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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 02-08-2014, 04:15 PM
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Of course the event is still on. Thanks a lot for your participation and registering. Our volunteers are preparing for the event in full swing ... we will be in touch shortly with respect to providing logistical details to the folks who have registered. Please stay tuned and encourage your colleagues, friends to join in. As you may have viewed in our newsletter, this is a key moment for immigration reform this year and we have to push forward with maximum participation in this grass-roots lobby event to ensure our provisions are part of the House package.

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Are we still doing this ?
I have registered to come . So far I didn't get any updates.
Any body is coordinating the accommodation, car pool to the venue etc.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2014, 10:01 AM
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2014, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by sage2006 View Post
Of course the event is still on. Thanks a lot for your participation and registering. Our volunteers are preparing for the event in full swing ... we will be in touch shortly with respect to providing logistical details to the folks who have registered. Please stay tuned and encourage your colleagues, friends to join in. As you may have viewed in our newsletter, this is a key moment for immigration reform this year and we have to push forward with maximum participation in this grass-roots lobby event to ensure our provisions are part of the House package.
sage/Mr. Moderator,

Could I please ask you respectfully. Why do you keep doing these grass-roots lobby events? I've attended a few in the past myself and I plan to attend this one too. Would it not be more prudent to consider change in the strategy as follows.

As an individual, I am a big supporter of individual freedom. When I landed in this country this is one of the reasons that fascinated me. Therefore, by inclination of my believes, even though I am not LGBT, not there there is anything wrong with it, I have always supported LGBT rights. Individual rights in pursuit of happiness out-weigh any belief system of others in the society, including religious beliefs. Its that simple.

That being said, why the hell every news media and every lawmakers only talks about LGBT 99.99% of the time, as if there is no other issue. As one of those in the supporting camp for the rights of LGBT, even I am frustrated by the repetition of the same talk points by media, Obama administration and by those in Congress. If you listen to media or Attorney General or Members of Congress, you will believe that the only thing wrong with this world is LGBT don't have same rights #appalling.

If this is going to be as it has been, why do these grass-roots lobby events? Because the truth is - no one cares if we say that 700K Indian immigrants are being exploited. But maybe it might help if we just all change to be LGBT. Then we will be able to go to these meetings and proudly say that green card backlogs is persecution of 700K "LGBT" Indians. Then give it 2 months and you will have a permanent solution to employment based green card backlogs.

I am sorry Mr. Moderator, but there is no other way in sight.

Peace
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 02-10-2014, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by sage2006 View Post
Of course the event is still on. Thanks a lot for your participation and registering. Our volunteers are preparing for the event in full swing ... we will be in touch shortly with respect to providing logistical details to the folks who have registered. Please stay tuned and encourage your colleagues, friends to join in. As you may have viewed in our newsletter, this is a key moment for immigration reform this year and we have to push forward with maximum participation in this grass-roots lobby event to ensure our provisions are part of the House package.
Should IV postpone it because Boehner is not saying that it is not happening this year.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 02-10-2014, 01:41 PM
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Should IV postpone it because Boehner is not saying that it is not happening this year.
If you read media reports, its clear that Boehner is making these statements because there are Republican primaries in June. Boehner need moderate republicans and democrats to pass a bill in the House. Any talk of a possible immigration bill puts moderate Republican members at the risk of losing primaries against more conservative tea-party candidates. Boehner is making these statements to give some protection to moderate Republicans in the primary elections. Media reports are saying that after the republican primaries are over, immigration bill will again come to the forefront. Otherwise why did Republicans come out with 'immigration principles' and within a week now Boehner is saying that he doesn't trust the President.

IV should not postpone because parachuting at the last minute doesn't work. Policy is finalized long before any bill shows up. We have to go in to influence the policy. This cannot be done after the bill is drafted. In September-2013 I learned that the steps before bill introduction are -

1.) Policy discussion
2.) Decision on Policy position
3.) Bill Draft
4.) Bill introduction

If we don't want to see bills that will increase of H1s to 200K with zero increase in green card, then we have to go in remind lawmakers for the right policy. The alternative is that we will be stuck with bills like SKILLS Visa Act like H.R.2161.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 02-10-2014, 01:56 PM
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Has IV conducted an assessment of what were the results from past advocacy events and what can be done to improve the advocacy? I have attended the event last year but felt that we just got lip service from the legislators.

I appreciate the role of IV and the dedication. Its just superb the way they handle these events. I am just not sure our troubles are being understood/empathized with on the hill. My 2 cents.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 02-10-2014, 05:26 PM
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I am just not sure our troubles are being understood/empathized with on the hill. My 2 cents.
Maybe we have not done our share in showing up in larger numbers as many time as needed to highlight our issues. As someone else has written earlier on this forum, most of us are "keyboard tigers" and like doing online petitions that have zero value. And undocumented have been out in the open without fear. "Educated" folks from India tend to believe that participation in advocacy is beneath them. I have spoken to a few of my friends waiting in backlogs and they think advocacy is for illiterate people. Nothing could be further than truth because most people involved in advocacy are extremely educated and smart (if not smarter).

Lets each one of ask ourselves - honestly, how many times have you gone to meetings in Washington DC or in your home State? I've seen so many folks making weird excuses including not wanting to miss daily pooja at local temple or not missing friend's son's birthday. We are good at making and finding excuses for not doing our share, and then asking others why lawmakers don't understand our troubles.

Simple answer is - we, each one of us, have not done enough of our share. And the proof is, we are where we started.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 02-10-2014, 06:47 PM
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Maybe we have not done our share in showing up in larger numbers as many time as needed to highlight our issues. As someone else has written earlier on this forum, most of us are "keyboard tigers" and like doing online petitions that have zero value. And undocumented have been out in the open without fear. "Educated" folks from India tend to believe that participation in advocacy is beneath them. I have spoken to a few of my friends waiting in backlogs and they think advocacy is for illiterate people. Nothing could be further than truth because most people involved in advocacy are extremely educated and smart (if not smarter).

Lets each one of ask ourselves - honestly, how many times have you gone to meetings in Washington DC or in your home State? I've seen so many folks making weird excuses including not wanting to miss daily pooja at local temple or not missing friend's son's birthday. We are good at making and finding excuses for not doing our share, and then asking others why lawmakers don't understand our troubles.

Simple answer is - we, each one of us, have not done enough of our share. And the proof is, we are where we started.
Even though I partially agree with what you mentioned, I also tend to believe that the general perception is we are all H1Bs. Until we get that image corrected, that we are not talking about H1B issues, we will never get heard.

Also, hi-tech workers are not believed to be "suffering" as much as low-wage workers. Our troubles are not considered the same as someone who lives paycheck to paycheck (more than likely at minimum wage). And the uphill task of convincing Congress that we are not taking jobs away from Americans.

We also lack the fire in our bellies to do anything (advocacy, outreach etc). The moment someone leads, there are 100s to discredit that person and end the momentum. And that's our biggest problem.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 02-10-2014, 11:50 PM
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Even though I partially agree with what you mentioned, I also tend to believe that the general perception is we are all H1Bs. Until we get that image corrected, that we are not talking about H1B issues, we will never get heard.

Also, hi-tech workers are not believed to be "suffering" as much as low-wage workers. Our troubles are not considered the same as someone who lives paycheck to paycheck (more than likely at minimum wage). And the uphill task of convincing Congress that we are not taking jobs away from Americans.

We also lack the fire in our bellies to do anything (advocacy, outreach etc). The moment someone leads, there are 100s to discredit that person and end the momentum. And that's our biggest problem.
Probably someone already figured this out and came up with a solution. Be the change you want to see in the world - this is what he said. Individual freedom couldn't mean much without individual responsibility. We can only be responsible for ourselves and the only person we can change is us. If we do so, my guess is we will be just fine. Which is why I will be at the advocacy events traveling from CA.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2014, 03:49 AM
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As you would have noticed during your previous grass-roots lobbying, it can be a very enjoyable but at the same time an experience that tests our patience. During my first advocacy event several years back there were probably 5% of staffers and congressional offices who knew anything about green cards. Almost every office I visited assumed I was there to ask for an increase in H1B numbers. However I must tell you that this % has significantly grown and the last time in Sep-2013, almost 80% of the offices knew about EB GCs (even if some took time to grasp the nuances...they eventually got it). Several of these meetings "seem" very superfluous but the effect of your meeting them if far more than we imagine it to be. Every meeting has a domino effect...staffers talk to each other, get asked to write internal papers, sometimes they get pinged by their bosses about talking points on high-skilled immigration and on several instances they end up pinging the IV members who met them. IV Core follows up with key offices and we always get very positive feedback about the meetings and they are impressed with the professional manner in which our members present our material and talking points. Our idea is always to leave them with an overview of our issue and grab their attention by demonstrating how grass-roots folks like us are impacted enough by the green card issue making us travel from across the country to DC. I have seen staffers remember us almost a year after we last met them...the reason being they meet hundreds of lobbyists every month but the number of grass-roots constituents they meet can be counted on fingertips.
Follow-up to the meetings is very key to making the offices we meet continue to stay engaged and enlightened. As you would have heard during our previous meetings...follow up is paramount and those members who have really followed up have contributed to getting provisions in bills, co-sponsors for legislation and having their lawmakers becoming the champions for our cause. It is a task that requires persistence and patience.

However, part of what you point out is true and that is the very reason we keep going back to DC. The reason being we do not want the offices to merely learn and be aware of our issue...but to actually argue in favor of it when push comes to shove and key bills are being negotiated. And that is why our repeated reminders and meetings are crucial. If our GC provisions are at the periphery, there is every danger of them being left out. The biggest issue right now is the huge increase in H1Bs in every House proposal without proportional relief for GC backlogs. We do not have to have a sob story like other groups...since our message about innovation, entrepreneurship and the fact that most of us have spent one-third of our lives in an uncertainbacklog queue, has definitely struck a chord which is why we have got this far as a grass-roots group.

There is no perfect formula or approach to getting a bill passed. If there were, lobbyists would be out of a job. However there is definitely a right and honest formula, and that is what we, as honest professionals and constituents, are trying to pursue by means of these well organized and large-scale lobby days. And we cannot do it without all your help.

Watch out for our newsletter which will have some interesting viewpoints.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pd052011 View Post
Even though I partially agree with what you mentioned, I also tend to believe that the general perception is we are all H1Bs. Until we get that image corrected, that we are not talking about H1B issues, we will never get heard.

Also, hi-tech workers are not believed to be "suffering" as much as low-wage workers. Our troubles are not considered the same as someone who lives paycheck to paycheck (more than likely at minimum wage). And the uphill task of convincing Congress that we are not taking jobs away from Americans.

We also lack the fire in our bellies to do anything (advocacy, outreach etc). The moment someone leads, there are 100s to discredit that person and end the momentum. And that's our biggest problem.
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Last edited by sage2006; 02-12-2014 at 03:51 AM.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2014, 04:03 AM
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Your point is well taken grey hair. I think we all share your frustration.
You give an interesting analogy..the fact is every era has its share of social issues some of which are just carried forward by their own momentum.

Immigration policy however is an issue which has always been pushed in all possible directions by the politics involved. The net effect is it has stayed exactly where it was 20 years back. All we can do is be honest and do what we can do TOGETHER in getting our issues resolved. I am not sure trying to replicate the reasoning of some other social issue will help us. Immigration is not a civil rights issue..period. The US is among the most welcoming of nations when it comes to immigrants and the authorities involved have done their best within the limits of the existing laws and administrative rules. However the problem is laws have not kept pace with the times and are severely outdated. And that is what we are trying to change...specifically with respect to high-skilled immigration/Green cards.


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Originally Posted by greyhair View Post
sage/Mr. Moderator,

Could I please ask you respectfully. Why do you keep doing these grass-roots lobby events? I've attended a few in the past myself and I plan to attend this one too. Would it not be more prudent to consider change in the strategy as follows.

As an individual, I am a big supporter of individual freedom. When I landed in this country this is one of the reasons that fascinated me. Therefore, by inclination of my believes, even though I am not LGBT, not there there is anything wrong with it, I have always supported LGBT rights. Individual rights in pursuit of happiness out-weigh any belief system of others in the society, including religious beliefs. Its that simple.

That being said, why the hell every news media and every lawmakers only talks about LGBT 99.99% of the time, as if there is no other issue. As one of those in the supporting camp for the rights of LGBT, even I am frustrated by the repetition of the same talk points by media, Obama administration and by those in Congress. If you listen to media or Attorney General or Members of Congress, you will believe that the only thing wrong with this world is LGBT don't have same rights #appalling.

If this is going to be as it has been, why do these grass-roots lobby events? Because the truth is - no one cares if we say that 700K Indian immigrants are being exploited. But maybe it might help if we just all change to be LGBT. Then we will be able to go to these meetings and proudly say that green card backlogs is persecution of 700K "LGBT" Indians. Then give it 2 months and you will have a permanent solution to employment based green card backlogs.

I am sorry Mr. Moderator, but there is no other way in sight.

Peace
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 02-14-2014, 04:16 PM
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Arrow Are you ready to step up? (http://newsletter.immigrationvoice.org/)

Dear Friends,

By now all of you have had the chance to review the latest visa bulletin issued by the Department of state this past week. Looking at the priority dates gives us a feeling of déjà vu lately and we are sure you feel the same way. In June of 2012 the EB2 India date retrogressed to being unavailable. While EB3 India reached September of 2002 in the same month the minimal crawl forward was nothing to write home about. Since then, barring a few months last year when some spillover visas became available, the dates are essentially stuck at almost a decade ago. While the dates for EB2 China are better, they remain well behind EB3 China thus making mockery of the supposed logic of this immigration system. We have tried watching the visa bulletins and waiting, praying, cursing and sometimes just silently agonizing over the situation and none of it has helped our cause.

Over these last few years many of us have been actively organizing and advocating for immigration reform as you already know. Given the political battles on Capitol Hill, this has been an uphill climb at every step. Still, we have had notable success in creating serious credibility for ourselves on this issue and fighting our way to a seat at the adult table where immigration reform will live or die this year.

Many of those who go to DC on a regular basis and lobby their lawmakers at home have Green Cards in hand already. Despite that, we consider this cause important enough that we have kept participating and contributing. If we have to win though, this is not enough.

This year, the Republicans in the House have finally come around to the cause of immigration reform. This is a momentous change and the chances of something moving are higher than they have been in a very long time. It’s up to us though to seize the moment. The current proposals are inadequate for us, they don’t provide increased Green Card numbers and don’t address the backlog, in fact they threaten to make it worse. If we want our problems to be addressed meaningfully, we have to stand up for ourselves now. A few of us working on this will not succeed. We need you to join us in DC this March for an advocacy event. While we need you there, you need it as much and more because you owe it to yourself and to your family to step up and make yourself heard.

This will be an experience you will not forget. We will not only meet lawmakers and their staff, but also visit the White House. Not only will you help solve your immigration problems, you will grow in every way, personal and professional. So join us…you will not regret it. The details are below. The first step is to register so we can help you with logistics in DC. Use this opportunity to be a part of the immigration reform process.

  1. Register TODAY for IV's advocacy event in Washington D.C. to be held from March 1st to 4th, 2014, and ensure our voices are heard loud and clear
  2. Contribute to IV and help us not only assist other willing members to come to DC but also cover the expenses of organizing such a large-scale event to influence the policy
  3. And you can also donate airline miles / hotel reward points

We look forward to seeing you in Washington D.C. from March 1st to 4th, 2014.

Thank you,
IV Core Team

Last edited by The Alchemist; 02-15-2014 at 11:42 AM.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 02-15-2014, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by pd052011 View Post
Has IV conducted an assessment of what were the results from past advocacy events and what can be done to improve the advocacy? I have attended the event last year but felt that we just got lip service from the legislators.

I appreciate the role of IV and the dedication. Its just superb the way they handle these events. I am just not sure our troubles are being understood/empathized with on the hill. My 2 cents.
There was a recent nfap report published which mainly talked about how current undocumented people can get green card through existing channels. At the end of the report, it advocated for the green card provisions that we are asking about. Although not many people paid attention to that part, that analysis has been used in many media articles. When we do these events and talk to people, that's how people start talking about our points and it ends up getting published in some analysis which then becomes starting point for a bill. Without these lobby events, this would not be possible. We do not have powerful lobby to lobby for us. Until we get that, we have to do this our self.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 02-19-2014, 04:42 PM
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 02-27-2014, 10:14 PM
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Even though it may seem like nothing is going on, some things are going on in background. Those who are still waiting on the sideline, there is still time left to register for the event and doing something about our cause.

Boehner: 'Healthy' talk with Obama on immigration reform - Washington Times
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