Monday, July 4, 2011

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  • nojoke
    04-14 03:18 PM
    I cannot agree more. I have been trying to drill this into some peoples brain but they are so adamant on renting and has made this thread into a rent vs buy argument. I finally gave up. I am not saying that this is the right time to buy. Fast forward 2 or 2+ years, lets assume the market is good. Then when it comes to rent vs buy I advocate buying a house.

    Let�s say you have a small kid and you are living in an apartment, after 10 years you save enough money to buy a big house and you then eventually you buy it. Then you ask the your kid �do you like the house?�. He will reply �it�s very nice dad, but can you give you give my childhood now?.�. Go figure out guys. If you are not planning on going back for a very long time then at-least get a life in the country you reside and when the housing market is good.

    Where do you get the idea that the child will loose the life in apartments and then get back after buying a house?:confused: It would be nice if we can buy the house on the day one when we join the job. Or even nicer if our parents got us a house in US before we came here:D. Unfortunately there are circumstances that prevent us buying a house. The biggest one is this bubble and the madness of multiple bidding that insanely pushed the real estate prices, all the while the realtors and mortgage brokers where making 300K or 500K yearly income selling shoe boxes for half a million and generating slogans like "you will be priced out forever", "they are not manufacturing any more land", "housing is always a good investment", "renting is throwing away money".





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  • Macaca
    05-09 05:48 PM
    Utah's Immigration Model (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703859304576304942483922996.html) Wall Street Journal Editorial

    If the states are meant to be laboratories of democracy, they have to get a chance to actually run their experiments. That's the story in Utah, where a new state immigration law is catching flak even before it goes into effect.

    In a Senate Judiciary hearing on Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder said the law, which combines enforcement measures with a guest worker program, needs to be adjusted or face federal lawsuits. Pressed on whether the Administration planned to sue Utah, Mr. Holder said the Department of Justice "will look at the law, and if it is not changed to our satisfaction by 2013, we will take the necessary steps."

    That's a tad awkward for the Attorney General, since the Utah plan probably looks a lot like what the federal government will end up considering if immigration reform has any hope of passing. Last summer, the Administration pounced like election-year politicians on an Arizona law that enlisted local police to enforce federal immigration statutes. So what's a state to do?

    Passed by the state's GOP legislature and signed by Republican Governor Gary Herbert in March, Utah's plan is notable because it's the first in the country that would allow undocumented immigrants to get a permit and work legally, after paying a fine of up to $2500 and meeting other conditions. The program is part of a larger package that includes increased scrutiny of immigrants who break the law. The compromise allows the state to address the economy's demand for workers�thus reducing the incentive for illegal immigration�while satisfying voters who don't want to reward those who arrived illegally.

    Like Arizona, Utah is already fending off lawsuits from the left. On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center sued to stop the portion of the law similar to the one in Arizona that enlists state and local police in the effort to identify illegal immigrants. In Utah's version, anyone who is arrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor has to show proof of citizenship.

    Unlike measures that unite talk radio hosts and labor unions against "amnesty," the Utah law doesn't create a path to citizenship or have any effect on an immigrant's legal status. That model could work for other states looking for a bipartisan compromise. Republican legislators in Texas have introduced similar legislation for guest worker programs, and Nebraska lawmakers plan to travel to Utah to learn more about the new law.

    Critics of state immigration laws often maintain that those decisions are the province of the federal government. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the power "To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization," and it's possible Utah might lose in court. But what are states to do when the federal government is unable to act on immigration? Utah's laws don't grant legal status to undocumented workers; they grant a work permit. Does the federal government have the power over such employment decisions?

    States are passing these laws because Congress has abdicated. Instead of ordering Utah to step back in line, or else, the Administration might consider what it can learn from Utah legislators who made a good faith effort to balance competing interests and solve a problem.




    Immigration: A better farm worker fix (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-visa-20110509,0,7562015.story) Los Angeles Times Editorial
    U.S. Warns Schools Against Checking Immigration Status (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/07/education/07immig.html) By KIRK SEMPLE | New York Times
    Is the Asian Century upon us? It depends (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/is-the-asian-century-upon-us-it-depends/article2011668/) By HARUHIKO KURODA | Globe and Mail Update
    Immigration North of the Border (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hazeen-ashby/immigration-north-of-the-_b_857441.html) By Hazeen Ashby | The Huffington Post
    Another project in trouble
    First the euro, now Schengen. Europe�s grandest integration projects seem to be suffering (http://www.economist.com/node/18618525)
    The Economist
    Smugglers Guide Illegal Immigrants With Cues via Cellphone (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/09/us/09coyotes.html) By MARC LACEY | New York Times
    As Barriers to Lawyers Persist, Immigrant Advocates Ponder Solutions (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/nyregion/barriers-to-lawyers-persist-for-immigrants.html) By SAM DOLNICK | New York Times
    Lawyers for Immigrants (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/09/opinion/l09immig.html) Letters | New York Times





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  • gimme_GC2006
    03-23 01:12 PM
    OK..people..the END OF SPECULATION..

    I got the email..here are the details asked for..

    and It appears, the email (@dhs.gov) came from someone who was working in the local office where our file is sitting..


    1. current resume
    2. copy of degree(s)
    3. W2s since 2000
    4. information relating to your first entry into the United States with your H1B visa (copy of I-94, copy of passport – admission stamp and biographic page, etc)
    5. date of initial employment in the United States (per our conversation this was through XXX Company for a contract with ABC Inc)
    6. copy of income tax returns from 2000 to the present (all that are available)
    7. copies of work contracts since 2000


    Now..should I send or hire a lawyer..what should be the best course..I have all details..except..work contracts from previous employers..currents one I can get

    Any suggestions please?:mad:





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  • paskal
    07-14 04:45 PM
    The reason for this was not because of EB3ROW getting preference, it was because USCIS illegally used up entire year's quota before the congress actually authorized them to. Stop making false claims about EB3ROW getting preference over Eb2-I

    but you are not correct about this. please look it up. The vertical spillover was going to EB3 ROW, had that not been so, EB2 I would not have become U, even though (you are right about that) USCIS was actually allocating a little too fast.

    The bottom line is this: before the "system changed" the spillover went to EB3 ROW (country quota more important that category preference)
    Now with revised interpretation spillover goes first to EB2 retrogressed countries (preference category precedent over country quota- use of soft quota provison from AC21). Either way Eb3 I was last on the totem pole.
    There would have been no spillover to EB3 I in either situation. I'm not saying this to either to justify it or to argue for it's fairness. Just trying to make a point about the root issues.
    Therefore, the "change" leaves EB3 I exactly where it was before- which of course is an insane place to be. Frankly, in your place, I would be freaking going out of my mind. But if your only reason for this action is that "change", you have to sit back a moment and understand what the change has doen (or in this case not done) to you.
    The ONLY way to solve the EB3I problem is increased GC numbers. That is why recapture has been the first and foremost thing we have always pursued. Last time there was a recapture, GC numbers went to every single category. Anyway you look at it, if with a recapture, EB2 became current, every bit of spillover in every quarter would go to EB3. Eventually, there will be more long lasting reform. For now we desperately need the extra numbers in any form or shape.

    Just my 2c. not trying to trying to "stop your voice from being heard". One piece of friendly and well meaning advice. Target letters and measures at those that have the power to make the changes you want. Otherwise the effort is pointless from the start.



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  • pani_6
    07-13 04:54 PM
    Guys just modified a lill bit..so unless somebody comes up with something better we will go with this...we can after all send more if somebody comes up with another draft..

    This is a first step and lets not falter at the first step..send it out to the people listed in the second page of the letter ..it wont cost you more than $

    Come on Guys
    Action & Urgency!





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  • dontcareanymore
    08-05 02:53 PM
    I also resent the idea that all US Masters folks are just "rich kids".

    Never said that. That was just a "story" response to a "story" post. The intent of the post is DO NOT TRY TO FRAME THE ISSUE IN ONE STORY. THERE ARE MANY STORIES.



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  • gc_aspirant_prasad
    09-26 08:47 AM
    I know it may be for the greater good to see Prez Obama in the white house.
    However, I am fairly confident that the condition of Employment Based immigrants - people facing years & years of retrogression will be a sorry one.
    As much as I would love to be part of this American experiment, I have to think of stability.
    Under Prez Obama if Sen Durbin & his friends revive CIR 2007 type discussions it is end of the road for folks like me waiting for over 5 years for the US GC.
    It would be wise to move to Canada or Australia / New Zealand for most of the EB folks where we can have the stability and freedom to be all that we can be and do all that we can do.
    I have exercised my personal preference for the Big White North & have already applied for the Permanent Residence in Canada. I am also in talks with angel investors in Ottawa such that I can incorporate & start a product development outfit up there.





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  • unseenguy
    06-20 08:37 PM
    You actually nailed down exactly what i have been thinking...

    Its just seems impossible to get a decent house which is not 25+ in Cupertino, Redwood shores etc ..And my gut feeling is these places the homes will never be affordable, they may lose some value but not much.

    I have also been debating about Austin as an alternative. Again what field you work in also plays a big role in the decision. if you are a techie and work in a product based company Bay area has all the top companies you could wish to work for. Where as cities like Austin merely have satellite offices for these companies based in bay area. I guess if you work in the service industry you would have more choices to pick from. Plus reason to consider austin for me is that "Austin is very much like bay area" ... In that case i think why not live in Bay area itself :)

    But yes if you are in bay area, Paying 700+ for a decent place just does not make sense even with all the rebates.


    I am hoping my gut feeling is proven wrong :)

    I moved out of bay area last year to WA. I had mixed feelings about making the move, but except for the weather, I think it was a good decision. One year down the line, I feel happy about it. The home you get for 700K in bay area, you can get for 550K in Seattle. Not much different, but somewhat cheaper.



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  • alterego
    11-11 10:50 PM
    Americans are fair minded for the most part. They saw the propoganda of the far right for what it was. This election did not tilt on immigration, but on other issues. However the fact that the conservatives got zero traction from their hard line approach implies that the country was looking for a more comprehensive solution.
    I think that the american public does want secure borders and to some extent is unhappy with the status quo on the border. However they are also cognisant of the fact that immigrant labour benefits them and their lifestyles tremendously. They by and large do not favour a get tough only policy. They could easily embrace a policy where hardworking people can "earn their way" into the kingdom. Bipartisanship will perhaps show the way forward. Imagine those guys like Sensenbrenner,Tancredo would not even negotiate with the Senate or allow anything pro any kind of immigration to a general house vote taking advantage of their majority position by their "majority of the majority rule". They even actively stripped legal immigration provisions in conference last year. As for Sensenbrenner and his types. Lets see how much they enjoy being in the "minority of the minority" now, I guess the bulldog that chewed out the senators and cleaned his teeth with their bones is now but a mere poodle in the room! Gotta love elections in a democracy.





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  • file485
    07-11 11:04 AM
    you can try gands.com for H1stamping..they might be a little expensive,but if it works and you want to avoid going back home for H1b stamping trauma..its worth it...

    we went for our H1/H4 renewal stamping with them, though our case was all clear..we dint want to take chance with Chennai consulate and spend in suspense our vacation back home after 5yrs in US



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  • alterego
    04-06 09:35 AM
    I think you missed my point. I was not trying to connect the ARM reset schedule with write-offs at wall street firms. Instead, I was trying to point out that there will be increased number of foreclosures as those ARMs reset over the next 36 months.

    The next phase of the logic is: increased foreclosures will lead to increased inventory, which leads to lower prices, which leads to still more foreclosures and "walk aways" (people -citizens- who just dont want to pay the high mortgages any more since it is way cheaper to rent). This leads to still lower prices. Prices will likely stabilize when it is cheaper to buy vs. rent. Right now that calculus is inverted. In many bubble areas (both coasts, at a minimum) you would pay significantly more to buy than to rent (2X or more per month with a conventional mortgage in some good areas).

    On the whole, I will debate only on financial and rational points. I am not going to question someone's emotional position on "homeownership." It is too complicated to extract someone out of their strongly held beliefs about how it is better to pay your own mortgage than someone elses, etc. All that is hubris that is ingrained from 5+ years of abnormally strong rising prices.

    Let us say that you have two kids, age 2 and 5. The 5 year old is entering kindergarten next fall. You decide to buy in a good school district this year. Since your main decision was based on school choice, let us say that your investment horizon is 16 years (the year your 2 year old will finish high school at age 18).

    Let us further assume that you will buy a house at the price of $600,000 in Bergen County, with 20% down ($120,000) this summer. The terms of the loan are 30 year fixed, 5.75% APR. This loan payment alone is $2800 per month. On top of that you will be paying at least 1.5% of value in property taxes, around $9,000 per year, or around $750 per month. Insurance will cost you around $1500 - $2000 per year, or another $150 or so per month. So your total committed payments will be around $3,700 per month.

    You will pay for yard work (unless you are a do-it-yourself-er), and maintenance, and through the nose for utilities because a big house costs big to heat and cool. (Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti:))

    Let us assume further that in Bergen county, you can rent something bigger and more comfortable than your 1200 sq ft apartment from a private party for around $2000. So your rental cost to house payment ratio is around 1.8X (3700/2000).

    Let us say further that the market drops 30% conservatively (will likely be more), from today through bottom in 4 years. Your $600k house will be worth 30% less, i.e. $420,000. Your loan will still be worth around $450k. If you needed to sell at this point in time, with 6% selling cost, you will need to bring cash to closing as a seller i.e., you are screwed. At escrow, you will need to pay off the loan of $450k, and pay 6% closing costs, which means you need to bring $450k+$25k-$420k = $55,000 to closing.

    So you stand to lose:

    1. Your down payment of $120k
    2. Your cash at closing if you sell in 4 years: $55k
    3. Rental differential: 48 months X (3700 - 2000) = $81k

    Total potential loss: $250,000!!!

    This is not a "nightmare scenario" but a very real one. It is happenning right now in many parts of the country, and is just now hitting the more populated areas of the two coasts. There is still more to come.

    My 2 cents for you guys, desi bhais, please do what you need to do, but keep your eyes open. This time the downturn is very different from the business-investment related downturn that followed the dot com bust earlier this decade.

    The truth is probably between the extreme pessimism in this post and the unbridled optimism in other posts.

    Never trust what realtors tell you, they are in it to make a sale and it is always in their interest to talk up the market. I have never yet seen/read/heard a realtor speak negatively about the market. Even if they are asked an obvious question like do you think prices have fallen in the last year they will say they have trended down a little but the foreclosure crisis is over now, and the fed is acting decisively and the demographics speak to a longer term secular uptrend bla bla blaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Some BS to justify their talk.

    The bottom line is there will be a hangover of a few years from this unprecedented bubble in housing, it will be more severe in hotspot areas we all know about. In those areas you will likely see a 25-30% drop with about half of it already baked in, another half spread out more slowly over the next 3 yrs that that graph illustrated. Additionally the inflation rate of 3-4%(you can expect an uptick over the next 2-3 yrs) will eat away another few percentage points of your capital , while also eating away at your loan.
    The net effect is that you would be another 20% or so the worse off in these hotbed areas in the next 3-4 yrs. In more steady areas, that fall will be much more muted perhaps half or less of that. However sales will slow to a crawl with the slowing jobs market.

    The main determinants of house prices are.

    1) Inventory............a negative right now.

    2) Credit............negative but with scope for improvement in the next 12 mths.

    3) Jobs...........likely to be down for the next 6 months atleast.

    4) Salaries..................Global pressures on these will likley persist with some tax help to average americans likley if Dems. take control.

    5) Market psychology...................likely damaged for the near term atleast 12 mths.

    6) The replacement value of homes. Land is a non factor here in this country. I scoff at suggestions to the contrary. Even in cities with restrictions, this is a yawn yawn factor. Unless you are speaking about downtown manhattan it is not a factor. Construction costs on the other hand are a factor. A value of $100 per Sq Ft of constructed value is perhaps par for the course right now, that can only go up, with rising commodity prices, salaries for construction with illegals kicked out etc over time this will go up.

    7) Rental rates to home prices. This too will catch up. Folks kicked out of sub prime mortgage homes need to go somewhere. They will likley drive demand for rentals.

    All of this points to a fast then a slow correction. I think we are nearing the end of the fast phase of home price correction. 20-25% in hotbed areas and 7-12% in other areas. I think you will see a more gradual correction of a similar magnitude spread over 3-4 yrs now.

    Lets see how it all unfolds.

    Remember Every drinking binge has a hangover! The US housing market is now in one.





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  • vdixit
    03-24 04:31 PM
    Bought a house, sold it. Changed jobs, moved cities, planning to buy a new house.
    I dont think renting (flushing money down the landlords toilet) is a wise idea if you plan to live in this country for a long time.
    Go for it. PLan these things according to your family's needs.
    Cheers.



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  • gcsim
    08-06 03:49 PM
    Bihar Driving License...

    DRIVING LICENSE APPLIKASON PHOROM
    ------------------------------------------ -----------------------


    NOTE: Please do not soot the person at the applikason kounter.
    He will give you the licen.
    For phurthar instructions, see bottom applikason.


    1. Last name:

    (_) Yadav (_) Sinha (_) Pandey (_) Misra (_) Dot no

    (Check karet box)

    2. First name:

    (_) Ramprasad (_) Lakhan (_) Sivprasad (_) Jamnaprasad (_) Dot no

    (Check karet box)

    3. Age:

    (_) Less than phipty (_) Greater than phipty (_) Dot no

    (Check karet box)

    4. Sex: ____ M _____ P(F) _____ not sure _____not applicable

    5. Chappal Size: ____ Lepht ____ Right

    6.Occupason:

    (_) Politison (_) Doodhwala (_) Pehelwaan (_) House wife (_) Un-employed

    (Check karet box)

    7. Number of children libing in the household: ___

    8. Number that are yours: ___
    9. Mather name: _______________________

    10. Phather Name: ____________________ (If not no,leave blank)

    11. Ejjucason: 1 2 3 4 (Circle highest grade completed)

    12. Dental rekard:

    (_) Ellow (_) Berownish-ellow (_) Berown (_) Belack (_) Other -__________
    Give egjhakt color

    (Check karet box)

    13.Your thumb imparesson :
    ____________________________

    (If you are copying from another applikason pharom, please do not copy
    thumb impression also. Please
    provide your own thumb impression.)

    PELEASE DO NOT USE PHINGERS OF YOUR LEGS

    Use thumb on y our lepht hand only. If you dont have le pht hand, use your
    thumb on right hand. If you do not have right hand, use thumb on lepht
    hand.

    NOTE: IF YOU DONT HAVE BOTH HANDS, YOU CANNOT DRIVE.

    WE ARE VARY ISTRICT ABOUT THIS .


    WOW guys too good .....love this bihari joke....keep going





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  • conchshell
    08-09 01:48 PM
    A friend to another: "When I die, I want to die like my grandpa who passed away peacefully in his sleep, but not like the freaked out passengers of the car he was driving."



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  • learning01
    05-24 12:44 PM
    can you tell me why nurses and physio-therapists are brought on H1B visas, and once they are employed their GCs are applied straight away and UNDER NO quota.

    You seem to be liking one or part of Lou's argument. You are only seeing the trees. My friend, start to see the forest. The big picture of Lou.





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  • dtekkedil
    10-02 10:46 PM
    I have always been a supporter of Democrats. Because I believe in their philosophy. If I were a citizen, I probably would have even joined the Democratic party.

    However, the past two years have opened my eyes - There is one major difference between the Republicans and Democrats. Republicans are bullies and manage to get away with anything because they stand together. Where as Democrats can't even collectively make a decision on what color shoes to wear - every Democrat has a personal agenda that is more important to them than the good of the country or even the party.

    I truly believe that George W Bush did not win the first election and he did not win the second one either... the Democrats lost it!

    The Republicans may put the wealthy and big corporations ahead of us common folks but they can achieve more than the Democrats and perhaps some of that may trickle down to the rest of us. The Democrats on the other hand will be busy squabbling and nothing will get done.

    So, even if Obama wants to fix immigration or be sympathetic to our cause, there will definitely be others like Sen. Durbin who will attempt to stop him. In the end, four years down the line, we will be hoping for the next President to help our cause.

    I have been in this country for over 10 years and I am still waiting for a Green Card. I love this country and there is no other place on Earth that I want to settle down. However, there comes a point when I have to ask myself if this wait in limbo is worth it.

    Is all this really worth it? Not being able to settle down; not being able to make plans for the future. Worrying everyday if the company that I work for will have a bad quarter and have to let me go? Worrying about when I will have to pack up my things from this country and start fresh in some other place? Will I have to live with all this stress for another five or six years only to be told that my Green Card cannot be approved? Where will I go? Can I go back to India? Will I be able to cope with the culture there anymore? Can it be my HOME anymore?

    I am sure the same thoughts have gone through many of your minds.

    I have always believed that I should be more than what I am. How can I do that when I can't even be what I am. There are so many things I want to do. I am a man of science and I have ideas that could probably change the world tomorrow. But I can't even do my PhD. It is not because I am not smart enough, it is because I have started my Green card process and I cant go back to being a full time student because I need an F-1 visa... which I am not eligible for because I have started my Green card process!

    What I am trying to say is that we are paying too high a price for a Green Card, there is only one life, it is short and you don't get second chances. So, for those who have just started this Green Card process, my advice to you is; Don't let the Green Card carrot steal your life away from you. You still haven't invested many years of your lives, cut your losses and run!

    The last time I came back from India, the first and overwhelming thought I had when I stepped out of the airplane was "I'm Home!". That is when I realized that I am not an Indian anymore, I am an American; at least in my mind! But I cannot let my life pass me by while I wait for a Green Card; not anymore! I am in the process of applying for an Australian PR and will also be applying for a Canadian PR. It is not that I do not want to live in the US anymore - it is just that I cant afford to live here much longer in this situation. The emotional and physical cost is far too high. America has become my home but living here is costing me my life.

    Sorry for rambling on... but my point is that while my heart wants Obama to win (I truly believe he will make a GREAT president) my head tells me that McCain should win. Because, the chances of our issues being solved or even for the good of this country, it is better to have a Republican President and a Republican congress!



    On a side note -

    The point of getting a Green Card is so that I can settle here and raise my family here. But really, is there a future here anymore? Social Security will be non-existent by the time I retire, medical insurance is probably the biggest scam ever, and all jobs will be outsourced to other countries soon. So, will the US remain such a great country 40 years down the line?

    A country can remain great only if men with vision guide it. Over 50 years ago President Eisenhower and his colleagues had the vision to implement the Interstate system. They saw what things will be like 40 - 50 years down the line and prepared for it. Today, the politicians in Washington just think about the next election and that is where the downfall of America begins. It is not Bin Laden who can destroy America, it is leaders without vision or love for the country; Leaders who worry more about elections than making the tough but correct decisions.

    Be it Obama or McCain, this country is unfortunately in a situation where the next President will make or break America. I hope it is the former from the bottom of my heart.

    I came to this country because it meant life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. But today, I realize that I have given up my life, liberty and happiness in pursuit of a Green Card.



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  • senthil1
    07-14 05:36 PM
    If you go with any campaign without the support of any organisation or without any legal basis you are going to fail. Not only that if you go without IV support but at the same time use IV forum that will certainly impact the unity of IV and that will may have impact on survival of IV in future. I think Core IV Group is in fix in this issue and whatever they tell someone will be unhappy.

    If law tells something and DOS violates that then certainly there is a valid point. If DOS follows law and law is unfair then you need to try changing the law. If you go to DOS simply they will tell we followed the law. If you find viloation of law then you may get some support.

    I definitely feel that EB3 should go ahead with this campaign. there has to be some fairness ...if we don't speak up then year after year, the same thing will happen and maybe in 2015, EB3 will get spillover visas. those who are writing against EB3 --tell me this, if a person who has come to US in 2007 and he has applied during the july fiasco ..and if he gets preference over a EB3 person who is still stuck with a PD of 2002 ..would you still say that the system is fair ???
    my point is let there be a little spillover ...maybe in a ratio of 2 to 1 ..but a little bit atleast ..is that asking for too much ???





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  • Macaca
    05-09 05:51 PM
    After bin Laden, U.S. Will Look East (http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2011/05/06/after_bin_laden_us_will_look_east_99510.html) By Daniel Kilman | German Marshall Fund

    Al Qaeda's attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, precipitated an unprecedented level of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. With Afghanistan beset by a resurgent Taliban, and Pakistan increasingly unstable, the United States subsequently doubled down in this troubled region even as the Asia-Pacific became the locus of global economic growth and great-power military competition. Although U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan for years to come, bin Laden's death heralds the beginning of the end of America's "Af-Pak" fixation. Increasingly, the United States will look eastward; Europe should as well.

    Many forget that, pre-September 11, America's strategic focus was gravitating toward Asia. Coming into office, President George W. Bush was determined to rethink how the United States managed China's rise, a development that posed a long-term challenge to American economic and military primacy. This determination was reinforced when a Chinese fighter jet rammed a U.S. spy plane in April 2001, resulting in a short-lived crisis. However, the terrorist attacks orchestrated by al Qaeda redirected the Bush administration toward Afghanistan and the larger Muslim world. Although America remained active in the Asia-Pacific throughout President Bush's tenure, the primary focus of U.S. strategy lay elsewhere.

    Like his predecessor, President Barack Obama entered the White House intending to prioritize the Asia-Pacific. Again, events intervened. To prevent the Taliban from solidifying control over large parts of Afghanistan, Obama authorized a surge of U.S. troops there and ratcheted up armed drone attacks against terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan. Yet his commitment to reorienting the United States toward Asia appears to have never wavered. Prior to bin Laden's death, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon told The New Yorker that the United States was "overweighted" in the Middle East and Afghanistan and "underweighted" in the Asia-Pacific.

    The death of bin Laden in a shootout with U.S. special forces does not presage an imminent pullout from Afghanistan or a rapid drawdown in American assistance to Pakistan. The United States has committed itself to a "responsible transition" in Afghanistan and will retain a considerable military presence there in the years ahead. Terrorist networks that have metastasized within Pakistan over the past decade and now threaten the integrity of the state will not disband because of bin Laden's demise. Even if elements of the Pakistani government were complicit in hiding the leader of al Qaeda, the United States cannot risk lightly the collapse of a nuclear-armed state by cutting off foreign aid.

    At the same time, the completion of America's original mission in Afghanistan that bin Laden's death symbolizes will allow for a strategy that increasingly reflects the Asia-Pacific geography of U.S. interests. This shift will not occur overnight. For the moment, the revolutions rocking the Arab world will absorb U.S. attention. Nor will this shift automatically substitute China for al Qaeda as America's animating enemy, a development some in China may fear. In fact, the outlines of a U.S. reorientation toward Asia are already clear. The United States will strengthen existing alliances and strategic partnerships, forge new ones, and link like-minded nations together. To reinforce its military presence in the region, the United States will retain permanent bases, negotiate agreements for temporary access to facilities, and deploy more of its naval and air forces to the Indo-Pacific rim stretching from Japan and South Korea to Southeast Asia and the approaches to India. At the same time, the United States will pursue a reinvigorated trade agenda anchored by the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks that seek to lay the foundation for a free trade area spanning the Pacific Ocean. Lastly, Washington will continue to champion democracy and rule of law as universal norms that all countries in the region should embrace.

    U.S. rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific will have significant repercussions for Europe. Over the past decade, Afghanistan has become a central theater for transatlantic security cooperation. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will continue to operate in Afghanistan, but, in the future, the United States will increasingly look to Europe as a partner in Asia. Yet transatlantic cooperation in this region remains weak, and many in Europe continue to regard Asia primarily as a market rather than as the cockpit of international politics in the 21st century. This should change. Europe should anticipate America's eastward shift and begin to define a role in the Asia-Pacific that transcends trade.

    During the second half of the 20th century, the United States and Europe, acting in concert, transformed what was then the world's most important region-the North Atlantic. If Europe can join the United States and refocus on the Asia-Pacific, the transatlantic partners can shape this century's most vital region as well.

    Daniel M. Kliman is a Transatlantic Fellow for Asia at the German Marshall Fund of the United States


    Talking to China (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/opinion/08sun2.html) New York Times Editorial
    Chinese investors still searching for U.S. welcome mat (http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/04/news/international/chinese_investors_america.fortune/index.htm) By Sheridan Prasso | Fortune
    The U.S. must push back against China�s investment controls (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-us-must-push-back-against-chinas-investment-controls/2011/05/06/AFoRjRTG_story.html) The Washington Post Editorial
    Renren, China�s Facebook, sells shares on NYSE
    But amid murky numbers and dubious accomplishments, is it really worth billions? (http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/110504/renren-china-facebook-nyse)
    By David Case | GlobalPost
    Can China's billions spur the next big idea? (http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/05/05/idINIndia-56786220110505) By Don Durfee and James Pomfret | Reuters
    The Rights and Wrongs of China�s Aid Policy (http://idsa.in/idsacomments/TheRightsandWrongsofChinasAidPolicy_gsingh_040511) By Gunjan Singh | The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
    China sees bright side of elite exodus (http://atimes.com/atimes/China/ME05Ad01.html) By Wu Zhong | Asia Times
    China Imposes Price Controls, Informally (http://blogs.forbes.com/gordonchang/2011/05/08/china-imposes-price-controls-informally/) By Gordon Chang | Forbes





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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-08 02:42 PM
    If you enjoyed reading that one, you might like this one too.

    Mother-in-law: When you rearrange the letters: Woman Hitler


    This is hilarious! :)





    like_watching_paint_dry
    08-11 11:47 AM
    I agree with yabadaba. We should also send feedback to CNN about the lies Lou Dobbs is perpetuating on national TV.

    Go here http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form4.html?7 to give feedback about Lou Dobbs.

    This is what I wrote:


    Please try to use your own language, otherwise they will ignore the emails as form letters, but try to cover all the points. Later I think we should contact other News outlets and point out the incompetence

    also send it to a competitor network and to a show which competes with Dobbs.





    desi485
    08-05 11:36 AM
    This person hiding behind the user id "Rolling_Flood" is an extreme selfish person. The whole idea of our community is to help each other and to provide support & guidance to each-other. Instead he is trying to stop others from getting this advantage, trying to make us believe that EB-2 is his birth-right. I am in EB-2, but I do not support this selfish fox, he will harm the IV community exploiting 'divide & rule' policy. :mad: