Why did you bring it into limelight by asking it to delete? :D
It has no relevance in an immigration related forum
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Any stories of AOS applicants porting to self employment under AC21, that you could share with us?
Given your explanation on risks involved with porting to a small company, I wonder how self employment plays out in an AC21 scenario.
Thanks very much, as always.
I know many people think about it but they don't have the kahunas to actually execute it. I am not aware of anyone who has tried it and was open about it with uscis.
In my case when my 485 was pending I went self employment route. I had to give updated g-325a to show employmnet history and I put it right there for officer to see at local office interview. He actually made an astonishing face and I told him that it was allowed and 485 was pending and I can do what I wish during this time. I also told him that I was not my ac21 employer I was just doing this while 485 was pending and I was porting to another job after my 485 was approved. I gave him offer letter and company tax returns from the ac21 employer that I hadn't joined yet.
AMID the clamor of the presidential campaign, it�s sometimes easy to forget that all 435 House seats and 35 of the Senate�s seats are up for election this year, too. So how should Congress under its new Democratic leadership be judged?
The public has reached a decidedly negative conclusion, based on Congress�s inability to force a change in policy on the Iraq war and the pitched partisan battles that characterized much of the year in Washington.
But expectations for seismic change in policymaking after the 2006 midterm elections were almost certainly too high, given the deep ideological differences between the parties, the Democrats� narrow majorities, the now-routine Senate filibusters and a Republican president determined to go his own way on Iraq, the budget and domestic policy.
Based on our research, the 110th Congress does deserve some praise. In 2007, the level of energy and activity on Capitol Hill picked up markedly. This is not surprising � when the Newt Gingrich Congress, its closest analogue, took over in 1995, the pace of legislative life sped up, too.
In terms of both the number and significance of new public laws, however, last year�s Democratic majority significantly outperformed that Republican Congress. Only one item described in the Republican Contract With America was signed into law at the end of 1995, while most of the proposals the Democrats announced as their agenda were enacted.
Democrats, to be sure, aimed lower in their specific legislative promises, but they managed to overcome the many obstacles in their way. Republicans in 1995 shot for the moon and ended up frustrated by Senate inaction, presidential vetoes and a government shutdown that proved politically damaging.
The new Democratic Congress delivered on the promise of ethics and lobbying reform, and made considerable progress in reining in earmarks, which had exploded under the previous 12 years of mostly Republican rule. In fact, between the 2006 and 2008 fiscal years, the cost of appropriations earmarks appears to have dropped from $29 billion to $14.1 billion. Perhaps most important, Congress reasserted itself as a rightful check on the executive branch, significantly stepping up its oversight on a wide range of important subjects.
But a less partisan, more deliberative and productive legislative process will have to await a clearer signal from voters in the 2008 elections.
The chart below shows how the 110th Congress spent its time, and what it accomplished, in its first year under Democratic control, compared with its immediate predecessor and with the Republican Congress that took office in 1995.
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It�s no secret that China�s trade with the Americas has soared in recent years, but we are likely to see a major new phenomenon in coming years � an avalanche of Chinese foreign investments.
It has already started in Latin America, where China�s foreign investment more than doubled in 2010. And it�s beginning to take off in the United States, although in a smaller scale because of U.S. concerns over the potential national security threats of selling major corporations to Chinese investors.
According to several new studies, we will soon see Chinese firms buying increasingly more companies throughout the Americas, ranging from oil, minerals and other natural resources firms in Latin America to manufacturing plants in the United States. As China�s companies grow, so do their need to expand abroad, they say.
A newly released study by the Asia Society and the Woodrow Wilson International Center, entitled �An American open door?,� estimates that China�s worldwide direct foreign investments will rise from an accumulated $230 billion today to between $1 and $2 trillion by 2020. The figure does not include China�s purchases of government bonds, or passive investments in stocks and bonds.
Until now, China was virtually non-existent as a global foreign investor. While China accounts for 8 percent of global trade, it only accounts for 1.2 percent of the global stock of foreign investments. Its current foreign investments pale in comparison with the $4 trillion in U.S. investments abroad.
But that�s changing very fast. Unlike six years ago, when China�s Lenovo raised eyebrows worldwide when it bought IBM�s Personal Computers Division, such purchases are becoming increasingly common. Last year, China�s Sinopec oil company bought Brazil�s Repsol-YPF for $7.1 billion, and China�s CNOOC oil firm bought Argentina�s Bridas Corp. for $3.1 billion.
A study released last week by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) shows that China�s foreign direct investments in Latin America reached $15 billion last year, doubling the total of China�s accumulated investments in the region of the past 20 years.
In addition, China has announced it will invest $22.7 billion in Latin America and the Caribbean starting this year, the study says.
China�s investments in the United States have been much smaller, of about $5 billion last year, according to the Asia Society study. But that was a 130 percent increase over 2009, it says.
What�s moving China to invest in the Americas? I asked Alicia Barcena, head of the Santiago, Chile-based ECLAC.
First and foremost, the need to secure its supplies of oil, minerals, soybeans and other raw materials, she said. China is a major importer of Latin American primary products and wants to protect itself from big price increases or potential disruptions in the supply chain. So Chinese companies want to make the transition from importers to part-owners of the Latin American firms that produce the goods they are now buying.
Second, China�s companies are increasingly behaving like profit-driven Western firms: When faced with tariff barriers in big markets they want to get access, such as Brazil�s, they buy local companies to sell their goods within those countries.
Third, China�s labor costs are rising, as Chinese firms are raising wages. Just as Chinese companies have been going to Vietnam and other Asian countries to lower their production costs, they may soon do the same in Latin America.
�This trend of growing Chinese foreign investments in Latin America is likely to continue,� Barcena told me. �There has clearly been a policy change there, and the Chinese government is now encouraging foreign investments by Chinese firms.�
My opinion: China�s eruption as a major foreign investor in the Americas is a positive development, but brings along several problems that countries in the region will have to face.
China buys majority stakes in foreign companies, but makes it difficult for foreigners to buy Chinese companies, and sell in China. Also, China�s nearly exclusive focus on raw materials in Latin America threatens to turn countries in the region into extraction economies, delaying the development of high-tech industries.
And Chinese companies are not known to follow strict environmental or anti-corruption rules. Their arrival in the region will be a welcome phenomenon, but it will pose many challenges that countries should begin to prepare for as they roll out their red carpets to Chinese investors.
Now for the price of chasing Afghan shadows (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/583d1c2a-7680-11e0-b05b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1LTeOmBcc) By David Pilling | Financial Times
Chinese and American madness (http://prestowitz.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/05/12/chinese_and_american_madness) By Clyde Prestowitz | Foreign Policy
The S&ED No-Holds Barred: China�s Deplorable Human Rights and the Simple American People (http://blogs.cfr.org/asia/2011/05/11/the-sed-no-holds-barred-china%E2%80%99s-deplorable-human-rights-and-the-simple-american-people/) By Elizabeth C. Economy | Council on Foreign Relations
Inouye�s Asia-Pacific Warning (http://the-diplomat.com/flashpoints-blog/2011/05/11/inouye%E2%80%99s-asia-pacific-warning/) By James Holmes & Toshi Yoshihara | The Diplomat
Hardy perennials block US-China light (http://atimes.com/atimes/China/ME13Ad02.html) By Jingdong Yuan | Asia Times
More Hopes Than Gains At U.S.-China Meetings (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/world/asia/11china.html) By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM | New York Times
Managing the China Challenge in Business (http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2011/0506_us_china_challenge_lieberthal.aspx) By Kenneth G. Lieberthal | The Brookings Institution
Hillary Clinton: Chinese System Is Doomed, Leaders on a 'Fool's Errand' (http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/05/hillary-clinton-chinese-system-is-doomed-leaders-on-a-fools-errand/238591/) By Jeffrey Goldberg | The Atlantic
We [should] care only about legal immigrants and not have even a whiff of supporting illegal immigration in any form and from any country. For a long time now, the word immigration has been expanded to mean Latino immigrants and only Wall Street Journal takes care to single out that immigration from countries like India is of a different hue (more knowledge based), than immigration from Mexico (more labor intensive).
Bottom line, aligning ourselves with the Latino agenda is bad policy and politics and a losing proposition.
FYI English_August, I'm sure you know this but there's a not so fine distinction between illegal immigration and Latino immigration. While the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants today are likely from Mexico, let me ask this question of you and other people on this forum. How many estimated (govt. estimates) illegal immigrants are in the US today from India? China? Philippines? Any ideas? The numbers will blow your mind. Guaranteed.
Like it or not, legal immigration reform could well come packaged with comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) next year, which will primarily deal with illegal immigration.
As for Dobbs the right-wing nutjob, I am sure that people have noticed that he has stopped talking about immigration since election day. Why do people care about him? His misinformation campaign fell flat on its face anyway.
btw even the realtors are saying that it will be atleast end 2009 before any possible housing recovery (if realtors say end 2009 then it means atleast 2010 before price decline stops).
Desis who come here are all engineers and well educated. I couldn't believe that some of them are falling for the realtor tricks. I know someone who last year paid 200K more on an advertised price of 1million. He said the realtor told him that there was bidding war and he kept rising it and eventually got the house for 1.2million. What stupidity. Doesn't he know about phantom bids that realtors use to jack up the price.:( This is last year end when housing here started crashing. I asked him how he is going to pay when his arm resets. He says he will refinance. God save him.
The "mahaul"(environment) seems so Tense around the IV forums that I thought of making a thread to share some light humor / Jokes etc
Here are some funny quotes to start with
I don't think President fully understands this immigration thing.
Like today, when they asked him about amnesty, he said it's horrible
when anyone loses their memory." --Jay Leno
"As you know, today was Don't Take Your Immigrant To Work Day
here in Los Angeles. No, all across the nation they had a Day Without
Immigrants, is what they call it. Or, as Native Americans call it, the
good ol' days." --Jay Leno
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McCain is a great guy, but he is with the wrong party. A party that aligns itself with anti-immigrants.
Now that we don't have much hopes for HR-5882, we should start targeting the CIR right now. Maybe we can talk to the Hispanic and other groups which will have an influence over CIR and have our provisions taken care of.
It will definitely be easier to tie-up with Hispanic caucus and other groups than anti-immigrants.
So my view is that inflation is a bigger problem that Ben B does not want to tackle in the near future(3-4 months). Well in times of inflation your savings/investment is better in real-estate than anything else. But definitely NOT cash.
So although we might be near the bottom of real estate market, we can never guesstimate the bottom until it has passed. My advice is, negotiate hard(buyers market) and get into a deal now. As a safety net, you can ask for a long escrow(around 180 days). That way you can backout of the deal if things head south. You've only lost the deposit(subject to arbitration at least in California).
Someone pointed out that Visa Status is a smaller issue, the big issue is if you can hold onto your investment for atleast 5 years, you are golden.
I believe that having a job(well paid) in recession is an investors dream as everything is on SALE.
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This is a question to you. I was one of those guys who sent you a PM. Sorry again !
What if a person who has been in the country for a while(say from 2000) has a few pay stubs missing and period/s of unemployment(2002 and 2003) and therefore his w2's for say 2003,2004,2005 have like 15-30 k figures on them. This is for a software engineer who is on eb3 with a employment letter that states pay should be abut 50 k or so (minimum). Now lets suppose the said person went out of the country and came back in Jan 2006.
So Does means according to the 245i rule the previous period of unemployment etc get wiped off and they have to look at whether he has violated the 180 day rule only since Jan 2006 ? In this case will they look at his all his old w2's as well? Will this constitute some sort of violation ?
Thanks in advance for your answers
In recent years it has become standard practice for the Indian media to ask visiting foreign dignitaries where they stand on New Delhi's claim to a permanent seat in the UNSC. If the answers are in the affirmative, there are smiles all round and the glow is then transmitted to readers or viewers as the case may be.
Among the Permanent Five in the Council, the United Kingdom has long affirmed support, so have France and Russia. China has remained non-committal. So the United States' stand was deemed crucial. When President Barack Obama, during his recent visit, backed India for a permanent seat, the joy was palpable. The media went to town as if it were just a matter of time before India joined the select group of the World's almighty. The happiness lasted a few days until the first tranche of WikiLeaks punctured the mood somewhat.
The revelation of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's classified whisper, describing India as a self-appointed front-runner exposed Washington's innermost thoughts on the subject. Though the embarrassing leak was subsequently sought to be played down, it opened the curtain to a larger truth which is that the U.S. and the other four have never really been interested in real reforms to the Security Council.
Public pronouncements, positive affirmations and slap-on-the-back relationships don't necessarily translate into action on the ground.
Jakob Silas Lund of the Centre for U.N. Reform Education states a few individuals within the process believe that some of the Permanent Five countries “are more than happy to see reform moving at near-zero-velocity speed”.
The reforms are open to interpretation. Broadly, they mean democratisation of the Security Council to make it representative and in tune with the contemporary world. This, for some, means more permanent members. The Group of four — India, Brazil, Japan and Germany — has been the most vocal in demanding it be included.
What is surprising, especially where India is concerned, is the hope and optimism that it is heading towards a permanent seat. In reality, a committee set up by the United Nations 17 years ago to go into reforms shows little signs of progress.
The first meeting was held in 1994 of the U.N. group, a mouthful, called the “Open-Ended Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters Related to the Security Council”. Until now, this group has completed four rounds of negotiations, just on preliminaries.
A brief peek into the past will make it clear that the addition of more veto-wielding permanent members to the Council is a veritable pipe dream. For any amendment to the U.N. charter, two-thirds of the General Assembly needs to acquiesce. This may be possible but the next requirement, that of ratification by the Permanent Five, is the real obstacle.
Since the formation of the United Nations in 1945, there have been only a handful of meetings of the Security Council to discuss the original charter, and even that, merely to discuss minor amendments. One of some significance came about in 1965 when the membership of temporary, non-veto powered countries in the Council was increased from six to 10 and the number of votes required to pass any decision increased to nine from seven.
As academic and U.N. commentator Thomas G. Weiss wrote in the Washington Quarterly, “Most governments rhetorically support the mindless call for equity, specifically by increasing membership and eliminating the veto. Yet, no progress has been made on these numerical or procedural changes because absolutely no consensus exists about the exact shape of the Security Council or the elimination of the veto.”
The argument for a bigger, more representative Council is undoubtedly valid but the issue is who will implement it and how.
U.S. is the prime mover
In today's global equation the U.S. is the acknowledged prime mover. It has already had to sweat it out to convince the other four members to go with it on several issues, like the sanctions against Iran. If more countries are allowed to join the Council the difficulties for U.S. interests are obvious, even if those included are vetted for their closeness to Washington.
Real and effective reforms should have meant democratisation of the Security Council to reflect the aspirations of all its members. Ideally, this should mean removal of permanency and the veto power to be replaced with a rotating membership for all countries, where each one big or small, powerful or weak gets to sit for a fixed term in the hallowed seats of the Council. This is unthinkable within the existing framework of the United Nations. At the heart of the issue is the reluctance of the Permanent Five to give up the prized veto power.
The situation is paradoxical given that democracy is being touted, pushed and inflicted by the U.S. across the world. But democracy seems to end where the Security Council begins. The rest of the world has no choice but to bow to its decisions. The consequences for defying the Council can be terrifying as was experienced by Saddam Hussein's Iraq through the 1990's. Iran is now on the receiving end for its defiance on the nuclear issue.
Not just that, the credibility of the Security Council itself took a beating over its inability to prevent the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Having failed to convince France, Russia and China to vote for invading Iraq, the U.S. went alone. The Council was reduced to a bystander. It failed to fulfil its primary task, that of ensuring security — to Iraq.
What this also implies is that Council or no Council, in today's unipolar world, the U.S. will go with what it decides and no one can stop it. This has been the case particularly since the end of the Cold War. “With a U.S. global presence as great as that of any empire in history, Security Council efforts to control U.S. actions are beginning to resemble the Roman Senate's efforts to control the emperor,” writes Weiss.
Instead of trying to clamber onto a patently unfair arrangement it would have made more sense if the four self-appointed front-runners along with the rest of the world had demanded a more equitable and representative Council.
To achieve this, academic and U.N. expert Erik Voeten suggests pressure tactics to counter veto power. One tactic is for countries en bloc to ignore the decisions taken in the Security Council. Another is for Germany and Japan, which are among the largest contributors to the United Nations, to turn off the tap.
Despite this, if nothing happens, countries may have no choice but to look for, or at least threaten to float, an alternative U.N.-like organisation whose structure would be more in tandem with the contemporary world. Idealistic, perhaps. But this should force the Permanent Five to sit up and take real notice.
K.S. Dakshina Murthy was formerly Editor of Al Jazeera based in Doha, Qatar
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Source: A reputed lawyer known to us all on this forum.
Mode of consultation: E-mail
Next course of action: Unknown. But folks with US Masters or higher please PM me...
Lot of our case was exactly like that - i was eligible for EB2 when my Eb3 labor was filed. Employer took advantage of my compromising situation ( H was having 390 days juice left)
If Porting/Interfiling is taken off folks like me will be terribly victimized. I'm here for 9 years - my 1st labor was substituted , 2nd labor ( which should be Eb2 but filed in Eb3) took a round trip from Phily backlog elimination center and now i'm stuck in the Eb3-140 mess at NSC.
My friends who are lucky enough & have filed fresh EB2 labor (based on BS+5, not MS also) have got till 140 approved and applied 485 as well due to EB2 being JUNE 2006 within 2 years of starting GC process.
Porting/Interfiling must be there for genuine cases. If someone files a lawsuit against porting i'll file a counter lawsuit on discrimination grounds.
Vahe Guru !
I am in a well here and hoping you are in the same well there. I'm writing this letter slowly, because I know you cannot read fast.
We don't live where we did when you left home. Your dad read in the newspaper that most accidents happen 20 miles from home, so we moved 20 miles. I wont be able to send the address as the last Sardar who stayed here took the house numbers with them for their new house so they would not have to change their address. Hopefully by next week we will be able to bring our earlier address plate here, so that our address will remain same too.
This place is really nice. It even has a washing machine, situated right above the commode. I'm not sure it works. Last week I put in 3 shirts, pulled the chain and haven't seen them since.
The weather here isn't too bad. It rained only twice last week. The first time it rained for 3 days and second time for 4 days.
The coat you wanted me to send you, your Aunt said it would be a little too heavy to send in the mail with all the metal buttons, so we cut them off and put them in the pocket.
Your father has another job. He has 500 men under him. He is cutting the grass at the cemetery.
By the way I took Bahu to our club's poolside. The manager is really badmash. He told her that two-piece swimming suit is not allowed in this club. We were confused as to which piece should we remove?
Your sister had a baby this morning. I haven't found out whether it is a girl or a boy, so I don't know whether you are an Aunt or Uncle.
Your uncle, Jetinder fell in a nearby well. Some men tried to pull him out, but he fought them off bravely and drowned. We cremated him and he burned for three days.
Your best friend, Balwinder, is no more. He died trying to fulfill his father's last wishes. His father had wished to be buried at sea after he died. And your friend died while in the process of digging a grave for his father.
There isn't much more news this time. Nothing much has happened.
P.S: Beta, I was going to send you some money but by the time I realized, I had already sealed off this letter.~~~~~ ~~~
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2) Which center has your application? If it is Nebraska, then you can talk to an Immigration Officer by dialing these sequence of number
1-800-375-5283, press 1..2..2..6..1..your case number..1..
wait for the automated status message then. select.3..4
3) Take Infopass appointment to meet an officer. Take all immigration paper. Tell your problem. Hope you get some help
4) Call customer service - 1-800-375-5283 and talk to rep.
Best of luck
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Forget the Israel Lobby. The Hill's Next Big Player Is Made in India (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/28/AR2007092801350_2.html) By Mira Kamdar (firstname.lastname@example.org) | Washington Post, September 30, 2007
Mira Kamdar, a fellow at the World Policy Institute and the Asia Society, is the author of "Planet India: How the Fastest-Growing Democracy is Transforming America and the World."
The fall's most controversial book is almost certainly "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," in which political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt warn that Jewish Americans have built a behemoth that has bullied policymakers into putting Israel's interests in the Middle East ahead of America's. To Mearsheimer and Walt, AIPAC, the main pro-Israel lobbying group, is insidious. But to more and more Indian Americans, it's downright inspiring.
With growing numbers, clout and self-confidence, the Indian American community is turning its admiration for the Israel lobby and its respect for high-achieving Jewish Americans into a powerful new force of its own. Following consciously in AIPAC's footsteps, the India lobby is getting results in Washington -- and having a profound impact on U.S. policy, with important consequences for the future of Asia and the world.
"This is huge," enthused Ron Somers, the president of the U.S.-India Business Council, from a posh hotel lobby in Philadelphia. "It's the Berlin Wall coming down. It's Nixon in China."
What has Somers so energized is a landmark nuclear cooperation deal between India and the United States, which would give India access to U.S. nuclear technology and deliver fuel supplies to India's civilian power plants in return for placing them under permanent international safeguards. Under the deal's terms, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty -- for decades the cornerstone of efforts to limit the spread of nuclear weapons -- will in effect be waived for India, just nine years after the Clinton administration slapped sanctions on New Delhi for its 1998 nuclear tests. But the Bush administration, eager to check the rise of China by tilting toward its massive neighbor, has sought to forge a new strategic alliance with India, cemented by the civil nuclear deal.
On the U.S. side, the pact awaits nothing more than one final up-or-down vote in Congress. (In India, the situation is far more complicated; India's left-wing parties, sensitive to any whiff of imperialism, have accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of surrendering the country's sovereignty -- a broadside that may yet scuttle the deal.) On Capitol Hill, despite deep divisions over Iraq, immigration and the outsourcing of American jobs to India, Democrats and Republicans quickly fell into line on the nuclear deal, voting for it last December by overwhelming bipartisan majorities. Even lawmakers who had made nuclear nonproliferation a core issue over their long careers, such as Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), quickly came around to President Bush's point of view. Why?
The answer is that the India lobby is now officially a powerful presence on the Hill. The nuclear pact brought together an Indian government that is savvier than ever about playing the Washington game, an Indian American community that is just coming into its own and powerful business interests that see India as perhaps the single biggest money-making opportunity of the 21st century.
The nuclear deal has been pushed aggressively by well-funded groups representing industry in both countries. At the center of the lobbying effort has been Robert D. Blackwill, a former U.S. ambassador to India and deputy national security adviser who's now with a well-connected Republican lobbying firm, Barbour, Griffith & Rogers LLC. The firm's Web site touts Blackwill as a pillar of its "India Practice," along with a more recent hire, Philip D. Zelikow, a former top adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who was also one of the architects of the Bush administration's tilt toward India. The Confederation of Indian Industry paid Blackwill to lobby various U.S. government entities, according to the Boston Globe. And India is also paying a major Beltway law firm, Venable LLP.
The U.S.-India Business Council has lavished big money on lobbyists, too. With India slated to spend perhaps $60 billion over the next few years to boost its military capabilities, major U.S. corporations are hoping that the nuclear agreement will open the door to some extremely lucrative opportunities, including military contracts and deals to help build nuclear power plants. According to a recent MIT study, Lockheed Martin is pushing to land a $4 billion to $9 billion contract for more than 120 fighter planes that India plans to buy. "The bounty is enormous," gushed Somers, the business council's president.
So enormous, in fact, that Bonner & Associates created an India lobbying group last year to make sure that U.S. companies reap a major chunk of it. Dubbed the Indian American Security Leadership Council, the group was underwritten by Ramesh Kapur, a former trustee of the Democratic National Committee, and Krishna Srinivasa, who has been backing GOP causes since his 1984 stint as co-chair of Asian Americans for Reagan-Bush. The council has, oddly, "recruited groups representing thousands of American veterans" to urge Congress to pass the nuclear deal.
The India lobby is also eager to use Indian Americans to put a human face -- not to mention a voter's face and a campaign contributor's face -- on its agenda. "Industry would make its business case," Somers explained, "and Indian Americans would make the emotional case."
There are now some 2.2 million Americans of Indian origin -- a number that's growing rapidly. First-generation immigrants keenly recall the humiliating days when India was dismissed as an overpopulated, socialist haven of poverty and disease. They are thrilled by the new respect India is getting. Meanwhile, a second, American-born generation of Indian Americans who feel comfortable with activism and publicity is just beginning to hit its political stride. As a group, Indian Americans have higher levels of education and income than the national average, making them a natural for political mobilization.
One standout member of the first generation is Sanjay Puri, who founded the U.S. India Political Action Committee in 2002. (Its acronym, USINPAC, even sounds a bit like AIPAC.) He came to the United States in 1985 to get an MBA at George Washington University, staying on to found an information-technology company. A man of modest demeanor who wears a lapel pin that joins the Indian and American flags, Puri grew tired of watching successful Indian Americans pony up money just so they could get their picture taken with a politician. "I thought, 'What are we getting out of this?', " he explains.
In just five years, USINPAC has become the most visible face of Indian American lobbying. Its Web site boasts photos of its leaders with President Bush, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and presidential candidates from Fred Thompson to Barack Obama. The group pointedly sports a New Hampshire branch. It can also take some credit for ending the Senate career of Virginia Republican George Allen, whose notorious taunt of "macaca" to a young Indian American outraged the community. Less publicly, USINPAC claims to have brought a lot of lawmakers around. "You haven't heard a lot from Dan Burton lately, right?" Puri asked, referring to a Republican congressman from Indiana who has long been perceived as an India basher.
USINPAC is capable of pouncing; witness the incident last June when Obama's campaign issued a memo excoriating Hillary Rodham Clinton for her close ties to wealthy Indian Americans and her alleged support for outsourcing, listing the New York senator's affiliation as "D-Punjab." Puri personally protested in a widely circulated open letter, and Obama quickly issued an apology. "Did you see? That letter was addressed directly to Sanjay," Varun Mehta, a senior at Boston University and USINPAC volunteer, told me with evident admiration. "That's the kind of clout Sanjay has."
Like many politically engaged Indian Americans, Puri has a deep regard for the Israel lobby -- particularly in a country where Jews make up just a small minority of the population. "A lot of Jewish people tell me maybe I was Jewish in my past life," he jokes. The respect runs both ways. The American Jewish Committee, for instance, recently sent letters to members of Congress supporting the U.S.-India nuclear deal.
"We model ourselves on the Jewish people in the United States," explains Mital Gandhi of USINPAC's new offshoot, the U.S.-India Business Alliance. "We're not quite there yet. But we're getting there."
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Decades after the two States came into being, relations between India and Pakistan continue to be, to put it mildly, hostile. This owes largely to the vast, and continuously mounting, influence of the Hindu religious right-wing in India and its Muslim counterpart in Pakistan.
Seemingly irreconcilable foes, the two speak the same language -- of unending hatred between Hindus and Muslims -- each seeking to define itself by building, stressing and constantly reinforcing boundaries between the two religiously-defined imagined communities.
Much has been written on the ideology and politics of right-wing Hindu and Islamic movements and organisations in both India and Pakistan, by academics and journalists alike. Yet, almost no attention has been given to how individual Hindu and Muslim religious activists at the local level, as distinct from key ideologues and leaders at the national-level, imagine and articulate notions of the religious and national 'other'.
Understanding this issue is crucial, for such activists exercise an enormous clout among their following.
The Lahore-based Mashal Books, one of Pakistan's few progressive, left-leaning publishing houses, recently launched a unique experiment: Of recording and making publicly accessible speeches delivered by maulvis or Muslim clerics at mosque congregations across Pakistan's Punjab province, including some located in small towns and obscure villages.
These speeches deal with a host of issues, ranging from women's status and scientific education, to jihad and anti-Indianism, all these linked to an amazingly diverse set of understandings of Islam.
Hosted on the Mashal Books Web site MASHAL BOOKS (http://www.mashalbooks.org), these speeches reflect the worldviews of a large majority of Pakistani maulvis, representing a range of sectarian backgrounds, who now exercise a major influence on the country's politics and in shaping Pakistani public opinion and discourse.
Of the dozens of speeches hosted on the Web site, only two are classified as relating particularly to India, but these may still be taken to be representative of how a great many Pakistani maulvis conceive of India and of relations between India and Pakistan. Predictably, in both speeches India is depicted in lurid colours, as an implacable foe of Pakistan, of Muslims, and of Islam.
Not surprisingly, then, efforts to improve relations between India and Pakistan or to work towards rapprochement between Hindus and Muslims are vociferously denounced. The two maulvis appear to insist that Islam, as they understand it, itself requires that Pakistani Muslims must never cool off their anti-Hindu and anti-Indian zeal.
The first of these two speeches, by the Deobandi Maulana Muhammad Hafeez of the Jamia Masjid Umar Farooq, Rawalpindi, refers to India only in passing. He presents Muslims the world over as besieged by a host of powerful non-Muslim enemies.
It is almost as if their 'disbelief' (kufr) in Islam goads all non-Muslims, wherever they may be, to engage in a relentless conspiracy against Islam and its adherents, a war, like Samuel Huntington's infamous 'Clash of Civilisations', in which compromise and reconciliation are simply impossible because Islam and 'non-Islam' can, in this worldview, never comfortably coexist.
It is also as if Muslims have a monopoly on virtue and non-Muslims on vice. 'Islam will rise,' Maulana Hafeez thunders, 'and America and India will fall,' conveniently forgetting (assuming he knew of the fact) that India probably has more Muslims than Pakistan and that if India falls, it will drag its tens of millions of Muslims along with it, too.
The second speech is by a certain Maulana Mufti Saeed Ahmed of Jamia Masjid Mittranwali, Sialkot, who belongs to the Ahl-e Hadith sect, which closely resembles the Saudi Wahhabis.
Pakistani Ahl-e Hadith groups, most notoriously the Lashkar-e Tayiba, have been heavily involved in fomenting violence across Pakistan, Kashmir and in India as well.
Hatred for India and the Hindus seems to be an article of faith for many Pakistani Ahl-e Hadith, as Maulana Ahmed's speech clearly indicates.
At the same time, it must also be recognised, as is evident from instances that the Maulana cites, that these deep-rooted anti-Indian and anti-Hindu sentiments are constantly fuelled by brutalities inflicted by non-Muslim powers, including the United States and fiercely anti-Muslim Hindu chauvinists in India, on Muslim peoples.
These brutalities need not always be physical. They can also take the form of assaults on and insults to cherished Islamic beliefs, which inevitably provoke Muslim anger. The appeal of people like Maulana Ahmed lies in their practiced ability to use these instances of brutality directed against Muslims to craft a frighteningly Manichaean world, where all Muslims are pitted against all non-Muslims in a ceaseless war of cosmic proportions that shall carry on until Muslims, it is fervently believed, will finally triumph.
Recounting a long list of anti-Muslim brutalities (but conveniently ignoring similar outrages committed by Muslims on others), Maulana Ahmed exhorts his listeners to unite and take revenge. 'O Muslims!,' he shrilly appeals, 'get up and take in hand your arrows, pick up your Kalashnikovs, train yourselves in explosives and bombs, organise yourselves into armies, prepare nuclear attacks and destroy every part of the body of the enemy.'
His speech is peppered with fervent calls for what he terms as 'jihad' against both America and India, these being projected as inveterate foes of Islam and of all Muslims.
He prays for America to 'be destroyed', and ecstatically celebrates the recent devastating terrorist assault on Mumbai by a self-styled Islamist group that left vast numbers of people dead, unapologetically hailing the dastardly act as a 'big slap on the cheek of the Hindus'.
Not stopping at this, he calls for continuous terrorist violence against India, including, he advises, unleashing 'bloodbath to (sic) Indian and American diplomats in Kabul and Kandahar'. Only then, he argues, can Pakistan's rulers 'relieve the pressure' on them and being peace to their country.
The 'enemy', as Maulana Ahmed constructs the notion, could be any and every non-Muslim, particularly Americans, Jews and Hindus or Indians. It is as if every non-Muslim is, by definition, irredeemably opposed to Islam and is necessarily engaged in a grand global conspiracy to wipe Islam from off the face of the earth. It is as if non-Muslims have no other preoccupation at all.
All non-Muslims are thus tarred with the same brush, and no exceptions whatsoever are made. It is almost as if Maulana Ahmed desperately wants all non-Muslims to be fired by anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic vitriol, for that is his way to whip up the sentiments of his Muslim followers and fire their zeal and faith.
It is as if further stoking such hatred is crucial to his ability to maintain a following and to claim to authoritatively speak for Islam and its adherents. 'The hatred among the people against the kafirs has reached a new height,' the Maulana exults.
For the Maulana, fomenting hatred of non-Muslims is his chosen way of realising what has for centuries remained the elusive dream of Muslim unity. That this hatred, which he so passionately celebrates, inevitably further stokes the fires of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim prejudice, already so widespread among non-Muslims, appears of no concern to him at all. In fact, he seems to positively relish the frightening Huntingtonian thesis of the 'Clash of Civilisations'.
Deobandi and Ahl-e Hadith outfits today enjoy tremendous clout in Pakistan, and they have been at the forefront of Islamist militancy that now threatens to drown the country in the throes of what promises to be an interminable civil war.
As the speeches of these two Pakistani clerics, one a Deobandi and the other from the Ahl-e Hadith, so starkly indicate, inveterate hatred for India and the Hindus, indeed for non-Muslims in general, is integral to the ways in which vast numbers of Pakistani Muslim clerics understand religion, community, nationalism and the world.
Such hatred is inevitably further fuelled by acts of brutality directed against Muslims by non-Muslims, including by the United States, India (particularly in Kashmir) and by militantly anti-Muslim Hindu chauvinist groups.
Muslim and non-Muslim right-wing radicalism and militancy thus enjoy a mutually symbiotic relationship, opposing each other while, ironically, unable to live apart, needing each other even simply to define themselves.
Religion is too powerful an instrument to be left in the hands of hate-driven clerics to manipulate as they please, most often for fuelling conflict between communities and states.
As the frightening records of Hindutva chauvinists in India and the Pakistani clerics discussed in this article so strikingly illustrate, leaving religion to the right-wing to monopolise is a sure recipe for bloody and endless conflict.
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As far as I know, yes it is...I remember doing H1 myself few years ago and the LCA form has prevailing wage rate section. As we know, the wage rates differ from place to place and so since H1 is based on prevailing wage rate on LCA, then H1 is also location specific. Even though LCA form has been changed since then, I think it still holds true...
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Now that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao�s visit to India in Nov 2010 has ended, it is necessary to reflect on the nature of India-China relations and where it is headed. Kishore Mahbubani, the distinguished Asian thinker from Singapore, described India-China relations as, �the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st Century�. Indeed, historically, civilizationally, from the perspective of economic benefits to the region or from peace and security in Asia and the world; this is a relationship that is likely to shape the global future.
There is no scope for mistakes. Two large nations that are simultaneously reemerging at a rapid pace, thus this relationship has to be based on carefully balanced enlightened self interests. To achieve this will call for delicate negotiations based on our respective genius, taking account of our differences, yet accommodating the genuine concerns and interests of both. It is important to be clear that tension and conflict, easy to generate in an atmosphere of fear and distrust, can do immense harm to all.
HISTORICAL & CULTURAL LEGACIES
Historically near neighbours, India and China had very little contact or understanding of each other. Two long but intermittent periods in early history may be considered as exceptions. One was the epoch of the Nalanda University in India, which flourished nearly two millennia ago and brought the world�s scholars to its gates. This was amongst the biggest confidence building measure in the history of Asia. The other was through the Great Silk Routes emanating from China with some branches passing through India and going to the world, enriching both countries. This was an early example of globalized commerce that benefited the entire then known world.
The absence of recent contact failed to develop in India an understanding of the �Middle Kingdom�. On its part China has never quite grasped the importance of democracy, pluralism and diversity of India, which with all its imperfections, constitute the quintessence of the Indian state and its nationalism.
Instead, our awareness of each other in modern times can be traced to the 19th Century, where it was coloured by colonial influences with their national interests firmly centred in European capitals. This brief interlude in history was the only period when neither India nor China was a leading nation in the world with neither in a position to shape its own destiny. Yet, it may be argued that spared outright conquest, Beijing secured its national interests somewhat better than Delhi. Many of today�s problems originate from that period, even though goodwill between both nations remained intact. Examples from India were Rabindranath Tagore and Dr Kotnis.
In his highly controversial first visit to China in 1924 Tagore said at a lecture in Shanghai, �I want to win your heart, now that I am close to you, with the faith that is in me of a great future for you, and for Asia, when your country rises and gives expression to its own spirit -a future in the joy of which we shall all share.� Tagore visited China purely as a poet, yet his words set the tone and trend for India-China relations till the 1950�s. Premier Wen Jiabao hit the right note, when in his first engagement in Delhi in 2010 he visited a school named after Tagore and drew attention to the renewed attention in China today to his humanistic writings.
Congress Party sent a small medical mission led by Dr Kotnis to help the Eighth Route Army in its War of Resistance in 1938. This team�s dedication and service to the People�s Liberation Army left a deep impression in the minds of the members of the Long March generation. This was the backdrop in which Nehru reached out to China in the 1950�s.
A rude awakening to the Cold War realities of the 20th Century came about in the deteriorating relations in the end of 1950�s and to the 1962 War. The impact of this was different in the two countries. In China the average citizen had little knowledge of this War. They were in the grip of a totally controlled media. Besides, the population at large was grappling with life and death questions of the consequences of the Great Leap Forward. But, the impact in India was traumatic. Essentially it transformed in to a deep sense of betrayal at several levels, a sentiment that left deep scars.
This contrast was reflected personally to me in June 1991 in many places in China where as a General Officer of the Indian Army and as the first Indian military guest of the PLA in over three decades, one was repeatedly accosted with the statement; �there are a thousand reasons why we should be friends and none at all why we should be enemies�. This was a sentiment that few would have shared in India at the time. As a first step in reconciliation we need to put this current history firmly behind us. This possibility was brought home to me personally through a brief encounter in Vietnam in the autumn of 2010. Shocked to see the utter devastation caused to innocent Vietnamese civilians in the most massive bombing in world history, in the deep underground bunkers north of Ho Chi Minh city, we asked if it was possible to forgive an enemy that caused these horrors. I was struck by the response of the young Vietnamese guide. He said; �If we were to hate the Americans, then how can we not also hate the French, the British, the Australians and the Chinese? We need to put history behind us if we hope to build a future�.
Many would object to this idealistic approach to hard issues of national interests and they have a point. But, continuing with historic animosities is not the best foundation for national policy. In the realpolitik world of the 21st Century we will need to carefully craft a balance between our concerns and interests and evolve a cooperative relationship.
THE NEED TO CHANGE MINDSETS
The litany of issues between us is long and complex. A short paper such as this will only indicate broad approaches that India should adopt on some of the more important issues.
The border issue easily heads any list and is also the most urgent. Even though no shot has been fired in anger across the Line of Actual Control since the last twenty six years, an unresolved border can no longer be �left to the next generation� to resolve. Already more than a generation has passed since Deng Xiaoping�s statement and this generation has not proved wiser. There is too much at stake today to pend this issue for long. Lingering problems tend to fester and often can be brought to light from hidden memories to buttress misgivings on other issues. Political sensitivity of this issue to both India and China however, has to be accepted and haste has to be made even if slowly.
The fundamental reality about borders in the 21st Century is that none can be changed arbitrarily between two sovereign nations of some consequence without causing great destruction. Copious blood has already been shed over this border and today both nations have substantial nuclear weapons as well as conventional arms capability to persuade us to rule out this option. If that much is accepted, the only option that remains is a negotiated settlement. There is no doubt that each side should be prepared to make substantial compromises. But, the framework of a settlement has already been agreed in 2005 at Premier Wen�s last visit in 2005 under the Agreement on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the IndiaChina Boundary Question. This clearly rules out the possibility of exchanging populated areas.
While there may be concerns today to make the borders porous, access to holy lands and pilgrimage places should have easy though controlled access. This will address so called claims based on religious sentiments. Fortunately most places along our common borders are uninhabited and hence minor changes in lines drawn on maps should have easier chance of acceptance.
The question of the Kashmir border with China has caused recent concern in India. This need not really be the case. Once again on the Jammu & Kashmir question the position of both India and Pakistan has evolved. An exchange of territory, howsoever desirable to either side is not a realistic and even a desirable option. Hence converting the de-facto to de-jure is the issue between India and Pakistan. This will also have to be the option between India and China. This would require a leap of faith and bold political leadership.
Admitted that such leaps are not the preferred options for realistic politicians aspiring to return to office a background of trust and friendship has to be created. Which in turn should be based on carefully crafted win-win situations for both. This is where other major approaches become important.
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I agree with you. I am also of the opinion that July Fiasco has actually helped India and China (oversubscribed countries). USCIS might have approved tons of EB2 and EB3 (India and China) applications to use those 60,000 visa numbers. So, India and China might have got a big pie of the 140,000 EB visas.
With that said I also felt the pain as other members did due to the July bulletin fiasco.
Anyway, when you say visa recapture does not hep EB3I, that is patently FALSE. En Contraire, it is the ONLY thing that can help that category.
I 100% agree. When AC21 recaptured about 100K visas numbers in 2000, all the numbers were used to clear the backlogs in EB3 (and there were no backlogs in EB2). Infact, all the recuptured numbes came from EB2 and EB1 pool that were unused in 1998 and 1999. Thats why EB3 was current till 2004. Once AC21 numbers gone, DOS retrogressed both EB3 and EB2. In fact DOS did very big favor to EB3 by using EB2 numbers. Till 2006, DOS misinterpreted the AC21 law and allowed vertical spillover (EB2-ROW -->EB3-ROW). In 2007 they realized the mistake and interpreting the AC21 law correctly and allocating all 40,000 EB2 numbers only in EB2 catagory plus unused numbers from EB1 as per INA. As per INA, if anything left in EB2, then only it goes to EB3-ROW.