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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-02-2006, 07:27 PM
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Default News Article Thread - 1

All,

We do need to get pertinent articles together in one place. One thing to do is to use this as a breaking news thread. It would be great if we had a volunteer who kept track of news articles and saved them somewhere.

best,
Berkeleybee

Starting us off with an editorial in the NYT, not on us, but a related topic.



***********************
Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
The New York Times

March 1, 2006 Wednesday
Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section A; Column 1; Editorial Desk; Pg. 18

LENGTH: 414 words

HEADLINE: Computing Error

BODY:


The outsourcing of computing work overseas may not be as bad as you think. In fact, it probably isn't bad at all. Consider one recent study that says the problem isn't so much the competition from high-tech workers in places as far-flung as India and Romania as it is the discouragement caused by the doomsayers themselves.

The Association for Computing Machinery, the professional organization that issued the report, says that there are more information technology jobs today than at the height of the dot-com boom. While 2 to 3 percent of American jobs in the field migrate to other nations each year, new jobs have thus far more than made up for the loss.

Think of the local companies that service people's home computers in towns all over America, the way mechanics have long worked under the hoods of our cars. When three people start a company, it attracts no fanfare, but put such companies all together and there is a big effect in aggregate. The Small Business Administration says that those smaller enterprises provide around 75 percent of the net new jobs added to the economy.

And when a big company slowly adds workers to a new division because, say, the middle class in India is buying more high-priced gadgets, the move garners little attention. Globalization advocates have long contended that everyone benefits from greater growth worldwide.

That picture, of course, stands in contrast with the more familiar gloomy depiction of runaway outsourcing. Perhaps that explains what the report says is declining interest in computer science among American college students. Students may think, Why bother if all the jobs are in India? But the computer sector is booming, while the number of students interested in going into the field is falling.

The industry isn't gone, but it will be if we don't start generating the necessary dynamic work force. The association says that higher-end technology jobs -- like those in research -- are beginning to go overseas and that policies to ''attract, educate and retain the best I.T. talent are critical'' to future success. Given the post 9/11 approach to immigration and the state of math and science education in America, that is hardly encouraging.

Information technology jobs won't go away unless we let them. Computing in the past five years has become, according to the report, ''a truly global industry.'' In the next few years, jobs won't just land in our laps. We have nothing to fear but the fear of competing itself.
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Old 03-03-2006, 05:55 PM
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Default Another article on High Tech Jobs

http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/23/news...ex.htm?cnn=yes

Study says U.S. tech hiring grows
Trade group reports that domestic increase in technology jobs offsets the work being sent overseas.
February 23, 2006: 8:19 AM EST


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Demand for technology workers in the United States continues to grow in spite of American companies shifting more technology work overseas, according to a new study.

The Association for Computing Machinery, a professional development organization that includes academic, government and industry officials from the information technology field, released a study Thursday that said that shifting IT jobs to countries like India or China is not nearly the threat to workers here that is commonly believed.


The study cites estimates that between two to three percent of IT jobs will be lost annually to lower-wage developing countries through the process known as offshoring. But it said the U.S. IT sector's overall growth should outpace that loss of jobs, expanding opportunities for those trained in fields such as software architecture, product design, project management and IT consulting.

"Despite all the publicity in the United States about jobs being lost to India and China, the size of the IT employment market in the United States today is higher than it was at the height of the dot.com boom," said the report. "Information technology appears as though it will be a growth area at least for the coming decade, and the U.S. government projects that several IT occupations will be among the fastest growing occupations during this time."

And even with greater globalization, the report argues that the lower wage scales in India and China are not pushing down pay for U.S. IT workers. Citing information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it said that IT workers have seen steady gains in average annual wages for different fields in the sector of between about two to five percent a year.

The study suggests that there are several factors in the continued growth in demand for IT workers here. The report said part of it is due to the use of offshoring by U.S. companies, including start-up firms, to limit their costs and thus grow their businesses. That, in turn, creates more opportunities here even as an increasing amount of work is done overseas.

The study also said that companies from a variety of sectors in the economy continue to discover greater efficiency and more competitive operations through investment in IT. The study therefore argues there will be continued growing demand for IT as underserved fields such as health care, retail trade, construction, and certain services make greater investment in technology.

The study said while there has been a lot of technological progress in recent years, such as low-cost broadband links with India and China, there are still a number of reasons U.S. companies will want to keep some IT jobs at home, including job processes that are not routine or the need to have face-to-face interaction for a specific job.

One of the greater threats to IT growth in the United States is the belief by many parents and young people that the field does not have good job prospects, which has resulted in a decline in students choosing to study various IT fields. It also sees tighter visa restrictions forcing more IT work offshore because fewer foreign students will be able to come here to study and provide the skill workers companies are looking for.

"In the past, one of the great advantages of the United States has been its higher education system. The United States still holds some significant advantages over India in the higher educational system," said the study. "For many years, the United States has been considered the place of choice for advanced degrees for people throughout the world, but this seems to be changing. Because of visa tightening and attitudes towards the United States in the post-9/11 era, the number of foreign students applying to graduate school in the United States has plummeted."
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:33 AM
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Default MSNBC has an article today

Here is the link:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11711007/from/RS.2/

Quote:
WASHINGTON - The number of illegal immigrants in the United States has grown to as high as 12 million, according to a new estimate released Tuesday as the Senate considers legislation aimed at tightening America’s borders.

The Pew Hispanic Center report estimated that undocumented workers fill one out of every four agricultural jobs, 17 percent of all office and house cleaning positions, 14 percent of construction jobs, and 12 percent of those who work in food preparation.

The report found that the pace of illegal immigration is increasing, despite government efforts to crack down..........
More here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11711007/from/RS.2/

edited: 10:08 PST removed the pictures -- logiclife.

Last edited by logiclife; 03-07-2006 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:26 PM
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Default

The visuals are powerful, but seriously if we started posting every article that comes along on illegal immigration, we'll drown out the ones that are about us. Lets not do what the press is already doing.

I meant this thread for articles on legal immigration and its problems.

best,
Berkeleybee
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:45 PM
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Default I agree with Berkeley

The more we separate ourselves from illegal immigration, the better. First of all, legal and illegal immigration are put in the same bill, so it becomes tougher for us to educate the congress men.. Putting the illegal immigration material on our forum will just make the issue more convoluted. Please note that IV now has a possible, commendable visibility even amongst congressmen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berkeleybee
The visuals are powerful, but seriously if we started posting every article that comes along on illegal immigration, we'll drown out the ones that are about us. Lets not do what the press is already doing.

I meant this thread for articles on legal immigration and its problems.

best,
Berkeleybee
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Old 03-07-2006, 01:11 PM
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Default Removed pictures

Removed the pictures, kept the article since it pertains to senate activity on immigration(illegal but its activity on immigration).

Thanks,
logiclife.
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:56 PM
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Default UK Acts while America dithers

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/a...ow/1441915.cms

Now, studying in UK will be easier

NEW DELHI: Britain on Wednesday launched a new 'easier and fairer' points-based immigration system for students aspiring to study in universities there.

Addressing a group of students here via video-conferencing from London, Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair said the system would ensure that highly-skilled workers needed in Britian are able to migrate without abusing the immigration process.

"We want students to come and study in our universities and we want highly skilled workers that we need for our economy but we want to prevent abuses of the immigration system," he told students.

"We have benefitted enormously from migration in our country and the Indian community has made a huge contribution," he said.

"I hope that you will find it easier and also fairer (to travel to Britain). The United Kingdom offers tremendous benefits for students that want to come and study here from abroad," Blair said.

Earlier, British Home Secretary Charles Clarke said a 'simple' points-based migration system would replace the earlier "bureaucratic and unresponsive" 80-channel process using which workers and students could enter the country.

British High Commissioner to India Michael Arthur said the new system was "good news" for Indian students who have chosen Britain as their destination for higher studies.

"Five years back 5,000 students were studying in British universities. The figure has now risen to 17,000," he said.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:40 PM
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Thumbs up UK is moving to a 'skills' based immigration system

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/pol...icle349906.ece. I have copied the article below

Berkeleybee, stucklabor

We can probably add this article as a component of the meet the lawmakers package. This can be used to convey how US could could lose it's competitive edge if other countries lay down the red carpet for skilled immigrants. Note that immigrants from ALL countries are welcome.

Article

Lower-skilled migrants from the developing world will face an uphill struggle to win permission to work in Britain under moves to overhaul the immigration system. A new points-based system will give priority to young workers of all nationalities with highly sought-after qualifications in such areas as medicine and science.

But the new system will make it difficult for temporary migrants from outside the European Union, who have previously been able to work legally in Britain on work permit schemes, to come legally to this country.

Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, announced a five-tier immigration structure, described as "the most significant change to managed migration in the past 40 years". The top tier will focus on the most skilled workers who will be given points for their youth, academic achievements and earning power. Those with enough points will be allowed immediate entry and the prospect of being allowed to settle permanently within two years.

The second will allow skilled workers, such as nurses, teachers and engineers, to come if they have job offers and also accumulate enough points. They could also gain permission to settle within five years.
The third will allow low-skilled workers, who could include labourers and fruit pickers, into Britain for a fixed period to fill jobs shortages. The Home Office said: "Our starting-point is that employers should look first to recruit from the UK and the expanded EU before recruiting from outside the EU." These workers, who could stay for a year, could not come from countries with a track record of illegal immigration. They could be required to prove they are sending some of their pay home and to produce return air tickets.

The fourth tier will place strict controls on students, who will only be allowed entry if they have a place at an approved university or college, while the fifth will cover working tourists.

Mr Clarke won the backing of the TUC and the employers' organisation, the CBI. But the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants said: "The Government says it is committed to making poverty history in the developing world - how is making migration harder for people from those countries going to help that?"
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Old 03-08-2006, 04:55 PM
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Default Inc. Magazine: Cracks in the Melting Pot

Visa restrictions are keeping entrepreneurial immigrants away, and they're finding new opportunities overseas.

At the tender age of 31, Praveen Suthrum would already seem to have achieved the American dream. He came to the United States from India in 1999 to work as a software consultant. He got an MBA from the University of Michigan, worked on a book about emerging economies with the star professor C.K. Prahalad, and consulted on technology initiatives for Iraq's new government. Last year, Suthrum started NextServices, a company in Ann Arbor, Mich., that codes doctor's bills and collects insurance payments.

Yes, you could almost hear a Rotarian extolling him in a speech about the enduring virtues of the land of opportunity--except for the inconvenient fact that Suthrum is currently stuck in Mumbai. He went back to India in May to evaluate setting up an operation there. Because of visa delays, he has remained there ever since--unable to visit clients in the U.S., able to talk to his employees only by telephone.

In the post-9/11 world, Suthrum's visa hassles are unsurprising. But his situation reflects a larger debate on America's immigration policies--one that's been getting fiery lately. Along the borders, a vigilante group called the Minuteman is patrolling for illegal aliens who come looking for day-laborer work. But even foreign nationals with advanced degrees and specialized skills who hope to come to America have reason to worry. In Congress, for example, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., has proposed getting rid of entire categories of work visas.

Business interests have largely resisted these efforts, arguing that there should be more visas, not fewer, because U.S. employers rely on immigrants to fill gaps in the domestic work force. These gaps are created, they say, by the lack of proficiency in math and science among U.S. students, and by the aging of the population.

It's a valid argument--China, for example, graduated almost nine times as many engineers as the U.S. did last year--but it also misses an important point. Debating whether immigrants take jobs from Americans ignores the fact that well-educated foreigners like Suthrum come to the States to be not employees but employers. Today's visa restrictions could keep out tomorrow's Andy Grove, Sergey Brin, or Jerry Yang.

Anti-immigrant policies are particularly destructive at a time when entrepreneurs have more options than ever as to where to start a company. Open markets and the rule of law are taking root abroad. Technology makes it easier to work with companies overseas. As was made plain by a recent report compiled by the National Academies at the request of Congress, the U.S. is no longer the only game in town. America's position as the destination of choice for foreign-born entrepreneurs is being contested as never before.

"Home's Not So Bad"
To get a sense of the problem, you can start by looking at H-1B visas, the credential that most skilled foreign workers use to enter the U.S. for employment. To qualify for an H-1B, a person must have a college degree and a job waiting for him or her at a company in a specialized field like engineering or computer science.

Five years ago, Congress increased the number of visas by 70% to 195,000. It let the higher cap expire in 2004 and set a new cap of 65,000 visas per year. As a result,

H-1Bs have become so scarce that the government stopped accepting applications for fiscal year 2006 in August--two months before the fiscal year even began (see chart). "It's about as bad as it's ever been with the H-1Bs," says Joel Stewart, an immigration lawyer with Fowler White Burnett in Miami.

For entrepreneurs, a visa snafu can be costly. Hector Saldaña, the CEO of LignUp, a VoIP company in Mountain View, Calif., recently lost an Indian recruit to a Bangalore company when he couldn't get the visa application processed fast enough.

A decade ago, an entrepreneur like Saldaña wouldn't have worried about losing a candidate to India. The U.S. was a necessary stop for ambitious, educated Indians. By 1998, Indians ran almost one in 10 Silicon Valley companies, and they are still coming to America in large numbers to work at fast-growing companies. Last year, India received more H-1B admittances than any other country, accounting for more than 20% of them. This was remarkable given that India ranked only 11th in terms of total foreigners coming into the U.S. on a short-term basis.

But in India today, it is easy to see how tighter immigration policies can hurt the U.S. Successful, well-educated Indians seem to be repatriating in greater numbers. The leading software association in India estimates that 25,000 Indian IT workers returned home between 2001 and 2004. The main draw is a burgeoning economy. India's gross domestic product grew by 14.65% last year, double the U.S.'s 6.57% growth rate.

Offshoring is a key driver of India's economy, and one presumably unintended effect of the U.S.'s stricter immigration policies is to push more work overseas. If companies can't import the technical talent they need, they "absolutely have the ability to hire offshore," says Bryan Stolle, CEO of Agile Software in San Jose, Calif.

He speaks from experience. Four years ago, in part because of visa problems, Stolle opened an office in Bangalore, followed by one in Suzhou, China. Since then, about 100 of his 750 employees have elected to transfer their jobs abroad, where they can live, in some ways, better than they can in the wildly expensive Bay area. "The economies and the opportunities in India and China were getting a lot better," Stolle says. "And a lot of people who used to come here saying that this was the place to be, are starting to say, You know what? Home's not so bad."

Visas, Green Cards, and Other Solutions
If immigrants truly are critical to America's continued prosperity, how can the system be fixed? Some solutions are already at hand. Late last year, Congress set aside 20,000 more H-1Bs for workers who complete graduate school in the U.S. Lawmakers are now contemplating raising the limit again--in October, the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed a cap of 95,000. Elsewhere in the Senate, where immigration reform will top the agenda in the new year, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., are working on a bill that would, among other things, create more employment-based green cards.

As for Praveen Suthrum, he'll jump on a plane to the States the moment his visa's approved, but in the meantime, he has decided to make Mumbai his permanent home. He has struck up friendships with some other American-educated entrepreneurs. And in Mumbai, Suthrum can pay college graduates $5,000 a year to code doctor's bills, one-tenth of what he'd pay workers in Ann Arbor. "We'll have part of the work in the U.S. and part in India," he says. "Whatever is right for business, we will just do that."

Stephanie Clifford can be reached at sclifford@inc.com.
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Old 03-08-2006, 04:57 PM
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Default Inc. Magazine: A World of Competition

While the U.S. dithers, other nations are recruiting entrepreneurs.

India may be a big draw, but the U.S. faces competition for talent elsewhere. Canada and Australia have recently changed their policies to favor immigrants with university degrees and business expertise. The U.S. continues to favor relatives over skilled workers.
Meanwhile, programs sponsored by Singapore, Israel, and Ireland are luring entrepreneurial expatriates back from the U.S. One of the pioneering initiatives is in Taiwan. A technology incubator called the Hsinchu Science Park focuses on recruiting Taiwanese-born U.S. residents to come back home. One-third of the park's 370 companies are run by returning Taiwanese; among them is a Stanford alumnus who launched Macronix International, a semiconductor business that now has a market cap of $1.3 billion. Says David Heenan, who writes about these programs in his new book Flight Capital: The Alarming Exodus of America's Best and Brightest: "On a 10-point scale, in terms of national incentives, we're at about a one."

Stephanie Clifford can be reached at sclifford@inc.com.
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Old 03-08-2006, 06:39 PM
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Default

Great stuff people. I will try to monitor this thread every day.

It would be great if you would post links to the articles.

I go to the website and save the article as pdf -- that way even if the article is archived we have have a copy.

Thanks,
Berkeleybee
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:21 PM
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Default The Connection Between Legal and Illegal Immigration

Two Sides of the Same Coin
The Connection Between Legal and Illegal Immigration

WASHINGTON (March 2006) – ''Legal immigration good, illegal immigration bad.''

This is often the limit of the analysis underlying debates over immigration in Congress. Supporters of amnesty and guestworker programs often claim that if only illegal aliens were legalized, the problems they create would disappear. In addition, many of the immigration proposals currently being considered would significantly increase ordinary legal immigration; Sen. Arlen Specter's bill, for instance, would double the number of green cards issued, to as many as 2 million each year.

To add some depth to this superficial understanding of the issue, the Center for Immigration Studies has released a new report, ''Two Sides of the Same Coin: The Connection Between Legal and Illegal Immigration,'' by James R. Edwards, Jr., Ph.D. Edwards, an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute and co-author of The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform, explores the intertwined histories of legal and illegal immigration and how current immigration policy encourages lawbreaking. The report, available online at http://www.cis.org/articles/2006/back106.html , finds the following:

* Legal and illegal immigration are inextricably related. As legal immigration levels have risen markedly since 1965, illegal immigration has increased with it.

* The share of the foreign-born population who are illegal aliens has risen steadily. Illegal aliens made up 21 percent of the foreign-born in 1980, 25 percent in 2000, and 28 percent in 2005.

* Mexico is the primary source country of both legal and illegal immigrants. Mexico accounted for about 30 percent of the foreign-born in 2000, and more than half of Mexicans residing in the United States in 2000 were illegal aliens.

* The level of illegal immigration is severely masked by several amnesties that legalized millions of unlawfully resident aliens. The largest amnesty was the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which legalized 3 million aliens.

* Amnestied aliens to date have been fully eligible to sponsor additional immigrants. This has contributed to the ranks of immigrants, both legal and illegal (and often both).

* Many aliens who receive a permanent resident visa each year have spent years living in the United States illegally.

* Amnesties, technical qualification for a visa, chain migration, and vast opportunities to come to the United States (particularly via the tourist visa, the most abused visa by eventual immigrants, according to the New Immigrant Survey) all foster an ''entitlement mentality'' among many foreigners.

For more information, contact Dr. Edwards at jedwards@olive-edwards.com.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:53 PM
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Default

All the CIS article says is that the immigration increased, both legal and illegal, that doesn't imply causation.

A little background on CIS pointed out by Sandeep:

"CIS can relate anything to illegal immigration. See below - a WSJ article

http://www.house.gov/cannon/Features...allstreet2.htm
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 03-09-2006, 09:18 PM
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Default old one from the washington post but very pertinent to LC backlog ..

For Green Card Applicants, Waiting Is the Hardest Part
Backlog Has Put Immigrant Workers In the Dark Longer About Their Status

By S. Mitra Kalita
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 23, 2005; Page D01

BALA CYNWYD, Pa. Hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers trying to stay in the United States find their journey halted somewhere along a maze of boxes, filing cabinets and cubicles of government contractors.

The backlog of foreign workers seeking green cards, which allow immigrants to live and work in the United States permanently, numbers more than 330,000. In September, the Department of Labor set up a center here and another in Dallas to quicken the first step of processing for employment-based green cards.

But while the federal agency said it has spent time and money to ease a complicated traffic jam, immigrants, their employers and lawyers have been growing impatient.

"It's too long," said Rajesh Poudyal, who emigrated from Nepal 15 years ago on a student visa. His employer, a contractor for NASA in Greenbelt, applied for his green card in November 2001. "You don't know if it's going to be another three-year wait. You keep thinking, 'It's gonna happen. It's gonna happen.' "

And yet it hasn't.

Government officials say the wait has been too long for most of the immigrant workers hoping for their green cards. The oldest case is from August 1998. On March 28, the Labor Department introduced a computerized fast-track processing system to handle new applications, doling them out to two centers. Between the backlog centers and the new sites, labor officials said, they have streamlined a multi-layered process that could have had some waiting as long as six more years. Now, they say, the backlog should be cleared within two years.

In employment-based green card applications, the Labor Department essentially certifies that the employer exists and that the immigrant is being paid the prevailing wage for the job described. In most cases, employers must also prove that they sought to hire U.S. workers for the job but could not. As proof, they provide classified advertisements, competing résumés and summaries of their recruitment methods.

From this stage, known as labor certification, the application travels to the Department of Homeland Security, which conducts its own review and decides whether to allow the immigrant to petition for residency status.

Before the backlog accumulated, immigration attorneys say, labor certification generally took 30 to 90 days.

Under the new fast-track system, labor officials say, the process should routinely take up to 60 days.

But there is no such expectation for the 174,000 people awaiting processing here from about half the states, including Maryland and Virginia, and the District. Besides 10 federal workers, the remaining staff of 100 work for Exceed Corp., the company that successfully bid for the backlog contract.

Starting last year, all 50 states sent boxes upon boxes to one of the two backlog sites. Officials said that they hope to act on the applications on a first-in, first-out basis and that they have entered about 80 percent of the applicants' data into a computerized system over the past year.

"In government terms, that has been quite a short amount of time," said Emily Stover DeRocco, assistant secretary of labor for employment and training.

The backlog stems from the passage of legislation that allowed undocumented immigrants or immigrants who had overstayed their visas to apply for green cards if a family member or employer sponsored them -- but they had to do it by April 2001. The result was a surge of green card applications.


The result has also been some resentment of workers who have not been in the United States legally from workers who have.

"They've given priority to illegal immigrants," said Poudyal, who is on the visa for highly skilled but temporary workers known as an H-1B."That's how we've become stuck."

Most difficult, the immigrants and their advocates say, has been the lack of communication from the Department of Labor about their status. Is their folder in a box that has even been opened? Is it in the data-entry process? Is their employer's address being verified, their pay being analyzed?

"It has gone into a black box," said Poudyal, the father of two who owns a home in Lanham. "You don't know what's inside."

His employer and lawyer have tried to check on the status with no luck. "So you just hope," Poudyal said.

At the center, officials say it is not uncommon for irate immigrants to show up at their doors. They say calls from members of Congress and human resources managers inquiring about specific applications are getting more common. But they remind critics that the system of immigration is driven by employers' needs and not immigrants' wants.

It is not a perfect system, DeRocco said in a recent interview. She said her agency has responded to "tens of thousands" of requests for status reports. Behind every case number, every file, she said, is someone who desperately wants to call the United States home.

"We care very deeply about that," she said. "We not only understand but believe we are doing it for those individuals."

The Labor Department will be involved in discussions about overall immigration reform, she said.

"H visas are not meeting the employers' need," DeRocco said, referring to the temporary work-related visas. "Immigration reform is very high on everyone's agenda."

Companies have started speaking out about U.S. immigration policy, saying it affects their ability to hire the best people. Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates has repeatedly advocated removing caps on H-1B visas.

Immigration lawyer Liz Espin Stern of Baker & McKenzie LLP said, other countries are trying to make immigrating easier. "Canada, the U.K., Australia are passing foreign-employee-friendly policies," she said. "It's a very inviting program. Our program in the U.S. has shifted. It sends a message: Don't come."

Employers say the backlog also has become expensive. After six years, companies with employees who have been on an H-1B visa must apply for extensions -- and pay the associated legal and filing fees -- every year while the green card is being processed.

"There's a bit of an expense associated with it," said Cliff Sink, the chief executive of EastBanc Technologies LLC in the District. He said the cost of sponsoring one immigrant employee ranges from $3,000 to $5,000. "We stopped paying for the green card because the prices had gone up so much."

His reality might seem incongruous with an immigration policy that mandates that these green cards are employer-driven, but many immigrants do end up paying for their passage to permanent residency.

After paying nearly $10,000 for lawyers, Gopal Ratnam, a journalist from India, said he thinks he has made too hefty an investment to turn back. Besides, his daughters are accustomed to U.S. schools and ways.

"One stage of it has taken four years," said Ratnam, a staff writer for Army Times Publishing Co.'s Defense News in Springfield. "I've invested all the money, resources and time. Should I just say, 'All right, I will give it up and go back to where I came from?' "

Even after the backlog on the Labor Department's end is cleared, immigration attorney Michael Maggio warns, the wait might not be over. He worries the Homeland Security Department might not be able to meet the demand for employment-based green cards with current quotas.

"We're looking at a situation that's just ongoing," he said.
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:14 PM
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