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Retrogression, priority dates and Visa bulletins Issues surrounding the retrogression of the priority dates for the various employment based categories

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-13-2006, 04:38 PM
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Default Letter from Senator Saxby Chambliss of GA

Last Friday I had contacted my senator in GA about the H-1B and EB Visa increase and this the reply that I got today. I guess we need to do a better job of educating them that what we are asking for in not "illegal" reform. We are only asking for things like "ability to file I-485 during retrogression" etc.

------------------

Dear Mr. xx,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns about immigration reform. It is good to hear from you.

On May 25, 2006, the Senate passed S. 2611, the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006." I believe S.2611 is a bad bill because it puts more emphasis on amnesty than on border security. Our current immigration system is broken and needs reform. This reform should meet our national security needs as well as our economic interests and be a manageable policy for how many people we admit into the U.S.



The majority of Georgians, and I believe the majority of Americans, oppose the amnesty approach in the Senate's immigration reform bill. It has been tried in the past and did not work, and this bill repeats those mistakes of the past with far-reaching implications on future generations.



I have said throughout the course of this debate that we should not connect a pathway to citizenship to immigration reform. There are somewhere between 11 million and 20 million undocumented immigrants who came here to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families. However, we should not allow an automatic path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. We should not grant that privilege, which we cherish so much, to those who have broken our laws. It is not the right way to address the presence of the large number of illegal immigrants in our country today.



To control illegal immigration, we must first control our borders. To do this, Congress must commit to sufficient funding for our border security agencies and our immigration enforcement agencies. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 allows us to get a head start on the first prong of comprehensive reform. This legislation, which passed the Senate on September 29, 2006, requires the Department of Homeland Security to achieve complete operational control over our border with Mexico . With the enactment of this bill, we will have better control over who enters the country, how they enter it, and what they bring with them. Without the critical security measures included in the bill, we leave ourselves open to attack.

The United States shares a 1,951-mile border with Mexico. It does not take much creativity to imagine how terrorists might seek to exploit that border. The overwhelming majority of people who violate our borders do so in search of jobs--but not all of them. Some cross to deal drugs and commit crimes. Intelligence reports show that al-Qaida considers our borders a key vulnerability. Without effective border control, we cannot tell those looking for honest work from those who will create mayhem.

Border barriers alone won't solve our problems. Congress still needs to address the illegal immigrants already in the country and provide a viable guest worker program to fill jobs for which no Americans can be found. While I would have preferred coming to an agreement on a comprehensive solution this year, I have always said we need an enforcement-first approach to immigration reform. This bill is that next step in strengthening our national security and the next step in making America safer and more secure and that is why I voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

While we are a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws and those laws must be enforced. We can have meaningful reform that will not grant amnesty, that shows compassion for folks who have come here for the right reasons, but at the same time provides the security on our borders that Georgians and the American people demand. I will continue to stand firm on these principals as the Senate continues debate.



T hank you again for taking the time to contact me. If you would like to receive timely email alerts regarding the latest congressional actions and my weekly e-newsletter, please sign up via my web site at: www.chambliss.senate.gov . Please do not hesitate to be in touch if I may ever be of assistance to you.
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:42 PM
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Default standard letter

i got the same letter with almost the same wording from Phil Gingrey (r-GA) who represents my district almost 5 months back.


Quote:
Originally Posted by immilaw
Last Friday I had contacted my senator in GA about the H-1B and EB Visa increase and this the reply that I got today. I guess we need to do a better job of educating them that what we are asking for in not "illegal" reform. We are only asking for things like "ability to file I-485 during retrogression" etc.

------------------

Dear Mr. xx,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns about immigration reform. It is good to hear from you.

On May 25, 2006, the Senate passed S. 2611, the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006." I believe S.2611 is a bad bill because it puts more emphasis on amnesty than on border security. Our current immigration system is broken and needs reform. This reform should meet our national security needs as well as our economic interests and be a manageable policy for how many people we admit into the U.S.



The majority of Georgians, and I believe the majority of Americans, oppose the amnesty approach in the Senate's immigration reform bill. It has been tried in the past and did not work, and this bill repeats those mistakes of the past with far-reaching implications on future generations.



I have said throughout the course of this debate that we should not connect a pathway to citizenship to immigration reform. There are somewhere between 11 million and 20 million undocumented immigrants who came here to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families. However, we should not allow an automatic path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. We should not grant that privilege, which we cherish so much, to those who have broken our laws. It is not the right way to address the presence of the large number of illegal immigrants in our country today.



To control illegal immigration, we must first control our borders. To do this, Congress must commit to sufficient funding for our border security agencies and our immigration enforcement agencies. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 allows us to get a head start on the first prong of comprehensive reform. This legislation, which passed the Senate on September 29, 2006, requires the Department of Homeland Security to achieve complete operational control over our border with Mexico . With the enactment of this bill, we will have better control over who enters the country, how they enter it, and what they bring with them. Without the critical security measures included in the bill, we leave ourselves open to attack.

The United States shares a 1,951-mile border with Mexico. It does not take much creativity to imagine how terrorists might seek to exploit that border. The overwhelming majority of people who violate our borders do so in search of jobs--but not all of them. Some cross to deal drugs and commit crimes. Intelligence reports show that al-Qaida considers our borders a key vulnerability. Without effective border control, we cannot tell those looking for honest work from those who will create mayhem.

Border barriers alone won't solve our problems. Congress still needs to address the illegal immigrants already in the country and provide a viable guest worker program to fill jobs for which no Americans can be found. While I would have preferred coming to an agreement on a comprehensive solution this year, I have always said we need an enforcement-first approach to immigration reform. This bill is that next step in strengthening our national security and the next step in making America safer and more secure and that is why I voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

While we are a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws and those laws must be enforced. We can have meaningful reform that will not grant amnesty, that shows compassion for folks who have come here for the right reasons, but at the same time provides the security on our borders that Georgians and the American people demand. I will continue to stand firm on these principals as the Senate continues debate.



T hank you again for taking the time to contact me. If you would like to receive timely email alerts regarding the latest congressional actions and my weekly e-newsletter, please sign up via my web site at: www.chambliss.senate.gov . Please do not hesitate to be in touch if I may ever be of assistance to you.
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:42 PM
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Take a print out of this reply. Then write a letter explaining your position on legal immigration and what you are requesting his attention on and attach his reply to the letter AND drop it off at his state office (or surface mail him). Postal mail can be used for DC office.

This way, you can make an effort to communicate your stand and also get awareness spread in your senator's domain.

An alternative is to use the email form from your senator's website.
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:39 PM
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Default Message from senator Durbin

Same case with me.I wrote him about increasing no of gcs and I got this.READ:


Thank you for your message regarding immigration reform. I appreciate hearing from you.



While the United States cannot afford to absorb all those who want to settle here, we are a nation of immigrants. As the son of an immigrant, I believe that it benefits our nation when we allow qualified immigrants to contribute to our economy and share their talents with our communities.



However, our nation faces a host of problems as a result of decades of inattention to our immigration policies. Unmonitored border crossings are increasing, immigration laws are unevenly enforced, and a shadow economy of undocumented workers has developed without the wage and labor protection laws that benefit native-born and immigrant workers alike. Congress must act to reform our immigration system comprehensively, and we must do so in a way that is tough but fair and consistent with our moral values.



I do not support H.R. 4437, the immigration bill passed by the House of Representatives. H.R. 4437 would criminalize and deport millions of undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States, tearing apart families and communities in the process. The bill is excessively punitive and fails to provide a workable solution to the many immigration problems our nation faces.



I voted in favor of S. 2611, the immigration reform bill that passed the Senate on May 25, 2006. This bill offers a comprehensive framework that enhances the integrity of our borders, creates an improved employment verification system, and provides a path to legal status for those in the current undocumented population who pay fines, pay any back taxes they owe, have no criminal record, and learn English. The bill also includes important provisions that would prioritize the reunification of families that have been separated due to immigration policies. While the bill is far from perfect, it represents a significant improvement over the status quo, and I will support such a comprehensive approach as the Congress continues to address immigration reform.



S. 2611 contains several important amendments that I offered. One amendment would ensure that those who are in the United States in an undocumented status are not prosecutable as criminals simply by virtue of their status. People in undocumented status are already subject to severe immigration and civil penalties, and turning all of them into criminals and jailing them would be neither enforceable nor fair. Another amendment would protect those who provide humanitarian aid and spiritual guidance to illegal immigrants. I will not support legislation that turns our priests, doctors, and neighbors into criminals because they have helped those around them in times of need. The bill also contained an amendment I offered called the DREAM Act, which would offer certain immigrant children a path to citizenship if they graduate from high school, display good moral character, and serve in the United States military or attend college.



Numerous other amendments were considered during the Senate's debate on S. 2611. My votes on these amendments were guided by several main principles. First, I am concerned about the potential impact of proposed temporary guestworker programs on the American workforce. In many industries, the assured availability of large pools of guestworkers will give employers an incentive to pass over American job applicants in favor of foreigners willing to work for less pay and fewer benefits. I supported amendments that would limit guestworker programs in the bill, as well as amendments that would ensure that native-born workers are not disadvantaged in competing for jobs that are made available to guestworkers. I also voted in favor of amendments that sought to ensure that immigrants would be treated in a humanitarian fashion, particularly those immigrants who apply for asylum or who are in other vulnerable populations. Additionally, I voted against amendments that would impose continuing penalties on immigrants after they have paid their dues and obtained legalized status under the bill.



There is no perfect solution to the problems we face as a result of our broken immigration system. I recognize that the immigration debate has created strong opinions on all sides, and I appreciate your sharing your opinions with me. I am working in good faith to pursue a balanced package of reforms that will be tough but enforceable, economically sensible, and morally fair. I will keep your views in mind as I continue to work toward these goals.


Sincerely,

Richard J. Durbin

United States Senator
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-13-2006, 08:31 PM
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Default New Reply from Sen Chambliss

I got this a few hours after I posted on the forum.


Dear Mr. XXX :



Thank you for contacting me regarding H-1B visas. I appreciate hearing your from you.



Like most countries of the world, the United States limits the type and number of foreign workers who can enter the United States. H-1B visas are used by foreign nationals with specialized knowledge and have several safeguards for not displacing American workers, such as attesting the lack of an available U.S. worker with proper skills and requiring a prevailing wage.

The economic prosperity of the 1990s fueled a drive to increase the levels of employment-based immigration. The nation enjoyed its longest economic expansion, and the unemployment rate remained low. Both Congress and the Federal Reserve Board then expressed concern that a scarcity of labor could curtail the pace of economic growth. A primary legislative response was to increase the supply of foreign temporary professional workers through fiscal year 2003. For fiscal year 1999 (FY99) and fiscal year 2000 (FY00), Congress enacted legislation to increase the number of H-1B visas to 115,000. Many in the business community, notably in the information technology area, once more urged that the ceiling be raised. Congress, again striving to balance the needs of U.S. employers with employment opportunities for U.S. residents, enacted legislation to raise the annual ceiling to 195,000 for 3 years and to expand education and training programs for U.S. citizens. Currently, the limit of H1-B visas has reverted to the statutory level of 65,000.

In the 108 th Congress, when I was Chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, Congress enacted legislation that required an additional $500 anti-fraud fee for each H-B application. The fee better enables the government to detect and prevent fraud in the system. Recently, the Senate passed legislation allowing for 30,000 temporary H-1B visas that were authorized and made available by Congress but went unused in previous years to be recaptured. Employers must pay an additional $500 fee for these visas. This increase in fees alone provides an additional $45 million toward scholarship and training funds for American citizens.



Recently, the Senate passed its budget reconciliation package. The chief purpose of the budget reconciliation process is to enhance Congress' ability to change current law in order to bring revenue, spending, and debt-limit levels into conformity with the budget resolution passed earlier this year. As part of the budget reconciliation process, the Senate Judiciary Committee was charged with reducing the deficit by $300 million over five years. In order to meet this obligation, the Judiciary Committee put together and the Senate passed a proposal that would make available up to 30,000 temporary H-1B visas that were previously unused. I believe this is a balanced legislation that will provide for the needs of U.S. businesses and protect the interests of U.S. workers. Importantly, this legislation will increase our competitiveness and promote job growth for America's future.



According to the U.S. Department of Labor, between 2002 and 2012 there will be 2 million job openings in the U.S. in the fields of computer science, mathematics, engineering, and the physical sciences. In math, science, and engineering, 50% or more of the post-graduate degrees at U.S. universities are awarded to foreign nationals. It is counterproductive for the U.S. to train foreign scientists and engineers and then send them all home to compete against American businesses. However, we must ensure that scholarship and education opportunities encourage U.S. students to pursue careers in these fields.



Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this important matter. I understand your concerns regarding immigration, and I can assure you that I am working to come up with a comprehensive plan to stop illegal immigration. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of further assistance.
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:54 PM
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Everyone has understand illegal immigration and H1B. No one understand the issue of retrogession and Gc problem. That will be always an issue.
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yabadaba
I got this a few hours after I posted on the forum.


Dear Mr. XXX :



Thank you for contacting me regarding H-1B visas. I appreciate hearing your from you.



According to the U.S. Department of Labor, between 2002 and 2012 there will be 2 million job openings in the U.S. in the fields of computer science, mathematics, engineering, and the physical sciences. In math, science, and engineering, 50% or more of the post-graduate degrees at U.S. universities are awarded to foreign nationals. It is counterproductive for the U.S. to train foreign scientists and engineers and then send them all home to compete against American businesses. However, we must ensure that scholarship and education opportunities encourage U.S. students to pursue careers in these fields.



Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this important matter. I understand your concerns regarding immigration, and I can assure you that I am working to come up with a comprehensive plan to stop illegal immigration. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of further assistance.

I read this thing and I have no idea where that Senator stands on our issue....
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:06 PM
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All,


If you are writing letters, Please concentrate on sending letters to the Congressmen of your district...
Senators have a broder view and they are generally not the impendiment to the reform bills...It is the house that we are not effectively dealing with....convincing....
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:53 PM
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Default Meet in Person

It seems senators neither have much sense of retrogation..., Nor 'the problem and issues' of legal immigrants are very well known to them.

Is it possible for Core IV to plan state chapters to meet senators in person and make them aware of the problems.

Saurav
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:18 PM
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Default Just My 2 Cents

Why don't we start sending fax to every senator and house representative on weekly basis with some hard facts. This will not only educate them with our problem but also do some kind of lobbying.
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:28 AM
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In all fairness, this is the reply i have received because I used AILA's website to send the email. I added my own blurb in the begining, everything else was AILA's.

Sen Chambliss typically supports skilled immigrants.
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:39 AM
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I get the same standard template letter from the GA senator's office every time I send an e-mail to them and it is some times frustrating - especially because I have called Sen. Chambliss' office about 5 or 6 times and explained the green card issue in detail. The last time I talked to them, I pointed out that many aspiring legal immigrants would take exception to their e-mail response; tried to convince them of the fallacy in assuming that any communication regarding immigration is about illegal immigration and the risk that these mails would misrepresent facts to the public that receives them). And I got a wishy-washy "our response is based on the concern of the majority of Georgians, but we will try to address your concerns as well" type of motherhood and apple-pie answer. The congressman's office here (Rep. Tom Price) has been more receptive whenever I have talked to them.

Nonetheless, IMHO, all our calls have had some impact. Even though they can't but word politically correct and measured responses based on their perception of public opinion in their canned e-mails, when exceptional circumstances come up such as the lame duck SKIL bill discussions that are independent of the illegal immigratoin issue, they seem to realize the difference - we should not underestimate the awareness of our issues among the lawmakers.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:32 AM
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In my view everybody sending a letter to Senator should attach a copy of the story that was publised by Reuters on 11/29. The copy of press release will have a better impact as then the Senators will be reading the information from an independent source. The links to story can be found at
http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/sh...postcount=1060
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:03 PM
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The letter I got from senator Durbin has a lot about S.2611 as he supports this bill.I did some search about this bill and I found this.It seems that he did read my letter.

Please read some parts of S.2611:

S.2611
Title: A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] (introduced 4/7/2006) Cosponsors (6)
Related Bills: H.R.4437, S.2454, S.2612
Latest Major Action: 5/25/2006 Passed/agreed to in Senate. Status: Passed Senate with amendments by Yea-Nay Vote. 62 - 36. Record Vote Number: 157


Title V: Backlog Reduction - (Sec. 501) Revises the annual worldwide computation for employment-based immigrants. Increases such ceiling to: (1) 450,000 for each of FY2007-FY2016; and (2) 290,000 as of FY2017. Provides for unused visa recapture. Exempts spouses and children of employment-based immigrants from such limits for visas issued as of October 1, 2004. Limits, with specified exclusions, the number of such visas to 650,000 for each of FY2007-FY2016.

(Sec. 502) Increases annual per country (10% of annual total) and dependent area (5% of annual total) limits for employment-based and family-sponsored immigrant visas.


Revises the preference allocation for employment-based immigrants as follows: (1) 15% (currently, 28.6%) of the worldwide total for priority workers; (2) 15% (currently, 28.6%) of the worldwide total for aliens who are members of the professions with advanced degrees or of exceptional ability; (3) 35% (currently, 28.6%) of the worldwide total for skilled workers and professionals; (4) 5% (currently, 7.1%) for employment creation/investor immigrants; and (5) 30% for other workers as a separate category (currently, part of the skilled workers, professions, and other workers category).

Authorizes full-time foreign students to work off campus part-time in a position unrelated to their field of study. Requires employer wages, hours, and U.S. citizen recruitment attestation.

(Sec. 508) Exempts from numerical limitations on employment-based immigrants: (1) aliens who have earned advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math and have been working in their fields in the United States under a nonimmigrant visa in the three years prior to filing for adjustment; (2) recipients of national interest waivers; and (3) spouses and minor children of employment-based immigrants.

Waives the labor certification recruitment requirement for those with advanced U.S. degrees in the sciences, technology, engineering, or math.

Sets annual limits for temporary specialty workers/fashion models (H-1B visa) at: (1) 65,000 for each of FY2004-FY2006 (currently, 65,000 for each fiscal year after FY2003); (2) 115,000 for the first fiscal year beginning after enactment of this provision; and (3) a market-based calculation for each subsequent fiscal year, with a 20% increase for the following year if the previous year's quota is reached.

Exempts an alien with an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering, or math from H-1B limitations.

Includes immigrants with advanced degrees in the diversity immigrant category. Establishes the annual worldwide limit for such immigrants at 18,333 for diversity immigrants, and 36,667 for advanced degree immigrants. Provides that immigrants with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math shall have a separate limitation equal to that for advanced degree immigrants, which shall include economic and workforce considerations. Makes such provisions effective as of October 1, 2006.


Subtitle B: SKIL Act - Securing Knowledge, Innovation, and Leadership Act of 2006 or the SKIL Act of 2006 - (Sec. 522) Amends INA to exempt from the annual H-1B (specialty occupation/fashion models) visa cap an alien who has: (1) earned a master?s or higher degree from an accredited U.S. university; (2) been awarded a medical specialty certification based on post-doctoral training and experience in the United States; or (3) is employed at a nonprofit organization (currently, employed at a nonprofit research organization).

(Sec. 523) Sets annual H-1B limits at: (1) 65,000 for each of FY2004-FY2006 (currently, 65,000 for each fiscal year after FY2003); (2) 115,000 for the first fiscal year beginning after enactment of this provision; and (3) a market-based calculation for each subsequent fiscal year, with a 20% increase for the following year if the previous year's quota is reached. (This provision is similar to, but not identical to, the amendments made in section 508(c) of this Act.)

(Sec. 524) Exempts from worldwide immigration caps an alien who: (1) has earned a master's or higher degree from an accredited U.S. university; (2) has been awarded medical specialty certification based on postdoctoral training and experience in the United States; (3) will work in shortage occupations; (4) has earned a master's degree or higher in science, technology, engineering, or math and has been working in a related field in the United States during the three-year period preceding his or her immigrant visa application; (5) has extraordinary ability or received a national interest waiver; or (6) is the spouse or minor child of an employment-based immigrant.

Extends special labor certification rules to members of the professions possessing master?s degrees or higher from U.S. universities or who have medical specialty certification based on U.S. training and experience.

(Sec. 525) Revises student visa provisions. Establishes a new F-1 foreign student visa for an alien who: (1) is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a course of study in mathematics, engineering, technology, or the sciences leading to a bachelors or graduate degree at a U.S. institution of higher education particularly designated by the alien and approved by the Secretary, which institution shall have agreed to report to the Secretary the termination of attendance of each nonimmigrant student, and if any such institution of learning or place of study fails to make reports promptly the approval shall be withdrawn; or (2) is engaged in temporary post-graduation employment related to such alien's area of study for a period or periods of not more than 24 months.

Permits an F-2 (former F-1 designation) foreign student or F-4 (former F-3 designation) Canadian or Mexican foreign student engaged in temporary post-graduation employment related to such alien's area of U.S. study to remain in the United States for up to 24 months.

Authorizes full-time foreign students to work part-time off campus at a job not related to their field of study. Requires employer wages, hours, and U.S. citizen recruitment attestation.

(Sec. 526) Authorizes an L-1 (intracompany transfer) visa extension beyond the fifth or seventh year if the individual has an immigrant application or labor certification that has been pending for at least 365 days.

(Sec. 527) Permits an alien with an approved labor certification to apply for permanent resident status adjustment if there is no visa immediately available by paying a $500 supplemental fee.

(Sec. 528) Directs the Secretary to establish a pre-certification procedure for employers who file multiple employment petitions.

(Sec. 529) Directs the Secretary to establish and collect a fee for premium processing of: (1) employment-based immigrant petitions; and (2) an administrative appeal of any decision on a permanent employment-based immigrant petition.

(Sec. 530) Revises certain labor certification provisions respecting: (1) prevailing wage rate; (2) job order placement; and (3) administrative appeals.

(Sec. 531) Prohibits immigration application approval until background and security checks have been completed and any fraud allegations have been resolved.

(Sec. 532) Authorizes temporary workers (E, H, I, L O, or P visas) whose visas have expired during the 12-month period prior to filing an application to renew their same category visa from within the United States.
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:23 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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mirage has a brilliant future mirage has a brilliant future mirage has a brilliant future mirage has a brilliant future mirage has a brilliant future mirage has a brilliant future mirage has a brilliant future mirage has a brilliant future mirage has a brilliant future mirage has a brilliant future mirage has a brilliant future
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What most of us do not know is they know every damn thing on earth about legal/illegal immigration. Since they do want to have a clear position on legal imigration and they do not want to go public on that, they try to act naive. They are the smartest people on earth. I can tell you taking India's nuclear bill as a perfect example. It was never even discussed by Indian parliament, I can less than 10% of Indian congressmen would even know there's a bill like that and I can bet not even Manmohan knows that bill 100%.
Now look at U.S. congress. Each and every senator/congressmen understood it, made their position/statements on it. Everyboy was concentrating what is US's interest in the bill. That's how this coutry is, it's countrymen are. They'll never let something go under their nose without them getting to know it. There's no other society in the world so self centered. All they care about is 'Me, Meself & I'. This is exactly the reason why this country is so prosporous.
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