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-   -   Advocacy day event: Live updates (link to event pictures added) (https://immigrationvoice.org/forum/forum16-iv-agenda-and-legislative-updates/3094783-advocacy-day-event-live-updates-link-to-event-pictures-added.html)

pappu 03-18-2013 12:56 PM

Advocacy day event: Live updates (link to event pictures added)
 
Updates and experiences will be posted by people taking part in this event here. Please stay tuned.

pappu 03-18-2013 12:58 PM

Young but responsible!


Greetings!

Today, we have been invited to attend a White House briefing for Immigration Voice. It is a great day for the three of us. Being 16, 18 and 20 years of age, we have a lot of life in front of us. Never did we imagine that we would carry the responsibility, on our young shoulders, of representing the issues affecting over a million people.

As over a hundred members of Immigration Voice attend this exclusive briefing today, we will be sincerely representing everyone who could not be here to share the harsh realities of decade long green card backlogs. In the next two days, we will also get the opportunity to meet over 150 Congressional offices.

The weeks and months ahead are not going to be easy. We will need the collective voice and participation of every person who cares for this issue. This is an uphill task but together, we will persevere.

Thank you,
Anisha, Rajat and Rithvik
Young Volunteers, Immigration Voice

spicy_guy 03-18-2013 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pappu (Post 3569620)
Young but responsible!


Greetings!

Today, we have been invited to attend a White House briefing for Immigration Voice. It is a great day for the three of us. Being 16, 18 and 20 years of age, we have a lot of life in front of us. Never did we imagine that we would carry the responsibility, on our young shoulders, of representing the issues affecting over a million people.

As over a hundred members of Immigration Voice attend this exclusive briefing today, we will be sincerely representing everyone who could not be here to share the harsh realities of decade long green card backlogs. In the next two days, we will also get the opportunity to meet over 150 Congressional offices.

The weeks and months ahead are not going to be easy. We will need the collective voice and participation of every person who cares for this issue. This is an uphill task but together, we will persevere.

Thank you,
Anisha, Rajat and Rithvik
Young Volunteers, Immigration Voice

Thank you all, guys!
We all wish you all good luck!

smiles 03-18-2013 05:24 PM

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!
 
A bunch of thanks to all the IV Volunteers !!

I've been checking IV updates on Facebook and those pictures are a treat to watch. I attended few bay area meetings last year, contributed towards organizing the San Jose rally and I can understand that these folks have sacrificed personal time, took vacation from their work and are contributing financially to this common cause!

Hats off to your guys and thanks again!!

somberi 03-18-2013 06:14 PM

kudos to IV, especially for the great timing! we are having the advocacy day just as the contours of the bill are falling into place. cant wait to see the results

sage2006 03-19-2013 04:56 PM

as always, an empowering experience
 
Tired but upbeat after two gruelling days of meetings highlighted by the amazing WH event. More details to follow once everyone has had a chance to take a breath :).

spicy_guy 03-19-2013 05:13 PM

Can't thank IV core enough!
Lots of sacrifices, patience and on top of all relentless efforts.
You guys are just awesome and inspiration to all.

somberi 03-20-2013 05:46 PM

we are waiting with bated breath for you guys to get a chance to take a breath :-) . cant wait to get the updates. How big was our group for the advocacy day? There were some coincidental developements from grassley and sessions around the same time. wondering if they are related. did the kids that went to WH get a chance to play dumbsharades (and spell Immigration Voice) with sasha and mallya? :-) just kidding

Quote:

Originally Posted by sage2006 (Post 3569681)
Tired but upbeat after two gruelling days of meetings highlighted by the amazing WH event. More details to follow once everyone has had a chance to take a breath :).


bsnf 03-21-2013 09:29 AM

The quote I liked from the White House briefing "We got your back" :)

needhelp! 03-21-2013 02:42 PM

STAND Up, Show UP, DON'T LEAVE
 
Thank You IV... The team never fails to inspire. I had a great experience learning from you all. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this good cause again.

To all those watching and waiting for things to happen, I want to share what I read recently.

1) STAND UP NOW: This is not going to happen if you sit behind your desk reading the forums and typing at your keyboard. Congress is not going to come asking you what you want. Don't be afraid to stand up and make your voices heard. And not just through emails and phone calls.

2) SHOW UP: We need to show up wherever the lawmakers and their representatives are, locally, in DC, wherever. We need to show up by extending our support through contributions.

3) Finally, DON'T LEAVE. We may have to keep showing up for this, but we are not going to leave until our issue is resolved.

pd052011 03-21-2013 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bsnf (Post 3569781)
The quote I liked from the White House briefing "We got your back" :)

I liked that quote too.

Question to IV: How do I continue to contribute? Where can I find information on town hall events etc?

Kudos to IV on the logistics. As a first time volunteer, I am very impressed with IV's role in shaping the immigration debate.

pappu 03-21-2013 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pd052011 (Post 3569797)
I liked that quote too.

Question to IV: How do I continue to contribute? Where can I find information on town hall events etc?

Kudos to IV on the logistics. As a first time volunteer, I am very impressed with IV's role in shaping the immigration debate.

You can sign up for monthly contributions/subscription, Use the contribute link above to sign up.

For attending future events like Town Halls etc, it is important that the member undergoes some kind of training. One should not go without preparation. The other day someone pointed me to a post of a member asking who is the senator of XYZ city to contact for service request. It just shows some of us do not even know the Senator, Congressman and that there is not a Senator of a city but each state has 2 Senators.

The best option is for everyone who attended advocacy days to lead in their state chapters and help others from the state by training them. If someone is interested they should contact IV and we will team with others in the state for training. After training, they will go prepared,meet , then come back with feedback from the meeting and IV will do a second follow up with the same office in DC.

greyhair 03-21-2013 09:18 PM

Well said. Thanks needhelp!



Quote:

Originally Posted by needhelp! (Post 3569795)
Thank You IV... The team never fails to inspire. I had a great experience learning from you all. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this good cause again.

To all those watching and waiting for things to happen, I want to share what I read recently.

1) STAND UP NOW: This is not going to happen if you sit behind your desk reading the forums and typing at your keyboard. Congress is not going to come asking you what you want. Don't be afraid to stand up and make your voices heard. And not just through emails and phone calls.

2) SHOW UP: We need to show up wherever the lawmakers and their representatives are, locally, in DC, wherever. We need to show up by extending our support through contributions.

3) Finally, DON'T LEAVE. We may have to keep showing up for this, but we are not going to leave until our issue is resolved.


sage2006 03-23-2013 04:46 PM

My experience
 
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.

unluckydude 03-23-2013 09:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sage2006 (Post 3569871)
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.

Congratulations and best wishes for everyone to achieve this goal. A big thank you for taking time on behalf of thousands of others. You all make us proud.

Together we will prevail.


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