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Old 08-08-2013, 12:26 AM
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Default Immigration Voice Advocacy Event September 7th-10th, 2013 & August Townhall Meetings

Greetings!

Immigration reform is at a critical juncture in the U.S Congress. As you may be aware, the Senate recently has passed it's immigration bill with an overwhelming bi-partisan majority. Now, the House leadership is expected to bring its own bill, H.R. 2131, for a vote on the House floor. This bill passed the House Judiciary Committee on 27th June this year.

But given the trend of immigration bills under consideration in the House of Representatives, it will be naive to believe that employment based green card backlogs will be automatically resolved. As shared in our previous newsletter, the House bill H.R.2131 will result in a ten fold increase in the existing backlog and a wait time of 300 years from the current 30 years, which is impractical.

We have to ensure that we are not forgotten, as we carry the burden of speaking up and sharing our stories. Either we can sit on the sidelines and watch a small handful of groups obfuscate our issues, or, we have the option to stand-up now and speak up to help craft a fair policy - the most American thing to do.

If you ask us, we say let's step-up and join hands, meet lawmakers, speak up in town halls, come to DC for the advocacy event, donate air miles, help fund someone else's travel, donate towards the organization of the event, make phone calls and spread the message.

The IV core team cannot do this alone. We need your help urgently to focus on 3 Action Items.
Quote:
* Lobby Days in Washington, D.C.: Register for DC advocacy event on September 7 - 10. Make travel plans in advance and join your fellow IV members, to meet and advocate our fixes with more than 300 Members of Congress. You can be a part of making history and have the satisfaction of doing something for yourself and your family.
Quote:
* Contribution: As you may know, we have paid advocacy efforts ongoing in DC on a continuous basis and we receive professional counsel from lobbyists. In order to keep those critical efforts going they must be well-funded during this important period. We need your help to pitch in and contribute towards this cause. You have the opportunity to see the wonderful work being done for yourself by attending our advocacy event in DC on September 7-10.
Quote:
* Townhalls in August: Look through these documents (by State or by Date) to find a Congressional town-hall meeting near your home. We ask you to take 1-2 hours from your schedule and attend the town-hall to tell your Member of Congress that US economy needs more green cards and a bill like H.R.2131 will hurt US workers, immigrant workers and US economy.
Although we all love Democracy, nothing happens by itself. The onus of speaking up and participating in the political process always lies on the people seeking a change. Each one of us has the capacity to do his/her share. The question is not - can we make a difference; the real question is - WILL WE STEP-UP TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Please do not assume or take it for granted that green card backlogs will be automatically solved in the final package of immigration reform.

Life is too short. You can either spend your time on the sidelines, or, you could join others in the good fight, which we all will remember for rest of our lives. Put your time, money and effort on the table. You will not be doing it for anyone else. This is about you and your families. We hope that each one of you will make the right choice, so that you can look back at this moment, one day, with pride not regret.

We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C. on September 7th - 10th.

Thank You,
Immigration Voice

Last edited by Administrator2; 08-08-2013 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:29 AM
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What is Advocacy Days?

Advocacy Days does not involve rallies or protest on the streets. Instead Advocacy Days involve working collaboratively with the office of the Members of Congress in meeting format. This is more of the meeting in which you explain issues affecting you and the community. Members of Congress are not fully aware of our issues, which is why events such as - Advocacy Days - is needed to create awareness on our issues. Members of Congress want to listen and learn about the hardships faced by immigrants, they want to fix the broken system. The question is, are you willing to step up to make your voice count and actively participate to make the difference.

This time around, after August recess, The House is expected to bring up smaller immigration bills which are likely to be conferenced with Senate bill. To make sure that our provisions make into the final Conference committee package, it is important that our provisions are part of the House bill. In that sense, September 2013 is going to be the most consequential advocacy event until now.


Why is this 3 day event?

The way we organize advocacy days is - we ask that you arrive in Washington, D.C. either on the 7th night or 8th September early morning. Whole day on 8th September, we will go over how to tell your unedited personal story effectively. You may think you know everything about advocacy, but the fact is, if you have not been to meeting with your representatives in the past, chances are you will not be able to make the best out of the face time with the Congressional offices. That is why attending this training is very very important and mandatory for effective and successful advocacy meetings so that you could articulate the issue, problems and solutions/recommendations to fix the system.


Have you done Advocacy Days before?

We have conducted over 11 advocacy days till now. Due to various reason, many of these events were not unannounced on the forum. Each Advocacy event involves constituents coming in from across the country, as far as Alaska and Hawaii, representing each State/district. Most Advocacy days are attended by around 100-125 members. This time we are expecting around 350 Congressional meetings in two days. In these meetings we will explain our issues and providing meaningful suggestions to fix the systematic problem with the system.


How many meetings will I go to?

After all day training on the 8th September, your entire day on 9th and 10th September will be packed with Congressional meetings. You will be going to Congressional meetings in small groups with others attending the Advocacy days from your State/other States.


How many IV members are you expecting in this Advocacy Days? Who has already signed up?

We are planning on conducting around 350 meetings in 2 days. So we would like around 150 members to attend this event. If you can imagine, scheduling 350 Congressional meetings, matching with the schedule of 150 different people coming in and leaving from out of town, making sure everyone is comfortable and well placed, it's a complex task to plan and execute such an event. Which is why, we prefer no more than 150 members. The question is, are you willing to step up to make your voice count and actively participate to make the difference.

Some of the IV members who have already signed up include PHDs, Medical doctors, employees to large tech companies, university professors etc. We would like to invite everyone who aligns with our stated goals of elimination of EB backlogs.

What are you supposed to do to be part of Advocacy days? What Do I need to do in advance?

You do not have to do anything in advance. If you have the burning desire to stand-up for you and your family, to speak up and have your voice heard in a democratic process, have lawmakers listen to your issues so that there could be a meaningful reform, then this is your chance to make a difference.

Just sign-up and show up on time. We will setup meetings with Senate offices and specific House offices for you. When you arrive, we will hand you your meeting schedule, training material, advocacy folders for each office, provide you with specific training on how to meaningfully and effectively communicate your personal story, plus we will go over how to explain our problems and issues when you go for the meetings with Congressional Offices.

Sign-up for the Advocacy days here


I've Secret clearance required for my job, will attending Advocacy Days affect my clearance?

Speaking-up and making your voice heard in a civilized manner is the most American thing. In Advocacy events, we are meeting with Congressional offices to tell our stories and recommend solutions based on how things work on the ground. There is nothing wrong with participating in Advocacy days. In fact, at the meeting you could probably end up getting picture with your Senator or Member of Congress. None of this should negatively affect your security clearance of any other part of your job or immigration process.

Please read below for the experience of others who attend past IV Advocacy Days:

1) redds777 sharing his story and highlighting the importance of the IV platform.

http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/fo...ml#post1962756 (Live updates: Advocacy day Event)

2) devang777 shares his inspiring experience and the power feeling of visiting Capitol Hill.
http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/fo...ml#post1962889 (Live updates: Advocacy day Event)


3) needhelp has flown across the country to be at EVERY IV advocacy event, even after getting her GC. She is one of our respected lead volunteers and has been involved with the behind-the-scenes logistics and preparations for every IV advocacy event. Below is her experience -

http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/fo...ml#post1963685 (Live updates: Advocacy day Event)

4) Advocacy day experience by Starsun, another major driving force behind coordinating all our advocacy events

http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/fo...ml#post1963702 (Live updates: Advocacy day Event)

5) http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/fo...ml#post1963852 (Live updates: Advocacy day Event)

6) gsc999 shares a very important perspective and his experience with advocacy.
http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/fo...ml#post1963883 (Live updates: Advocacy day Event)

7) logiclife sharing his IV advocacy experience in an inspiring way
http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/fo...ml#post1964344 (Live updates: Advocacy day Event)

8) goosetavo sharing his experience and highlighting the importance of advocating for our cause

http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/fo...ml#post1964381 (Live updates: Advocacy day Event)

9) Longtime IV member santb1975 providing a detailed description about the 3-day event in April 2010.
http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/fo...ml#post1965259 (Live updates: Advocacy day Event)

Last edited by Administrator2; 08-11-2013 at 03:44 PM.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-2013, 12:30 AM
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Here is the latest newsletter for the event: Newsletter - 12th August, 2013

Last edited by Administrator2; 08-11-2013 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:06 AM
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Default How to donate air miles

Can somebody let me know How I can donate airmiles.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:39 PM
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Default Why is HR2131 bad?

Can some one please point me to the discussion where it was summarized why we should oppose it? As I see, it would add another 55K immigrant visas for STEM graduates which if go unused, would come down to EB2. Also, it proposes to eliminate the country cap too. May be I am missing some important thing here, can some one please clarify?
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by psagarn View Post
Can some one please point me to the discussion where it was summarized why we should oppose it? As I see, it would add another 55K immigrant visas for STEM graduates which if go unused, would come down to EB2. Also, it proposes to eliminate the country cap too. May be I am missing some important thing here, can some one please clarify?
I think there was a newsletter for it some weeks ago. You should also like the IV facebook page to see updates. They had a conference call for all IV members last week.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by waitingnwaiting View Post
I think there was a newsletter for it some weeks ago. You should also like the IV facebook page to see updates. They had a conference call for all IV members last week.
I looked at one newsletter that was linked to, in the OP but that letter does not say why, it just says "according to some .... the wait would increase from 30 to 300 yrs..". But how? adding 55k additional GCs and removing the country cap are IMHO, a very good thing for the over all wait time for GC.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:18 PM
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remember that hr 2131 increases h1B to 195K so 3 times more ppl are added to the queue.

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Originally Posted by psagarn View Post
I looked at one newsletter that was linked to, in the OP but that letter does not say why, it just says "according to some .... the wait would increase from 30 to 300 yrs..". But how? adding 55k additional GCs and removing the country cap are IMHO, a very good thing for the over all wait time for GC.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by forever_waiting View Post
remember that hr 2131 increases h1B to 195K so 3 times more ppl are added to the queue.
true, but would all of them choose to apply for GC? What is the current number i.e. how many H1Bs choose to apply for GC every year. Also, 55K new GCs would be added so some of that effect would be neutralized. I do not intend to start the discussion all over again, just looking for the place where all this research and analysis has been done.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:29 PM
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Ok the main reason for the backlogs today is the temporary increase in H1B count in the late 1990s. Most immigration policy experts point this out.
And remember H1B count does not include dependents whereas GC count does. So technically 195K * 2.2 applicants (I agree all dont apply but fact is MOST do..which is the reason for the current backlogs) are added to the GC queue.
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true, but would all of them choose to apply for GC? What is the current number i.e. how many H1Bs choose to apply for GC every year. Also, 55K new GCs would be added so some of that effect would be neutralized. I do not intend to start the discussion all over again, just looking for the place where all this research and analysis has been done.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by psagarn View Post
Can some one please point me to the discussion where it was summarized why we should oppose it? As I see, it would add another 55K immigrant visas for STEM graduates which if go unused, would come down to EB2. Also, it proposes to eliminate the country cap too. May be I am missing some important thing here, can some one please clarify?
Let me try to clarify. I was under the same impression that HR2131 is good because I was only thinking about my application. I was on one of those calls mentioned in this thread. The bigger picture is that HR2131 increases green cards by a very small number, and increased H1 to 195K. And the bill doesn't add 55K green cards for us, it make Eb-1/2/3 number to 165K. This means backlog will increase over time when more people come into the system than the number of people that can be processed by the system. For those with 2010 EB-2 date (like yours) this may be sufficient to get a green card. The way system will work, over time you will see more people stuck in the backlogs, and those people will be more attractive for your employer.

At this moment most of us seem to think that we are invincible and getting green card will land us in a better or secure jobs. However, the way the system will work under HR2131, we will be less attractive for employers because of our green card. And we will have less chance to land a job. We may think that we are smart, intelligent, talented, special, so this will not happen to us. But this is how the system largely works for most part. I just recently understood that reducing backlog doesn't mean someone who is close to being current has to get their application processed. Reducing backlog means, making green numbers available to those who are waiting in the backlog and making green numbers more than the new applicants coming into the system.

People doing this know well that removing per country caps is in the bill because IV is the brain child of this idea and pushing removing per-country limits. Removing per country limits is means to an end. The objective is to reduce the time of application processing. If HR2131 increases H1 numbers to 195K without adequately increasing green cards, removing per country limits will not be as much helpful.

Others are free to jump-in.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:56 PM
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Let me try to clarify. I was under the same impression that HR2131 is good because I was only thinking about my application. I was on one of those calls mentioned in this thread. The bigger picture is that HR2131 increases green cards by a very small number, and increased H1 to 195K. And the bill doesn't add 55K green cards for us, it make Eb-1/2/3 number to 165K. This means backlog will increase over time when more people come into the system than the number of people that can be processed by the system. For those with 2010 EB-2 date (like yours) this may be sufficient to get a green card. The way system will work, over time you will see more people stuck in the backlogs, and those people will be more attractive for your employer.

At this moment most of us seem to think that we are invincible and getting green card will land us in a better or secure jobs. However, the way the system will work under HR2131, we will be less attractive for employers because of our green card. And we will have less chance to land a job. We may think that we are smart, intelligent, talented, special, so this will not happen to us. But this is how the system largely works for most part. I just recently understood that reducing backlog doesn't mean someone who is close to being current has to get their application processed. Reducing backlog means, making green numbers available to those who are waiting in the backlog and making green numbers more than the new applicants coming into the system.

People doing this know well that removing per country caps is in the bill because IV is the brain child of this idea and pushing removing per-country limits. Removing per country limits is means to an end. The objective is to reduce the time of application processing. If HR2131 increases H1 numbers to 195K without adequately increasing green cards, removing per country limits will not be as much helpful.

Others are free to jump-in.
Makes sense, except that it gives an impression that we do not want more non-immigrant visas coz that will create more competition for us. Not sure if that is what we (IV) want.
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:02 PM
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Makes sense, except that it gives an impression that we do not want more non-immigrant visas coz that will create more competition for us. Not sure if that is what we (IV) want.
I think bringing more H1Bs is ok as long as greencard quota is also increased proportionately. Companies and lawyers just want H1B quota increased so that they have more workers available to work for less and for a longer duration of time. They all know that once a person gets greencard, there is no lawyer income and he leaves the company for better salary elsewhere. We have to choose sides here in favor of immigrants and not in favor of greedy companies. Imagine how much abuse will happen in consulting companies if H1B quota is increased to 195K and greencard is not increased 2 times H1B increase to balance the load and keep it at current backlog levels.
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:11 PM
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Companies and lawyers just want H1B quota increased so that they have more workers available to work for less and for a longer duration of time.
This is a dangerous statement....are we saying that H1B program is a means to have cheap foreign labor available to US companies (at the expense of US citizens?).
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Old 08-08-2013, 02:31 PM
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This is a dangerous statement....are we saying that H1B program is a means to have cheap foreign labor available to US companies (at the expense of US citizens?).
It is not dangerous. We cannot close our eyes from reality and say everything is good with immigrants and employers. Many companies are good, but many are bad too for people who do not have green cards.

Almost all abuse of immigrant employees happen on non-immigrant visa. If you look at the salaries paid by such abusive employers you will find them lower than market wage. Ask your friends if you do not know. It may be as per DOL wage but DOL wage and prevailing wage in real market is different for bright people like us working for good companies. You will see that such consulting companies hire mostly Indians. Have you thought why. Even big desi consulting companies have 90% employees on L1 and H1 visa, 6% on EAD, 2% greencard and citizenship? It is because Indians have the highest waiting time for greencard. No other reason. If people from UK had highest waiting time in USA many employers would rather be interested in hiring only UK citizens. So in a way in the current scenario ROW is being discriminated in getting H1B jobs and their jobs are being given to Indians by companies. As immigrants we should stand up for what is good for immigrants.
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