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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2010, 01:48 AM
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Go IV!!
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2010, 02:42 AM
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Excellent!!! very well put out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by devang77 View Post
I am not on estrogen therapy, but I decided to write about the feelings that I underwent during the 3 days of the event. If you do not want to read the entire post, skip to the last paragraph.

1. Anxiety: On Sunday, as I was making my way towards Hyatt Regency on the Capitol Hill (a beautiful and an expensive hotel) I was a little anxious about meeting new people (I am a closet introvert ). I was not sure if the people would just continue the non-productive conversations about Eb3 vs EB2 or India vs ROW or just be plain annoying. Boy, was I wrong!!! That anxiety disappeared in a matter of minutes after walking in the situation room. The folks were dedicated and meant business. The leadership of the core group was evident, they made sure that we didn't go off message, relatively an easy task for them since most of us there realized the importance of keeping on message.

2.Excitement: As we started the training, people started pouring great ideas (and few not so great IMHO).The trainer in chief chased each of these ideas to its logical conclusion and without saying whether they had merit or not made it obvious for us to decide. How classy and what a phenomenal coaching style!. The talking points that we discussed were articulated meticulously and question/comments were dealt with insight, experience and facts (this one is very important, we all know what opinions are like...). This was the one feeling (excitement) that lasted through the 3 days and I still cant shake it off (not that I am trying, but I don't want people to confuse me for the energizer bunny!! - we have some one else for that )

3.Nervousness: The first meeting. No, no not with the folks from Congress, but the mock meeting at the training session. The veterans gave us a demonstration of their insights/ knowledge and quick wit. So of course I was nervous coming in after that performance. I volunteered to be on the first ones of these mock sessions and felt all eyes in the room on me. I tried to focus on the task at hand (which was at that time, to stop my legs from shaking ). Perhaps, the mock session was the toughest of all the meetings that I had on the hill (remember that the hotel was 'on the hill' too ).

4.Awesomeness: This is what it was all about. For me as a first timer, entering the hallowed halls of congress and participating in the democratic process up close and personal is an awesome feeling. Just walking down those corridors and noticing the closed doors with signs that say 'Appropriations Committee', or 'Democratic Caucus' and knowing that laws that affect lives of more than 300 million people are being crafted, debated and being voted on right there....what a rush. I think this too will be with me for a long long time.

5.Camaraderie: This is a fun bunch of serious people on a mission. I think mostly everyone hit off well with everyone else. I made a whole bunch of acquaintances that I feel could mature into strong friendships. Even though we worked our collective butts off, there was always light hearted humor floating around. It was great.

6.Gratitude: Looking at the hard work put in by the countless tireless volunteers was a humbling experience. These very kind souls put in hour after hour of work during the event but they put in even more before the event started. I don't know, if the rest of you know, organizing an event at such a scale is a massive undertaking and despite hiccups we came out the other end in great shape. My gratitude goes to all the people that put their hearts, minds and souls in allowing our community to participate in the democratic process at the highest level. Thanks for making this happen.

Why am I writing this you wonder (or may be not). This event changed me. I felt myself grow in these 3 days. I rubbed shoulders with some of the most famous and powerful men and women in the nation and conveyed our message. I also saw first hand the resource constraints that IV has and how they figure something out and make it happen. Trust me folks, it is not easy to work thanklessly for days on end for 18 hours and still keep a cheerful demeanor but they did. My sincere thanks to IV leadership, all the fellow volunteers and all monetary contributers for allowing me such a great opportunity. Part of me hopes that we never have to do this again, but that hope also makes me sad that I probably wont get to experience a full gamut of feelings again.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2010, 10:14 AM
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08/14/2007
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Default

devang77 pretty much covered the experience of most participants !

Let me add my observations here:
For people who doubt where all the money is going, remember Aman founded this organization putting his own money into this ( not in hundreds but thousands). He and some other core members has already got their green cards, but they continue to work for this cause. I also remember Aman and core members saying this "It is not about you. It is about the community. You just don't think about yourself, you work for everyone." Most of the talk points for meetings were meant for relief to the entire community, not a specific group.

For me, I had to go for a meeting alone. Initially I was disappointed, but I could handle that meeting very well, thanks to IVs training session. For those who are apprehensive about attending these meetings -- It is pretty straightforward if we follow IVs talking points and presentation style. We cover ourselves well with arguments and counter arguments during training session.

As for meeting lawmakers, it will always be a pleasant experience. This is the greatest democracy on the face of the earth. Lawmakers will lend a patient, listening ears to your issues. No worries there. Also fixes to our issues will benefit not only us, it will help this country in the long run. If you haven't met your lawmaker yet, please plan meeting them and let them know your pains. A meeting from a constituent is very valuable for these lawmakers.

A request to IV core:
It is better if IV could conduct the training in different state chapters, so that people will feel more confident and less apprehensive in meeting their lawmakers.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2010, 11:10 AM
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Smile Well written experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by devang77 View Post
I am not on estrogen therapy, but I decided to write about the feelings that I underwent during the 3 days of the event. If you do not want to read the entire post, skip to the last paragraph.

1. Anxiety: On Sunday, as I was making my way towards Hyatt Regency on the Capitol Hill (a beautiful and an expensive hotel) I was a little anxious about meeting new people (I am a closet introvert ). I was not sure if the people would just continue the non-productive conversations about Eb3 vs EB2 or India vs ROW or just be plain annoying. Boy, was I wrong!!! That anxiety disappeared in a matter of minutes after walking in the situation room. The folks were dedicated and meant business. The leadership of the core group was evident, they made sure that we didn't go off message, relatively an easy task for them since most of us there realized the importance of keeping on message.

2.Excitement: As we started the training, people started pouring great ideas (and few not so great IMHO).The trainer in chief chased each of these ideas to its logical conclusion and without saying whether they had merit or not made it obvious for us to decide. How classy and what a phenomenal coaching style!. The talking points that we discussed were articulated meticulously and question/comments were dealt with insight, experience and facts (this one is very important, we all know what opinions are like...). This was the one feeling (excitement) that lasted through the 3 days and I still cant shake it off (not that I am trying, but I don't want people to confuse me for the energizer bunny!! - we have some one else for that )

3.Nervousness: The first meeting. No, no not with the folks from Congress, but the mock meeting at the training session. The veterans gave us a demonstration of their insights/ knowledge and quick wit. So of course I was nervous coming in after that performance. I volunteered to be on the first ones of these mock sessions and felt all eyes in the room on me. I tried to focus on the task at hand (which was at that time, to stop my legs from shaking ). Perhaps, the mock session was the toughest of all the meetings that I had on the hill (remember that the hotel was 'on the hill' too ).

4.Awesomeness: This is what it was all about. For me as a first timer, entering the hallowed halls of congress and participating in the democratic process up close and personal is an awesome feeling. Just walking down those corridors and noticing the closed doors with signs that say 'Appropriations Committee', or 'Democratic Caucus' and knowing that laws that affect lives of more than 300 million people are being crafted, debated and being voted on right there....what a rush. I think this too will be with me for a long long time.

5.Camaraderie: This is a fun bunch of serious people on a mission. I think mostly everyone hit off well with everyone else. I made a whole bunch of acquaintances that I feel could mature into strong friendships. Even though we worked our collective butts off, there was always light hearted humor floating around. It was great.

6.Gratitude: Looking at the hard work put in by the countless tireless volunteers was a humbling experience. These very kind souls put in hour after hour of work during the event but they put in even more before the event started. I don't know, if the rest of you know, organizing an event at such a scale is a massive undertaking and despite hiccups we came out the other end in great shape. My gratitude goes to all the people that put their hearts, minds and souls in allowing our community to participate in the democratic process at the highest level. Thanks for making this happen.

Why am I writing this you wonder (or may be not). This event changed me. I felt myself grow in these 3 days. I rubbed shoulders with some of the most famous and powerful men and women in the nation and conveyed our message. I also saw first hand the resource constraints that IV has and how they figure something out and make it happen. Trust me folks, it is not easy to work thanklessly for days on end for 18 hours and still keep a cheerful demeanor but they did. My sincere thanks to IV leadership, all the fellow volunteers and all monetary contributers for allowing me such a great opportunity. Part of me hopes that we never have to do this again, but that hope also makes me sad that I probably wont get to experience a full gamut of feelings again.
Thanks to all IV efforts. It was indeed a great experience to meet all great IV people from all states and to know them more and learn more about everything.
__________________
Member of VA/MD Chapter.
Attended Advocacy efforts in Washington DC.
Total contibution to IV so far more than $1400.
To contribute, please click here: http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/misc.php?do=donate

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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2010, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gk_2000 View Post
I never asked this question for myself

And I never discredited anyone for their effort

I am just chipping in with a suggestion on how to improve members' involvement level. It's unfortunate you have interpreted this as some kind of personal attack, which it is anything but
Yes everything is personal when you are so close to the effort. The answer is still the same for anyone that did not participate and find out for themselves what it takes to co-ordinate an event like this.
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Got GC in Sept 2011



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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2010, 12:22 PM
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Kudos to everyone who went to DC. Your experiences are inspiring. Thank you IV core for organizing it.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2010, 01:55 PM
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Default I salute you...IV...

for representing a community that can be so painfully thankless!!
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2010, 02:22 PM
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Default extending donations for 1 more year

I am extending my donations for one more year. Itís almost a year I signed up for monthly contribution.
I could not go to DC ..but I will continue my support through funding. I sent mails to local senators.
Kudos to everyone who participated in the DC advocacy event. Core IV is really deserved to be appreciated from bottom of our hearts.
__________________
Contribution so far - $736
Monthly $25 Contribution signedup on 06-26-2009 for one year
Donated 50 towards Advocacy day contributions.
Monthly $25 Contribution signedup on 04-13-2011 for one year
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2010, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needhelp! View Post
Yes everything is personal when you are so close to the effort. The answer is still the same for anyone that did not participate and find out for themselves what it takes to co-ordinate an event like this.
Sorry, let's peace out. We are on the same side
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 06-11-2010, 07:52 PM
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A Great Big Thank You to all of you who have been Contributing to enable IV to organize an event of this proportion.

My sincere gratitude for the countless hours/days/weeks/months that IV leadership has donated in doing the background work and getting the advocacy days put together. Special thanks to Aman, Himanshu, Pratik, Anu, Jay, Sivkanth, Gopal, Puneet, Kiran, Meenal, Prasad, Bimal, Vikrant, Devang, Ravi, Renji, Ameet & all the DC folk who arranged for out-of-staters to stay in their homes and helped with all the logistics. I got to witness your contributions first-hand. Thank You to your families who supported you and to all the other volunteers working remotely and finally to the ones that I inadvertently left out, a humongous thanks to you too! Kudos to the member from California who attended the event despite having a sick baby at home. Many many attendees have made many many personal sacrifices to come for this event and they are worthy of applause.

At first, I was hesitant to join because I hadn't been as actively involved in the past months; there was too much personal stuff going on that needed to be dealt with; too much work load, and taking vacation now meant I would have to take unpaid leave when I needed it later. Plus the cost of tickets and getting away from family responsibilities. I thought I could escape with a $ contribution and let someone else do the real work. However, a few phone calls later, I realized how lame all this sounded when people that didn't need to be doing this were working hard for my issues and volunteering for an effort of which I was going to be a beneficiary. It helped that we had a team of members from Texas chapter who had already come forward to go to DC and others were contributing to enable more members to participate.

Many conference calls were organized by IV leadership right up to the day of the event and many volunteers made hundreds of phone calls to request our members to participate and represent their state and districts. After all, members of congress are working to solve issues that are most affecting their own constituents and having members from their own district coming to DC carries a lot of weight. Many IV members I spoke with had some problem or another and couldn't make it, and then there were few that really wanted to help out in any way they could. In the background, meetings were being sought from both Senate and House representatives, and confirmations were coming in right up to the last minute.

Situation Room on Sunday:
Got to the Situation Room in Hyatt on Sunday afternoon. Nervous excitement was in the air. Meeting new faces & reconnecting with old ones brought back memories of September 2007 and the atmosphere of college festivals. Training sessions were already in progress, followed by mock sessions which I thought were a terrific idea. There were printers set up and volunteers were at work printing business cards and IV information materials and arranging them into folders. Another row of tables had been set up for signing in, IV coordinator & state chapter leaders were matching up meetings with team members , reaching out to members to confirm their attendance and new members were pouring in throughout the day and evening. Pictures were being taken and posted on the blog. Past and present USCIS Ombudsman visited us there and supported us and spent time talking to us one on one. There were a couple of people that had joined IV just a few days ago and now participating in Lobby Day. Then there was my DC host who was not going to be able to participate in the meetings, but the energy of the situation room got to him and made him change his decision. And how couldn't it! I stayed there helping out until midnight, but a few folks didn't leave until the wee hours of dawn. I must confess that IV Situation Room is THE most fun thing to do in DC. For those of you who missed it, I hope Congress does nothing and you get another chance when IV plans this again. (just kidding...)

Monday - Day 1 of Advocacy:
We met in situation room in the morning. Everyone picked up their schedules for the day and were off to a day of true grass-roots work of educating Congressional staff of our issues and proposing solutions. The most important part was telling our own stories of how the process is affecting our lives and driving talent out of the country. The staff members were very polite and listened carefully to our points. Not one of them argued against any of our issues. The support was there, although we did hear things about political climate causing the delay in action on part of Congress. I was done with meetings at 4 pm on Monday and we walked across the Capitol and onto New Jersey Avenue enjoying the perfect DC weather on our way back to the Situation Room. Folders had to be prepared for the next day and schedules created as well, since there were some last minute meetings coming in & some members not able to make it for the next day. We also had to pack and move and set up the new room upstairs since we switched rooms in the Hyatt. Once again, we got out of there at 3.30 am, and had to get back in by 9am.

Tuesday - Day 2 of Advocacy
Another full day of meetings was in store for everyone. We had fewer members on Tuesday since a lot of them had gone back on Monday and a lot of members did at least a few meetings by themselves. By this time we were all experts at the message we needed to deliver. Once again the response was similar. Some of the offices gave us leads into other representatives that might be able to champion the issue. Some of them were supportive of administrative fixes that could be done while Congress contemplates on larger fixes. Tuesday was the first time I had meetings on both the House and Senate side and we walked through the Capitol to get to the other side. There is a little mini train you can ride and the building has impressive murals and architecture. But we had very little time to appreciate those in detail. I had the opportunity to meet one Senator himself and it was a whole new feeling being face-to-face and talking to someone that shapes American future laws everyday and is directly going to vote on my issue. This is what democracy was all about, and IV was the enabler providing me the opportunity to be heard on the Hill.


Tuesday - Congressional Reception
This was held in the Capitol itself, we had leading lawyers attend as well as Ombudsman and Congressional staff and lobbyists. There was some nice food to be enjoyed by all, informal discussions, humor and brainstorming for the future. After the 2 hour reception many had flights to catch and rest of us went back to wrap up in the Situation room and brainstorm for the future.

At the end of it all, I was a little sad to leave all the excitement and return to "normal" life. But there is tons of work to be done in local chapters and those of us who have been to DC know how important it is to go and seek out the members from each and every constituency from our state, get members to come forward and talk to the media, and finally raise funds so that we can continue lobbying Congress to fix this problem.

Thank You IV for providing us with this platform to get our voices heard where it matters the most. Go IV!
__________________
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Got GC in Sept 2011



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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2010, 12:45 PM
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Thumbs up

To all IV non participating members (DC event),

The phenomenal experience of actually doing something positive to solve our problems is priceless. Every member that came to DC from all across America were dedicated and focused - many volunteered to help the IV Core (and in spite of doing many things ahead of time, there was much more things that needed attention!!).

On Monday and Tuesday, while I manned the phones, it was heartwarming to get calls from members who were in the Hill, calling and asking for more meetings - If they finished their meetings and had time before the next meeting, they called in to say - "is there a group we can join - so that we can be in a larger group?" or while they walked in the hallways, they would spot their congressman/congresswoman's office - and call in to ask if they could go in and just introduce themselves and ask for an audience. Mind you, this is not an easy task nor did they get to talk to staffers - but I am just acknowledging the great enthusiasm that was vibrating with our members - they realized the gravity of the situation, the opportunity that was within their grasp and wanted to make the best use of it. Hats off to you guys!!

IV realizes that our strength lies within our members and their dedication - both in terms of participation and funding. And if there is one thing that almost every single participant took home from the event is that - we still have a long way to go and we need far more support and participation.

Please contact me and I will put you in touch with the leaders from your state. I cannot stress enough on how important being involved in this process is............ The July fiasco has led many of our members to get their EADs and has lulled them into false security. If your goal is just EAD, please continue with what you are doing but if your goal is to get green card or citizenship - NOW has to be your wake up call.
__________________
Sincerely,
StarSun (Anu)
IV Coordinator
202-386-6250
ivcoordinator@gmail.com
************************************************** ****************************
Money with active participation is far more powerful - please join your state chapters and meet with your lawmakers.
************************************************** ****************************
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2010, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarSun View Post
The July fiasco has led many of our members to get their EADs and has lulled them into false security. If your goal is just EAD, please continue with what you are doing but if your goal is to get green card or citizenship - NOW has to be your wake up call.
StarSun: Thanks for all your work for IV!
__________________
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Got GC in Sept 2011



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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2010, 02:45 PM
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Default Thanks redds777!!!

I was one of the guys from MI that redds777 hosted. I must say I can't thank enough for the hospitality he and his family had shown us.

Also I know a couple of other DC members who hosted outside folks. Thanks to them also.


Quote:
Originally Posted by redds777 View Post
Thank you Sanju for donating for this event .

Actually funds that are raised for an event should happen much before any such event because we need to lay the ground work for the event in DC . I dont know when our next event would be. IV core can comment on that after watching the legislative events in DC in next few months .

What i was conveying was, to donate to the pool of resources and be ready when the bills start moving in the congress . IV would need to hit the road again at that time to continue the momentum from the lobby event and have our provisions included in the base bill. Regarding the dollar number, i dont know how much would be needed.

On the day of the events you can get involved by actually hosting some members in your homes if u live in DC area . actually i hosted 3 guys from MI thsi time . that way it makes easier for the members on their pockets as they would have spent on air tickets etc.. there are many ways to be actively invloved in IV for our cause. you can motivate your collegues and friends do teh same for our cause. Rest assured that IV will use the money sensibly as i have seen in this event.

Thanks
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- Member of MI IV Chapter
- Contributing $25 monthly since 2007
- Several one-time contributions totalling over $1,500
- Participated in ALL Advocacy Efforts in Washington DC & San Jose since JUL 2007
- I am doing my part, have you done yours to advance our mutual cause?

* If you have the Faith of a Mustard Seed You can say to the Mountain 'Be Moved', and it WILL be Moved!!

** Faith without Action is Futile.

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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 06-15-2010, 11:36 AM
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Default Thanks IV

This was the first time I participated in the event - I had no idea of what to expect and what can be achieved. I can honestly say that meeting all the people who attended the advocacy days showed me the dedication this group has and also realized that there was so much more to initiating laws and passing laws and how futile our arguments are on the forums regarding different categories in EB.

In the meetings that I attended either the staff knew little about our problems (green card backlogs and legal immigration) or they knew of our problems and told us about the vast hurdles in the political environment that keeps popping up and derailing immigration reform. However, at no time the issue of EB1, EB2, or EB3 ever came up!! At the end of Monday, most of us met to share our experiences and as far as I can remember none of them mentioned it either. There was a lot of discussion on what the staffers wanted to know about IV and the solutions it was proposing. We were met with both understanding as well as skepticism - and I believe our job is to have more discussion with them and to make them see our point of view.

Obviously we cannot be in DC to do this all the time, but I believe that we need to continue to keep in touch with these staffers as well as make repeated visits to the local district offices too. Two observations, many of the staffers wanted to know if we were from the district or the state that their offices represented - and even though IV tried to match this, we just lacked members from certain area, so fellow IVians, I request larger and wider participation in such efforts. Secondly, I have met with both my Rep as well as one of my Senators office locally, and when I mentioned it to the staffer in DC, she was very happy and was more receptive.

I want to take this opportunity to Thank IV for opening my eyes to a world that I live in but never cared to understand. The road ahead for us immigrants is hard and long, but now I have started to pave the road with IV leadership. The question is will it be just few working hard and long? Or can we hope for better with 40,000 members?
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 06-15-2010, 02:57 PM
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Default Thanks to all the IV members for their inspiration and assistance

It was inspiring to see some of the returning folks from 2007 and also to see a lot of new IVians/ IVers. Hats off to you all for your service to this good cause. May god bless America and may god bless you all.

We have come a long way since Aman a few other brave folks came together to form this group in 2005. Only in America can a truly grassroots organization unite diverse people from different countries, backgrounds, genders and race allowing them to feel empowered and showcase their issues and problems to the venerable American institutions like the Congress and the Senate. Unfortunately, issues faced by the High skilled legal immigrants have been a low priority. As future Americans, only thing we can do is make them aware about our issues. Hopefully, the lawmakers will act, sooner than later, in American interest to salvage the sinking oil well of legal immigration system.

A few brave souls whispered about the current financial crisis before it arrived at the American shores but we all ignored those pleas and warnings. Here we are again. This time the stakes are higher, it is not just about our green cards but it is about American competitiveness and American values. Will the next generation of Americans be able to look each other in the eye and boldly say, yes, we can do the right thing. Our principles were tested but we did the right thing. It took time but we did the right thing.
As legal high skilled immigrants we can do so much. Provide facts to counter opinions. Organize advocacy events to counter demagoguery. Hopefully, all this will become sweet nostalgia where we all reminisce about the long hardships we braved and in the end the American dream did turn into a reality instead of a nightmare like the BP oil spill.

I just heard that a friend moved to Canada, Toronto. He had a baby last year. I was excited for him then. Now, I feel sad, not because I lost a close-by friend here in America but because he always did the right thing. Always followed the rule of law worked hard but in exchange he left empty handed from this great country where he had come to make his fortune and contribute in many ways through his talents to this land. All because of the currently broken legal immigration system.

Economic scenarios are changing. Top talent is becoming a scare commodity. Laws of demand and supply will eventually win. Resource and talent hungry countries are starting to compete among themselves to attract and retain the best and the brightest. The canary in the coal mine is singing softly but hopefully the miners are listening.
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