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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 03-24-2013, 05:13 PM
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Default Thanks to IV

I have very good feeling after attending the Advocacy meetings. IV is spending a lot of time for our cause. Thanks a lot for their efforts & time.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 03-25-2013, 02:44 PM
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2013, 01:09 AM
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Default Go IV

IV advocacy day is always a unique experience and it was no less this time.
Where can one start...The dedicated volunteers who take time out of their schedules to work selflessly on OUR behalf, the professional manner in which the training day is conducted and the intense efforts of IV core to keep intense lobbying efforts ongoing in DC....all are testament to how I-WE is now a grass-roots force to reckon with.
What was really wonderful was to see how many volunteers already have their GCs but are still coming all the way to work on behalf of the community. Bravo! to such people. Makes me think that if GC holders can take time off work and slog on our behalf..what the heck are we folks stuck in the backlogs waiting for??
All my meetings went really well...there is lot of excitement for CIR but everyone (including our group) recognizes that it is going to be quite an uphill fight which requires everyone here to step up. White House event was the icing on the cake. Again shows how strong and effective IV core's efforts have been. Getting the respect of senior officials in the top office in the country is no small task. I will always savor the memories of visiting the white house not for sight-seeing but for a true cause that impacts every one of us deeply.
For those of you who have not got an opportunity to visit DC so far...take my advise and grab at the opportunity when it comes up next. You will cherish it for the rest of your life.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2013, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by sage2006 View Post
What a week!! More than 100 IV members attended over 200 congressional meetings last Monday and Tuesday. All the folks are still busy with various critical follow-up tasks with various offices and as everyone gets back to their routine and reflect over their experiences, I am sure there will be lots of posts, pictures on this thread.

After a thorough training session on Sunday, the mood was very upbeat. We had members from almost all 50 states (which by itself was a huge achievement) and in addition several members had traveled all the way with their families and kids. Kudos to them. The meetings started on monday morning 9 AM and the situation room was abuzz with everyone ensuring they had their schedules in place (everyone had 5-7 meetings lined up..it was going to be a busy day) and that they had the required materials for the meeting. By 8:30 several groups were already out the door heading towards Capitol Hill. The excitement was at an all time high. However throughout the day, along with the excitement of the Congressional meeting, what was at the back of everyone's mind was the big momentous event in the evening that we all had been waiting for.

The meetings for Monday were scheduled to end early since we had to be at an exclusive briefing at the White House. Our cameras started clicking at the entrance gate to the WH itself . We made our way to the WH auditorium and once inside we couldn't help getting over-awed by the venue and realizing how far we had come. Here we were, a grass-roots group of professionals, going to be addressed by a panel comprising a top WH policy advisor, a USCIS official and other senior administration officials.

Three IV members were given the opportunity to share their testimony and each was very impressive and well received by the WH staff. Anisha, Rajat and Rithvik our young volunteers (who also sent out the IV newsletter the night before) did a very impressive job representing our issue of GC backlogs and the various provisions that would help eliminate them.

During Q&A, IV members covered almost each of our issues (increase in EB number, dependent/STEM exemption, per-country caps, visa recapture, H4 EAD, kids aging out etc etc) and the responses were very positive.

As stated above some key statements/feedback from the WH panel were "We hear you loud and clear" and "We got your back" with them adding that most of our provisions are already part of the WH outline and Senate draft..thanks to our advocacy over the years, and past 2 years in particular. What was also amusing was how the WH advisers kept stating our provisions verbatim ..which showed the hard work of persistently going back to DC over the past 6 years is paying off. Another key takeway was when the admin officials highlighted the importance of our participating in the advocacy process and asked us to keep up the grass-roots momentum in the weeks to come.

This is my 6th visit to the Hill as part of Team IV and as always, I left with a sense of empowerment and fulfillment of having a chance to make our voices heard. Discussion on forums is good, but, only when you are inside those offices, do you understand, what really goes on vis-a-vis policy making and how easy/difficult it is to get a bill passed. And we also realize that debates and discussions on forums purely based on news articles is usually way off target.

On meeting up in the situation room after the meetings, a common reaction from first time attendees was - "we need more people to stand up", "why did we not do this before" and "I am so glad and fortunate to have taken this first step and come to DC".

Overall, feedback from the meetings was very positive but at the same time we must not lose focus. There is some tough work ahead of us to keep pushing and make sure our provisions are high on the agenda for immigration reform this year. Our timing was perfect since intense discussions on immigration legislation is going on and all offices (which are by now very familiar with IV and our provisions) appreciated all our feedback. Look out for several grass-root IV AIs in the coming days/weeks.

For the active day-to-day volunteers, it has to be reiterated that the WH visit was a joyous and emotional experience. The proudest moment was when the WH senior imm policy advisor thanked IV for our efforts on the Hill and specifically called out Aman for his leadership and persistent efforts on high-skilled immigration reform. It was a truly memorable moment.
btw, what was the response to those questions asked - especially things like H4 EAD, where the rulemaking seems to have gotten delayed beyond the usuall timelines..
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2013, 01:35 PM
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btw, what was the response to those questions asked - especially things like H4 EAD, where the rulemaking seems to have gotten delayed beyond the usuall timelines..
We should not have asked these H4 questions. Asking H4 question is like asking government to premium process Perm Labor. It takes away focus from the main topic of backlogs. If the backlogs are gone, a lot of such small problems will be gone. We should look at the big picture and not pick small issue like this because it is important to few people. Talking more about it distracts from backlog work. There is enough update on another website if you want another update. They keep posting updates so that people copy paste more on other websites and make business popular.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2013, 01:36 PM
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I saw pictures on facebook. Kudos to IV.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2013, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by imh1b View Post
We should not have asked these H4 questions. Asking H4 question is like asking government to premium process Perm Labor. It takes away focus from the main topic of backlogs. If the backlogs are gone, a lot of such small problems will be gone. We should look at the big picture and not pick small issue like this because it is important to few people. Talking more about it distracts from backlog work. There is enough update on another website if you want another update. They keep posting updates so that people copy paste more on other websites and make business popular.
I agree. We will miss out on the big picture if we try to narrow our focus on individual items.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2013, 04:37 PM
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how does our discussing anything take away any focus, especially when the senate is in recess and there is no current action item to focus on? I asked for what information was provided in the event already past. note that I didnt ask for anyone to pursue anything new or start a new action item, just for information already provided. You may be (rightly to you) interested only in backlogs, but It may not be the only thing of interest to others. a donor member who was at the event posted that questions were answered about various topics (obviously because those topics were deemed important enough)and Im asking what the answers were... Either he or someone of authority will answer in due course.

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Originally Posted by imh1b View Post
We should not have asked these H4 questions. Asking H4 question is like asking government to premium process Perm Labor. It takes away focus from the main topic of backlogs. If the backlogs are gone, a lot of such small problems will be gone. We should look at the big picture and not pick small issue like this because it is important to few people. Talking more about it distracts from backlog work. There is enough update on another website if you want another update. They keep posting updates so that people copy paste more on other websites and make business popular.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2013, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by somberi View Post
how does our discussing anything take away any focus, especially when the senate is in recess and there is no current action item to focus on? I asked for what information was provided in the event already past. note that I didnt ask for anyone to pursue anything new or start a new action item, just for information already provided. You may be (rightly to you) interested only in backlogs, but It may not be the only thing of interest to others. a donor member who was at the event posted that questions were answered about various topics (obviously because those topics were deemed important enough)and Im asking what the answers were... Either he or someone of authority will answer in due course.
I am also interested in this information. Did they talk about EAD for H4? Any one who attended the advocacy day please let us know about the details.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2013, 11:19 PM
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Thank you everyone who traveled from across the country to represent us in DC. You are all amazing. Please ignore and overlook these comments from a few folks who only seek updates. Even if some people post thankless messages, please know that there are a lot of people who care for your work for all of us.

Let me also say that although I understand that temporary work permit gives little bit of temporary security to H-4 spouse.

As Benjamin Franklin said - "People willing to trade their permanent freedom for temporary security, deserve neither".

Freedom comes from getting green card. As long as green card backlog is the primary focus, itís all good.

EB immigration is not the only kind of immigration. Immigration is a complex subject. There is only so much of oxygen and face time for high-skilled issues. And its concerning that there is new emphasis on this side issue of "spouses of H1B" that it is starting to suck out significant oxygen from primary issue of green card backlog. If people can get green cards in 1-2 years, "H1B spouse" issue will get minimized.

When undocumented group is talking about citizenship, instead of focusing most of the energies on fast green cards for high-skilled, much of the recent energy on the high-skilled side is being spent on "work permits for H-4 spouses".

Agree, itís important for those who don't have work permits. But this is a symptom of a bigger problem which is green card backlogs. If people can get green cards quickly, folks will have minimum or no desire for H-4 work permits. Talking about this issue will help as long as the pitch is focused on highlighting this as a symptom of a bigger problem - backlogs. As soon as the pitch of ďwork permits for H-4 spouses" becomes a primary/competing issue, it dilutes the bigger message of fixing green card backlogs.

Lawyers and employers have interest in talking about H-4 work permit. They want us to be on H1-B visa. That way, lawyers make more money, and employers can exploit us longer. Lets be smart about what we ask.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2013, 01:08 AM
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The proposals and provisions we have outlined during our meetings with lawmakers as well as with the White House have been carefully thought out and constructed. These are not like the random lists that appear on some of the online petitions that occassionally do the rounds.
Regarding any one provision becoming the highlight, well apart from the few posts above, none of the actual advocacy participants have indicated anything to this effect.
For us every provision is important and because of our reasonable and logical proposals, each has been positively accepted with equal weight by all the key offices. Of course, backlog removal is the core of any high-skilled immigration reform. However, we should also stay focused on other admin or legal fixes that would bring relief to the community in the long run. Immigration reform is not a laundry list where we pick and choose what we want. We are part of a large and complex puzzle where all we can do is play our part and ensure all our provisions are at the top of the agenda.
Our provisions and the messaging around it are well outlined and clear. What we really need is people stepping up, spreading awareness about advocacy, and participating in grass-roots events such as the recently concluded advocacy days and upcoming future AIs.
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Last edited by sage2006; 03-28-2013 at 01:11 AM.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2013, 02:30 AM
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As Benjamin Franklin said - "People willing to trade their permanent freedom for temporary security, deserve neither".
:-)) Appreciate your very apt comment there hahaha
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2013, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by greyhair View Post
Thank you everyone who traveled from across the country to represent us in DC. You are all amazing. Please ignore and overlook these comments from a few folks who only seek updates. Even if some people post thankless messages, please know that there are a lot of people who care for your work for all of us.

Let me also say that although I understand that temporary work permit gives little bit of temporary security to H-4 spouse.

As Benjamin Franklin said - "People willing to trade their permanent freedom for temporary security, deserve neither".

Freedom comes from getting green card. As long as green card backlog is the primary focus, itís all good.

EB immigration is not the only kind of immigration. Immigration is a complex subject. There is only so much of oxygen and face time for high-skilled issues. And its concerning that there is new emphasis on this side issue of "spouses of H1B" that it is starting to suck out significant oxygen from primary issue of green card backlog. If people can get green cards in 1-2 years, "H1B spouse" issue will get minimized.

When undocumented group is talking about citizenship, instead of focusing most of the energies on fast green cards for high-skilled, much of the recent energy on the high-skilled side is being spent on "work permits for H-4 spouses".

Agree, itís important for those who don't have work permits. But this is a symptom of a bigger problem which is green card backlogs. If people can get green cards quickly, folks will have minimum or no desire for H-4 work permits. Talking about this issue will help as long as the pitch is focused on highlighting this as a symptom of a bigger problem - backlogs. As soon as the pitch of ďwork permits for H-4 spouses" becomes a primary/competing issue, it dilutes the bigger message of fixing green card backlogs.

Lawyers and employers have interest in talking about H-4 work permit. They want us to be on H1-B visa. That way, lawyers make more money, and employers can exploit us longer. Lets be smart about what we ask.
I disagree on your thought process on EAD for H1B Spouse. Not everyone on H1 is interested to apply for GC , so spouses of H1 need an EAD, similar to L1 spouse, period.

For people like us, we need some help in backlog reduction by Visa recapture or removal of country caps or increase country cap or increase the employment GC to say 250k per year or dependent GC shouldn't be counted against EB count or if someone is waiting for GC for more than 10 years..give them GC automatically

Or change the spillover vertically instead of horizontally based on backlogs in the earliest year ( Meaning clear backlogs for priority date in 2002 in EB1 , EB2, EB3 irrespective of country cap , then go after 2003........so on)

I know numbersusa guys will dislike my post. Ha Ha Ha.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2013, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sage2006 View Post
The proposals and provisions we have outlined during our meetings with lawmakers as well as with the White House have been carefully thought out and constructed. These are not like the random lists that appear on some of the online petitions that occassionally do the rounds.
Regarding any one provision becoming the highlight, well apart from the few posts above, none of the actual advocacy participants have indicated anything to this effect.
For us every provision is important and because of our reasonable and logical proposals, each has been positively accepted with equal weight by all the key offices. Of course, backlog removal is the core of any high-skilled immigration reform. However, we should also stay focused on other admin or legal fixes that would bring relief to the community in the long run. Immigration reform is not a laundry list where we pick and choose what we want. We are part of a large and complex puzzle where all we can do is play our part and ensure all our provisions are at the top of the agenda.
Our provisions and the messaging around it are well outlined and clear. What we really need is people stepping up, spreading awareness about advocacy, and participating in grass-roots events such as the recently concluded advocacy days and upcoming future AIs.
Thanks for the information. I agree with you we should also stay focused on admin or legal fixes. If you cannot share or don't have status to share on any particular item then nicely expressing it like you did won't alienate people.
But recently any time any one writes(asking status or says something supportive) about EAD for H4 lot of IV members are taking aggressive stance against them as if the requester is an anti immigrant trying to sabotage CIR. This discourages people from participating in IV.

Again we thank all the of you who took personal time off to represent us.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2013, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by sunny2007 View Post
I disagree on your thought process on EAD for H1B Spouse. Not everyone on H1 is interested to apply for GC , so spouses of H1 need an EAD, similar to L1 spouse, period.

For people like us, we need some help in backlog reduction by Visa recapture or removal of country caps or increase country cap or increase the employment GC to say 250k per year or dependent GC shouldn't be counted against EB count or if someone is waiting for GC for more than 10 years..give them GC automatically

Or change the spillover vertically instead of horizontally based on backlogs in the earliest year ( Meaning clear backlogs for priority date in 2002 in EB1 , EB2, EB3 irrespective of country cap , then go after 2003........so on)

I know numbersusa guys will dislike my post. Ha Ha Ha.
Don't forget our brothers on student F1 visas. Spouses on F2 visas are not allowed to work. They do not want greencard. If these H1s who do not want greencards and are not contributing members are getting a gift why not our brothers on F1? Can we add them too?
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