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  • nojoke
    01-04 04:42 AM
    What is your experience with secret service and snipers? You seem to be so sure about that let's see your expertise on that.

    Regarding, that was not a war against terrorist in the beginning. Now it is.

    Pakistanis are good people too. Do not take an isolated attack in India conducted by terrorists as a generic approach please.

    You sounded that it was easy to do it and sounded like an expert. So prove me it is easy. Common sense tells me that it is difficult and suicidal for someone to infiltrate and shot.
    My point is- Iraq was not involved in the terror and now created terrorist because US invaded that country. So your example that invading Pakistan will result in the same is wrong. Pakistan already has terrorists.
    Yes, there are good pakistanis. But they are fed propaganda and hatred towards India. They are going to turn a blind eye when it comes to terrorism done against India. They will refuse to won up and give excuse. You can see this in this forum.





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  • Macaca
    03-19 01:20 PM
    New Congress, Same Obstacles for Democratic Lobbyists (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/18/AR2007031801138.html), By Al Kamen, Monday, March 19, 2007

    The Democrats' takeover of Congress had a lot of their interest groups -- labor, enviros, etc. -- elbowing ferociously for long-sought legislation for their constituents. The groups' lobbyists are feeling the pressure.

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association has been working hard to reopen contract bargaining with the Federal Aviation Administration -- it feels it got the short end in negotiations last year about work rules and pay -- and wants Congress to let it do so. But it's a tough go, NATCA President Patrick Forrey said in a March 10 "National Office Update."

    "I can imagine how frustrat[ed] our membership must be that our language has not been enacted to date," Forrey wrote, "considering the tremendous amount of support in PAC dollars and campaign activity we invested into the election process." No doubt. Sounds like they've got a good consumer fraud case if they want to pursue it.

    "For those who believe this should be a slam dunk," he said, "let me remind you that there are an incredible amount of organizations, associations, special interests and of course labor unions that have been subject[ed] to 12 years of bad government . . . the problem is, we are all competing against each other to get our separate issues corrected."

    But the Washington office is working on it. "If you could be in my shoes and talk with these very supportive members," Forrey explained, "you'd have the opportunity to realize the difficulty in undoing something that falls in a long line of things that need undoing . . . that is why it's so difficult to get the total support" from the House leadership on "controversial bills" that might hurt passage of other bills.

    But not to worry. "This past week has left us very encouraged about the progress we are making in securing a temporary legislative fix," he said, with Reps. James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Jerry F. Costello (D-Ill.) having penned a joint letter to House Appropriations chair David Obey (D-Wis.) to put language in the Iraq war supplemental appropriations bill that would reopen contract negotiations.

    "However, as of today," Forrey wrote, "we have not seen or been told of any language inserted" in the Iraq bill. "It appears that the final approval is going to have to come from Speaker Pelosi," he said, "so we are rounding up all of the support we can garner from" other members to get her "to give the nod."

    (Last Thursday, the Appropriations Committee approved the bill without the language.)





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  • H1B-GC
    07-07 10:30 PM
    Manu,

    Do you know United Nations(UN) in the Immigration.com site of Rajeev Khanna. These Days UN seems to be Vanished.He helped a lot of guys regarding these issues at I-140 stage. If you get a chance please browse through the websites and send him an email.Make sure you follow every step.in between he's CPA and has lot of knowledge on immi issues.

    All the Best!!





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  • mariner5555
    03-23 11:14 PM
    I agree he will loose his down payment or credit score in case of things going south on GC side but still he will be able to do whatever is best for his long term goals now and he will be better off in terms of equity when real estate market bounces back in 3-4 years.There are lucrative deals in the market and renting does not make any sense. There is always a risk factor and u can cover your risks accordingly. Anywaz What exactly ur going to do with Credit Score after u are kicked out from here ? So why not take risk now and play the game.
    why do you say that renting does not make any sense ?? credit score would matter if a person gets a better oppurtunity and decides to come back - screwing up yr credit is like burning a bridge. In my humble opinion real estate won't bounce back - it may limp back in majority of the areas. ofcourse housing is local ..



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  • HopeSprings
    08-06 10:48 AM
    Although the discussion has deteriorated to a point where it will not be healthy anymore, these are valid questions.

    I think a good compromise would be if interfiling is allowed only if the candidate was eligible for the EB2 position at the time of filing the EB3 labor. The current rule punishes those who go to grad school full-time, especially if you did a PhD but do not qualify for EB1.

    sroyc,
    What a resolution!!! I completely agree with you. Interfiling should NOT be scrapped but limited to people who qualified for the later category (EB2/EB1) on the date of their PD.





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  • pani_6
    02-21 01:03 PM
    Why doesnt this guy test the water by contesting the elections...he talks as if he is the 20th century Adam Smith who should be consulted on economics..



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  • pointlesswait
    01-06 05:19 PM
    this is to
    who ever gave me this comment: "why don't you grow up and take this discussion elsewhere?"

    i didnt start this..u DF..





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  • unitednations
    07-17 12:19 PM
    Hi UN,
    First of all my sincere gratitude to you for your patience and the time you put in to give a detailed reply to all cases.

    Here's my situation(I think a case of status violation)


    I did an L1 to H1 transfer in 2005. My L1 was valid till APRIL 2006. So my intention was to work with L1 employer till April 2006 and then switch to H1 employer.

    H1 employer also applied for a change of status, which I was not aware of that time. I asked the H1 company's lawyer whether I could continue with my L1 employer after getting the H1 and she said it's fine.

    So I got the H1B approval in Oct 2005, but still continued with L1 employer till APRIL 2006, then switched to H1.

    Recently I came to know that this could be an issue. When I was filling the G-325A form, I wondered if I specify that I worked with the L1 employer till APRIL 2006, would they catch this?? Even if they catch , how big an issue would this be??

    If I put the dates to reflect the dates to show that I quit my L1 employer in Oct 2005 itself, would this be an issue?? I guess in this case, if by any chance they ask for any further evidence like pay stubs or W2 in that period of time, I would be in trouble.



    From what I have read from the forum, A lawful re-entry should clear the violation in my case right?? I haven't filed the I-485 yet. My I-140 is pending.
    Do they catch this during I-140 stage??

    ALSO CAN THEY DENY H1B DUE TO PREVIUOS VIOLATION OF STATUS, WHILE I RE-ENTER?? This is my biggest fear now!!!

    Can I go to Canada/Mexico for stamping? where would I get an appointment at the earliest??




    Thanks.

    I am assuming that you haven't left the country since 2005?

    Going from h-4 to h-1 or L-1 to H-1b is a gray area in regards to have you actually changed your status and what happens if you maintain your old status.

    What is for sure is when you are on F-1 and you file a change of status to h-1b. For sure at this point your status is h-1b.

    Some lawyers will tell you that if you continue on L-1 then you have violted your status; others will tell you differently.

    Anytime there is a questionable issue then you definitely want to go out and re-enter and get an I-94 card. (use auto revalidation by going to canada). This will take the gray out of it.

    Once you have used auto revalidation then tell the absolute truth on the G-325a. USCIS won't be able to do anything about it. However; if they dig into it and accuse you of fraud then you are in for a long and difficult battle.(note: checking status is #1 thing uscis does in examining a 485 application).

    The big danger people will have is that regardless of whether people will be able to file now or later; the dates will go backwards. During this retrogressed time; uscis will pre-adjuidcate cases. Therefore, it is possible that they could deny your case but you wouldn't be able to re-file it until the dates have become current again.



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  • Macaca
    03-27 08:14 AM
    Lobbying Is Lucrative. Sometimes Very, Very Lucrative (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/26/AR2007032602027.html), By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    Lobbyists, as they say, make the big bucks. That's why so many lawmakers, congressional staffers and political appointees move downtown when they leave government.

    So just how lucrative is it? Well, pretty lucrative. According to new data from the Center for Responsive Politics, 22 clients paid $1 million or more in lobby fees to individual lobbying firms last year.

    Three of the biggest payments went to the usual suspects: Patton Boggs, Hogan & Hartson and DLA Piper -- all major law firms. But two of the top five recipients were small shops you have probably never heard of: Canfield & Associates and New Frontiers Communications Consulting.





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  • alterego
    12-27 11:23 AM
    Ofcourse its Pakistan's responsibility since we created them. But the question is, where do you go from here?
    There is about twenty to twenty five years worth of infrastructure and intellectual capital built in the unofficial 'non-state' militant/jihadi circles.
    So, its going to take time for this infrastructure to go away.

    The challenge for Pakistan is to dismantle this infrastructure. A hostile or unfriendly India doesn't help. Ironically, it makes reliance upon this infrastructure attractive.

    I think much of India understands this perspective. India is generally a very secular and tolerant country. However this is something that has been going on for many years now. The worlds patience is wearing thin. Terrorism should invoke a ZERO TOLERANCE response from all states towards "non-state actors" acting within their territories. More promises, seldom achieve anything tangible is unacceptable. Given the past track record of Pakistan on such issues, India and the world has decided to keep up the pressure this time, and not a moment too soon. Innocents get killed and harmed and unnecessary harm is inflicted on a nations psyche and internal diverse harmony with such events.

    Zardari has no real power in Pakistan. The military has a mind of its own there and are not there to serve the civilian adminstration. That is the problem.
    The world cannot be expected to wait for 15-20 yrs and suffer through these sorts of attacks, while Pakistan decides if they want to "dismantle their jihadi infrastructure".

    The pressure will continue on Pakistan and they will have to demonstrate more action to the world. Of course war will not be good for either country, arguably worse for Pakistan, however even absent war Pakistan could end up losing if they fail to act. The country will not thrive under this pressure and economic uncertainty and isolation, the economy already on the brink will collapse and the people will face unnecessary hardships, ala North Korea. The choice is up to Pakistan. We all hope Pakistan chooses rationally.
    We would all love to see a thriving, prosperous and terrorism free Pakistan, rather than one controlled by a military strong man(ala Zia Ul Haq) and begging/manipulating the sugar daddy of the day be it the USA or China at the time.
    Pakistanis need to figure out what they want for their future.



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  • Macaca
    05-11 05:19 PM
    Obama Recasts Border Issue (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703730804576315531789204212.html) By Laura Meckler | Wall Street Journal

    President Barack Obama on Tuesday tried a new tack on immigration, saying that beefed-up security along the U.S.-Mexico border has proved effective enough that it should draw Republican support for an overhaul of the nation's naturalization system.

    Mr. Obama said his administration had met the concerns of Republicans by increasing law-enforcement manpower to record levels and installing new surveillance technology and fencing.

    "We have strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible," he said at the Chamizal National Memorial, as a giant Mexican flag waved across the Rio Grande river.

    The president cited several statistics to back up his assertion of tightened borders, including a nearly 40% decrease in arrests at the border, to about 463,000 in 2010. The administration says that is a sign that fewer people are attempting to illegally cross from Mexico.

    Mr. Obama didn't mention that deportations hit record levels last year�a trend that has drawn fire from some Hispanic advocates.
    The speech was aimed in part at reassuring voters who are worried about border security, and in part at renewing support among Hispanic voters he needs to boost his re-election campaign, particularly in Rocky Mountain states.

    He offered no new policy proposals Tuesday, and set no timetable for legislation. Instead, he called for those who support his proposals to build pressure for congressional action from outside Washington.

    The president said the new border-control measures will prevent another wave of illegal immigrants from flowing into the country if those already here are allowed to stay.

    Some prominent unions including the AFL-CIO have opposed immigration legislation in the past, concerned that new arrivals would pose competition for their members. Senators trying to craft an overhaul have said one of the obstacles has been coming up with a guest-worker program unions and business can support.

    Mr. Obama's legislative goals haven't changed since he spoke on immigration last summer, including a path to citizenship for the 10.8 million people already in the U.S. illegally, a program many Republicans oppose as a reward for lawbreaking. Mr. Obama also supports a guest-worker program and making it easier for foreign students educated in the U.S. to stay.

    There is virtually no GOP support in Congress for the legislation Mr. Obama wants, though some Republicans have embraced these ideas in the past.
    Mr. Obama predicted that no matter what he does, some Republican foes of his approach will demand more. "Maybe they'll need a moat," he said. "Maybe they'll want alligators in the moat."

    Arizona Republican Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl have crafted a $4 billion, 10-point plan that calls for double fencing where there is now single fencing and another 5,000 Border Patrol agents, on top of the 20,700 now in place.

    "We hear from our constituents on a daily basis, and, while some progress has been made in some areas, they do not believe the border is secure," Messrs. McCain and Kyl said in a statement Tuesday.

    They also pointed to a Government Accountability Office report that found the U.S. has "operational control" of 44% of the Southwest border with Mexico, meaning it has the ability to detect, respond and interdict illegal activity.The administration says that isn't a good measure and officials are working on a better one.

    Republicans face pressure within their party to keep the focus on tougher immigration enforcement. But some GOP leaders say the party also needs to improve its standing with Hispanics, the fastest-growing voter group in the U.S.

    But the president faces skepticism even from supporters heading into this latest push.

    "The moment to use pressure is gone. You missed it. The train left the station," said Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.). "I want to be honest with my constituents and with the American people. I don't want to rev them up for something that doesn't have any possibilities of success."


    President Obama at the Border (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/opinion/11wed1.html) New York Times Editorial
    A Question of Decency (http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/magazine/87878/immigration-reform-dream-act-border-security) The New Republic Editorial
    Immigration reform and border security: Obama's standards (http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/the-monitors-view/2011/0510/Immigration-reform-and-border-security-Obama-s-standards) The Christian Science Monitor Editorial
    Hideously diverse Britain: a passage from India (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/10/hideously-diverse-britain-passage-india) By Hugh Muir | Guardian
    Britain's got (foreign) talent (http://www.economist.com/node/18648783) The Economist
    The Dark Night of Islam
    The revolutionary events shaking the Islamic world will not change an intolerant and obscurantist culture (http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/266778/dark-night-islam-michael-knox-beran)
    By Michael Knox Beran | National Review
    Obama�s border visit renews focus on immigration policy (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obamas-border-visit-renews-focus-on-immigration-policy/2011/05/09/AF7cPMcG_story.html) By Peter Wallsten and Perry Bacon Jr. | The Washington Post
    New Call in Albany to Quit U.S. Immigration Program (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/10/nyregion/albany-lawmakers-protest-giving-immigrant-data-to-us.html) By KIRK SEMPLE | New York Times
    Obama�s El Paso coup (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/obamas-el-paso-coup/2011/05/10/AFaBXOjG_blog.html) By Lee Hockstader | The Washington Post
    In Border City Talk, Obama Urges G.O.P. to Help Overhaul Immigration Law (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/us/politics/11obama.html) By JACKIE CALMES | New York Times
    Securing the border with semantics (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/10/securing-the-border-with-semantics/) The Washington Times Editorial
    The Immigration Paradox (http://nationaljournal.com/politics/the-immigration-paradox-20110511) By Ron Brownstein | National Journal
    The demographic politics of immigration (http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/05/immigration_reform_0) The Economist
    Moving away from the border (http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/05/immigration_reform) The Economist





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  • redgreen
    08-05 10:03 AM
    Many are supporting 'porting'. Then why are they opposing 'substitution'??
    The original poster never said that an EB3 should not apply for EB2. But after a few years when they can apply in EB2 they should not be considered they were already in EB2 all those years! There is no logic in it. I understand the frustration of everybody who is waiting for GC for several years. But laws should be based on some logic. Consider people who didn't apply for GC for years even though they were eligible! Are you people saying that they should get priority over people who applied??



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  • JEESEE
    04-01 03:20 PM
    My wife got same RFE asking for her medicals to be done as we couldnt do it at the time of 485 Filing. My Wife was expecting when we went for the Medical so the Doctor didnt give her the vaccines. our PD is Oct 2006.

    Some thing must be happening at USCIS side. Good.....OR.....Bad!!!! You decide.





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  • validIV
    06-26 10:20 AM
    Renting is not throwing money away..why ? for one - you get a place to stay, flexibility, maintenance / property tax paid by property owner, you can rent closer to your work and move around as per needs etc etc.. housing has its own benefits (but renting has its own too .."it is not as easy as saying renting is throwing money away" ..I have been asked to write about this in detail in the IV wiki ..will post a link here later

    ok if its not throwing money away, how do you get the money back you spent on renting? Nothing you said above answers that question.



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  • akhilmahajan
    09-30 02:08 PM
    Any inputs on the Nov Visa Bullietin ? Will the dates move forward substantially ?

    Post this under the VISA Bulletin thread buddy.
    Lets not loose focus of this thread.

    Really appreciate that.

    GO I/WE GO.





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  • riva2005
    04-08 11:43 PM
    Again, IEEE went out of its way to get extra H1Bs for US-educated students. That alone wipes out your arguments because these H1Bs are for foreigners and these people sure will increase competition for people born here. IEEE is not only for meaningful reform, they have the power to do what they want.


    Just because they have a position paper and a pdf file saying that they support US educated immigrants doesnt mean they do that.

    If IEEE-USA really cared about US educated students, they would have put in a provision to raise the cap for US masters degree holders from 20,000 to 40,000. Did they do that in this bill? NO.

    What created the 20,000 H1B visas for US educated students is lobbying by US universities. They saw a drop in student enrollment due to shortage of H1 visas in 2002 and 2003. Read the bureau of Immigration stats report to verify that drop in F1 visa demand from India and China in the early 2000s. Now its back up.

    Ron Hira and IEEE-USA have systematically worked for nearly 10 years to eliminate H1B program. However, they are doing it in a way that makes them look like reasonable people and helps them mask their xenophobic and protectionist attitude.

    This bill has been pretty much authored by xenophobes of IEEE-USA. If you look at the IEEE-USA website and what Sen. Grassley has been saying over the years, it has an uncanny similarity. Last year, IEEE-USA's insistence caused Sen. Grassley to put amendment in Jud committee to remove the provision of EAD for L1 spouses. Look at IEEE-USA's website and you will find remarkably similar material. Whether it was a justified and fair amendment, its a different issue.

    Lately, IEEE-USA has been against H1B employees who go back to India and China. Some time ago, they were saying "When does temporary end and permenant begin"...meaning, what part of "Temporary" do H1B "temporary non-immigrant" workers do not understand. They were against H1B employees becoming permenant by seeking Greencards and wanted them to go back after 6 years.

    Then they started opposing people who come here and go back because that is supposed to facilitate outsourcing. And IEEE-USA, like Lou Dobbs, hates outsourcing. So now they are unhappy even if H1B workers come here for 3-6 years and go back.

    So in a nutshell, they(IEEE-USA) are against H1B employees if they :

    1. Come here and stay here on GC.
    2. Come here and go back.
    3. Never come here but work for US companies and enable outsourcing.

    So the people who oppose all 3 of the above...like RON HIRA of IEEE-USA basically does not want us to exist in hi-tech work. Probably they would want all Indian and Chinese engineers to work in fields and pick cotton.

    Similary, Chuck Grassley has no problem with giving amnesty to illegals if they are agricultural workers. But in general he doesnt want too much immigration. So immigration is fine, as long as the brown people dont do white people's job. Immigration is good as long as brown people stick their brown asses in fieds picking cotton and stay away from that keyboard so that people like Ron Hira and his colleagues can get their 1990s back and write 4 lines of code per week and make $100,000 a year.

    Rimzhim, this whole public policy thing is really not your cup of tea. You go and stick to whatever it is that you are doing and let the core group handle this issue. This elitist attitude of "I am masters, I am Ph.D" is splinting apart this organization and you are too obtuse to understand the twisted ways of IEEE-USA.



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  • eb3India
    04-07 05:08 PM
    In late 1970's US had great demand for Doctors many Indian and Pakistan doctors migrated to US on green card, however after few years as demand went down, immigration for doctors also become very tough, infact complete system for foriegn doctors was made very restrictive.

    I see similar thing happening to IT but the catch here is Internet, virtually we can work from anywhere, but our senators who think internet is like series of tube does'nt get this





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  • singhsa3
    08-05 09:46 AM
    I don't think there is any point in continuing this discussions. He is right in his own way. You are right in your own way.
    He is concerned about porting across the categories. What you mentioned is the valid point but the affected person will still be able to port with in the category.

    Not just EB3 to EB2 port but EB2 to EB2 as well. Consider you lose your present job and lose your entire GC process. When you find a new job(if any), you would want to port your old PD at your new employer when they file your fresh 140.

    So no one is immune, if you think you are, you are ignorant and do not know how complex a case can become.

    There are very few benefits that CIS provides for people who lose jobs and PD portability is one of them. enlighten yourself!





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  • insbaby
    03-23 12:20 AM
    If you want to buy a home after you get your green card, mostly you will get after your retirement.

    I don't want to feel "my home" when I am 68 and after my kids are out on their own. So I decided, dump the H1B, H4, 485, 131, 761, 797, 999, 888, I94, EAD, AP... AAD, CCD etc crap in trash, and bought the home.

    I am happy. Even if I am asked to leave the country tomorrow, I just lock the door, throw the keys in trash and take off.

    Who cares when life matters.





    Macaca
    05-29 08:22 PM
    The Newest Lobbying Tool: Underwear (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/28/AR2007052801091.html) By Cindy Skrzycki (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/email/cindy+skrzycki/), Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    It was inevitable. In the Internet age, interest groups seeking influence in Washington are joining presidential candidates in discovering a new electronic tool to press their agenda: YouTube.

    "Send your underwear to the undersecretary'' urges the actress in the Competitive Enterprise Institute's stinging 66-second anti-regulatory video posted on YouTube, a free video-sharing site that is a subsidiary of Google. The video blames a 2001 Energy Department rule for an energy-efficiency standard that it says has made new models of washing machines more expensive while getting laundry less clean.

    The underwear video illustrates what other advocacy groups are finding out: YouTube is a cheap, creative way to get a message to a potentially vast audience. This slow migration is in addition to more traditional lobbying approaches, such as direct mail, Web sites and scripted phone calls to federal officials.

    "This is the next step,'' said Missi Tessier, a principal with the Podesta Group, a Washington lobbying firm. She said her company is working on a YouTube piece pushing for more federal funding for basic research for one client, the Science Coalition, a group of research universities. "We are always trying to find ways to get our message out.''

    Concerned Families for ATV Safety, which wants to keep children off all-terrain vehicles, turned to YouTube to lobby for more federal oversight at the agency and congressional level. One of the parents produced the video and posted it May 18.

    "We decided to put it on to raise awareness about how dangerous the machines are,'' said Carolyn Anderson of Brockton, Mass., who lost a son in an ATV accident and is a co-founder of the group.

    Some of the presidential candidates already have calculated that YouTube postings will reach the same younger audience that regularly visits social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. A few federal agencies have taken the plunge, too.

    Officials at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said it expects its YouTube messages to be ridiculed, laughed at, remade and spoofed. And they are. Its anti-drug message is also reaching the right demographic.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission realizes that YouTube would be a great way to broadcast product recall and safety messages, though it has not produced a video for it.

    "There are a tremendous amount of people who use that Web site,'' said Scott Wolfson, an agency spokesman. "But we worried about the integrity of the message being changed by users.''

    The YouTube audience hardly seems like a demographic that would be interested in washing-machine efficiency. Still, the Washington-based Competitive Enterprise Institute, which opposes energy-saving fluorescent bulbs and increasing the gas mileage of cars and trucks, has 43 videos on the site. Many of them are snippets of speeches and testimony with few user "hits."

    And then there's the underwear video.

    "We figured we would try a very fast, inexpensive campaign that would go viral," said Sam Kazman, general counsel at the CEI and head of its Death by Regulation project. The video went up May 16 and had 1,306 hits in the first week, a respectable showing, especially considering the subject matter.

    Kazman said the campaign cost virtually nothing. He wrote the script and one employee did the acting and another filmed it.

    The CEI Web site links to the video and to a June Consumer Reports magazine article that rated top- and front-loading washing machines for energy efficiency and performance. The magazine found that since the Energy Department issued an efficiency rule in 2001, the performance of various machines has varied widely.

    "Not so long ago, you could count on most washers to get your clothes very clean," the article says. "Not anymore. Our latest tests found huge performance differences among machines. Some left our stain-soaked swatches nearly as dirty as they were before washing. For best results, you'll have to spend $900 or more.''

    Kazman, who said he owns a 21-year-old Whirlpool washing machine, took this as confirmation that predictions his group made in 2001, that the rule would wreck a "low-priced, dependable home appliance," have come true.

    The manufacturers of home appliances, energy-efficiency groups and regulators who are being mocked in the video disagree.

    Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman, deputy home editor at Consumer Reports, said the underwear campaign takes the ratings out of context. "We support energy standards for washing machines,'' she said. "There are alternatives that will wash as well as older machines. They cost more to buy but not to operate."

    "I think it's obnoxious; I don't think this dog barks,'' said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project in Boston, a coalition of industry, consumer, environmental and state interests.

    DeLaski, who was involved in the negotiations that led to the 2001 rule, said it was expected at the time that prices would go up but that consumers would save on utility bills.

    "That's a regulation working pretty damn well," he said, adding that consumers can expect to save $80 annually on utility bills with the new models.

    Michael McCabe, a senior engineer at the Energy Department, said that nine out of 10 models Consumer Reports tested are in the price range the department predicted when it issued the rule, an extra $250.

    On the underwear front, Kazman said he sent his own (clean) underwear to the Energy Department. The department said the mailbox of Undersecretary Dennis R. Spurgeon is still empty.

    Kazman blamed the late delivery on another government policy, which subjects packages to irradiation.





    Macaca
    05-27 05:20 PM
    U.S. Probes Infosys Over Visas (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304520804576343070058872708.html) By MIRIAM JORDAN | Wall Street Journal

    U.S. authorities are investigating whether an Indian software giant repeatedly violated American visa laws in order to place its own foreign employees in temporary jobs at some big corporate clients in the U.S.

    The probe is examining whether Infosys Technologies Ltd. used inexpensive, easy-to-obtain visas meant to cover short-term business visits to the U.S.�instead of the appropriate, but harder to get, work visas�to bring in an unknown number of its employees for longer-term stays, according to people familiar with the matter.

    These so-called B-1 business visas are intended for foreign nationals who come to the U.S. for purposes such as attending business conventions, consulting with business associates or installing machinery.

    A State Department spokeswoman said the department is investigating Bangalore-based Infosys but declined further comment.

    A spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of the Department of Homeland Security, said ICE agents had visited Infosys's U.S. offices. However, she said that "as a matter of policy, the agency can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an ongoing investigation."

    In a statement Tuesday, Infosys said it "received a subpoena from a grand jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The subpoena requires us to provide information to the grand jury regarding our sponsorships for, and uses of, B-1 business visas."

    In a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it "intends to comply with the subpoena and to cooperate with the grand jury's investigation."

    Infosys is best known as an outsourcing company that provides India-based computing and other technology services to Western clients. But it also boasts thousands of U.S.-based employees who develop and install software for back-office accounting, logistics and supply-chain management for companies in the retail, finance and manufacturing industries. Infosys doesn't disclose the identity of its clients.

    The visa investigation comes amid a national debate in the U.S. over whether foreign workers, particularly in the software sector, are displacing qualified Americans because they are cheaper to employ.

    The investigation has spurred the government to say it intends to tighten visa regulations to close loopholes that critics say enable employers to abuse the immigration system.

    The probe was sparked by a lawsuit filed in Alabama state court earlier this year by an Infosys employee named Jack "Jay" Palmer Jr., alleging that Infosys misused the B-1 visa program. The lawsuit, which was recently moved to federal court, alleges that Infosys should have used a different visa program, known as H-1B, under which high-skilled professionals, such as software developers, are allowed into the U.S. for longer-term work.

    The U.S. issues just 65,000 H-1B visas a year, and demand sometimes exceeds supply. H-1Bs take several months to get and can cost upward of $3,000 per individual. The is no cap on B-1 visas, which can be obtained in a matter of days for $140 each.

    In a court filing, Infosys, which acknowledges using B-1 visas, denied the lawsuit's allegations that it had abused them.

    In an interview, Paul Gottsegen, Infosys's chief marketing officer, said he couldn't comment on a matter before the court, but he added: "We are currently in the midst of a detailed internal review to understand whether we need to change or tighten controls with the visa-application process. We are moving as quickly as possible on this important work."

    After learning of Mr. Palmer's lawsuit, Sen. :DChuck Grassley (R, Iowa):D wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, his staff said, citing the suit and demanding an investigation of the B-1 visa program.

    "I'm concerned about fraudulent actions that at least one foreign-based company has allegedly been taking in order get around the requirements and U.S. worker protections�.," said the April 14 letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

    Visa fraud can carry penalties of 10 years in prison, in addition to fines. Companies found to violate the terms of a visa program such as H-1B can be temporarily suspended from participating in the program.

    For the fiscal year ended March 31, Infosys had revenue of $6 billion, about two-thirds of which came from North America. To service its U.S. clients, Infosys has become one of the top users of the H-1B visa program, employing about 10,000 H-1B holders in the U.S., according to its annual report. Other large users of the visas include Microsoft Corp. and Indian tech titans Wipro Ltd. and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.

    H-1B visa holders can remain in the U.S. for as long as three years and are paid locally; their employers withhold federal and state income tax. B-1 visa holders are paid by the employer from their home country.

    In his lawsuit, Mr. Palmer, a principal consultant at Infosys, alleges that Infosys was affected by the limited number of H-1Bs in 2009 and began using B-1s to circumvent H-1B requirements.

    His attorney, Kenny Mendelsohn, said: "We are cooperating with investigators from the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security."

    In March 2010, Mr. Palmer attended meetings in Bangalore, where Infosys officials discussed the need to find "ways to creatively get around the H-1B limitations and process to work the system to increase profits and the value of Infosys' stock," according to the lawsuit. Infosys denies the allegation.

    Later, according to Mr. Palmer's complaint, he was asked to prepare letters in support of B-1 applications stating "the employee was coming to the United States for meetings, rather than to work at a job."

    After he refused to write such letters, Mr. Palmer was instructed "to keep quiet" by a manager sent from India who confirmed the violations, according to the suit�a claim Infosys denies.

    Mr. Palmer reported his concerns to Infosys' corporate counsel, Jeff Friedel, who told him to report them to the company's whistle-blower team, which he did in October 2010, according to the lawsuit. Mr. Friedel didn't reply to a request for comment.

    Mr. Palmer's suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for, among other things, breach of terms of employment and emotional distress. Mr. Palmer remains employed by Infosys, but he is not currently doing any work, according to his attorney.

    In recent years, Congress has introduced anti-fraud, training and other fees that have significantly raised the price of securing an H-1B visa.

    "As Congress has made the H-1B visa category more expensive and more difficult to obtain, companies have searched for alternatives. The B-1 is one such alternative," said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration-law professor at Cornell University.

    "Because the B-1 is nebulous, some companies may be going beyond its intention," he added.

    According to State Department regulations, a B-1 visa holder cannot engage in "local employment or labor for hire."


    U.S. Moves from Rhetoric to Action on Visas (http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2011/05/25/u-s-moves-from-rhetoric-to-action-on-visas/) By Megha Bahree and Amol Sharma | IndiaRealTime

    What the Infosys Whistleblower Said on Visas (http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2011/05/26/what-the-infosys-whistleblower-said-on-visas/) By Amol Sharma | IndiaRealTime



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