexpected action" and said employment visa numbers would be available again Oct. 1.
CIS had been working since May to reduce a backlog in applications it already has on file, said Bill Wright, spokesman for the agency.
"There's a numerical limitation of roughly 147,000 visas available (annually)," he said. "Once we met that numerical limitation, we requested that the State Department post a brand new, revised bulletin that anything after that is no longer eligible."
The State Department had originally posted the bulletin to ensure that all available visas for the fiscal year would be issued, said Steve Royster, State Department spokesman for consular affairs. Last year, he said, roughly 10,000 such visas weren't issued.
"Processing visas on file with CIS is going to benefit all the applicants in the pool, and this will ensure the entire allotment of visas for 2007 will be used," he said.
But Kapadia now says he feels cheated by two federal agencies that said one thing one day and another the next.
"Nobody knows what happened," he said. "This was kind of a big rejection and sense of being let down, but for what? We still can't comprehend why they acted in this extraordinary manner."
Kapadia isn't alone. Tens of thousands of people who work in the United States under employment visas and their families were affected by the change, said Crystal Williams, associate director for programs at the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
"There are people who flew to the United States so they could apply and had their families fly back. They paid attorney fees," Williams said.
AILA's sister organization, the American Immigration Law Foundation, is considering a lawsuit against the two federal agencies, Williams said.
"We've gone back now about 25 years and have never found a situation in which a bulletin was revised after the first of the month," she said.
Neither Royster nor Wright would comment on potential litigation. Wright suggested that anyone who filed an application on July 2 contact their local CIS office to find out the status.
The fee to apply for a green card increases July 30 from $395 to $1,010, including a fingerprinting fee.
Kapadia says he isn't worried about the fee hike so much as the freedom he'd receive with permanent residency. He'd be able to travel internationally without restrictions, and establish residency to study for a master's degree. He and his wife would be able to remain in the country if he loses his job, and they'd eventually be able to apply for citizenship.
"It's kind of a golden cage we are in. We are free, we are in America, but we are stopped from doing anything," he said. "I am looking for the American dream, but it is looking like more of a mirage."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Contributing: The Associated Press

E-mail: dbulkeley@desnews.com