EB Immigration Bills Introduced in the 111th Congress

Here is the original post on the thread deleted by IV:  (they didn’t actually delete it, they just made it so that only I can see it – an ingeneous way to make sure that I don’t know that it is deleted). Here is a link to the thread –
http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/showthread.php?t=26320

1. S 1085 – Reuniting Families Act (4 sponsors)
GovTrack Link
OpenCongress Link
Vote this Up on Ideascale – Obamas official idea submission site
Relevant to Employment Based Immigration – Visa Recapture, Increase country quota to 10%

2. H.R. 2709 – Reuniting Families Act (58 Sponsors)
GovTrack Link
OpenCongress Link
Relevant to Employment Based Immigration – Visa Recapture, Increase country quota to 10%

3. H.R. 264 – Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2009 (1 sponsor)
GovTrack Link
OpenCongress Link
Relevant to Employment Based Immigration – – GC for long term residents of US (5+ years and are not even subject to quota – the wording is unclear to me but it might just be that if you are in the country illegally for 5+ years, you are now legal), Aged out Children, Widow Penalty

4. H.R. 182 – Parents of Citizen Children (21 sponsors)
GovTrack Link
OpenCongress Link
Relevant to Employment Based Immigration – Will allow immigration judges to determine if alien parent of citizen child will be allowed to stay in US

5. H.R. 1791 – Staple Act (1 sponsor)
GovTrack Link
OpenCongress Link
Relevant to Employment Based Immigration – GC for folks with PhDs

6. H.R.1868 – Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009 (74 sponsors)
GovTrack Link
OpenCongress Link
Relevant to Employment Based Immigration – no citizenship for us born children of non-GC holders

7. S.887 – H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2009 (2 sponsors)
GovTrack Link
OpenCongress Link
Relevant to Employment Based Immigration –
Bad: More stringent requirements for H1 employers – online ad for 30 days, negative impact on H1B/L1 contractors, stricter application review by DOL (marginally), new requirements for hiring at new company locations or at startups
Good: Fairer pay requirements, Employer punishment for abuse of H1B/L1 workers

Some notes about the above bills
1. and 2. were also introduced in the 110th session. 1. had only one sponsor and 2. had only 4 sponsors. This time they have 4, 58 sponsors respectively so the idea that something needs to be done is spreading.

The above thread was hidden because of the following posts:

So tell us exactly what the money is for. Be transparent. Give us quarterly or monthly reports on how the money is spent, how much is collected.

Something simple like:
1Q 2009
Carryover from before: ##,###
Total Collected: ##,###
Spent on Lobbyist for XYZ: #,###
Spent on Organizing XYZ: #,###
Spent on travel to meet REPs XYZ, ABC, QWE: #,###
Spent on the Website: ###
Total Remaining: ##,###

Then you can say.
Please donate. We need ##,### more for ABC, XYZ, ASD etc.

I can tell you this. I don’t trust anybody. So unless there is some transparency, there is no trust.

and

Originally Posted by gc_on_demand
If you need inforamtion regading account .. you can find online. If you need link to that site PM me . I think IV had concern that anti immigrants will see our financial strength and also none of non profit org out there puts there financial information online. ( I have none seen so far ).

http://indiapartners.org/about/financial.php
http://www.redcross.org/pubs/ – See 2008 – there is a financial report and tax returns
http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/fin…nfo/index.html
http://www.africare.org/aboutus/financial/index.php
http://www.scouting.org/About/Annual…tatements.aspx
http://www.voa.org/NewsPublications/…2/Default.aspx
http://www.good-sam.com/finances/information.asp
http://www.aclu.com/about/financiala…rts/index.html
http://www.numbersusa.org/forms/irs_form_990.pdf (even numbersusa publishes their numbers)

Actually there is not a single non-profit that does not post its financial info. Nobody would give them any money if they hid their financials. Every month I contibute part of my paycheck to Indiapartners. The University offers us a complete list of Charities that we can automatically contribute to and they not only have financial information they also need to show how much actually goes in charity work compared to overhead e.g. for Indiapartners you can see that 93% of their money goes toward actual charitable purposes.

If they did not do this, how would you know that they are not stealing your money?

Immigration Voice Tax Returns

For a non-profit Immigration Voice is highly secretive. They keep on deleting posts related to transparency and posting their tax returns online.

IV has been a great resource for me throughout my immigration process but lately there have been more and more pushes for donations. But when asked about financials or transparency, they just delete those posts. So I dug up their tax returns for the last couple of years and here they are

2006 Form 990
2007 Form 990

They also delete/hide all threads that ask for transparency or financials. They even delete threads that discuss relevant topis if someone asks for transparency in the thread. See my other post about this.

Also there are some dicrepancies between what they claim and what’s on the tax returns. For example they claim that they have hired Patton Boggs as a lobbyist but the tax returns show that payments were made to Quinn Gillespie. Also some of their budget items sound pretty suspicious like a 39,000 travel budget and a 27,000 advertising budget.

If I were contributing money to them, I’d seriously like to know whether the organization members are taking vacations with the travel budget or are they really doing something.

Immigration goes backwards as economy moves forward

The stock market made a comeback and a few days ago became positive for the year. Even though the jobless rate is expected to rise to 10% by the end of the year and mortgage rates are expected to remain low too, the market has been so badly beaten that some recovery is probably a given.

At the same time America is shooting itself in the foot by delaying immigration even more and making people who are employed (employment based immgration requires that you be emplpoyed obviously) wait a decade or more to get their green cards. In my previous post I pointed out several ways immigration reform could boost employment ant the economy. And it seems that there cannot be a better time than now.

Fewer people want to come to the US now as is evident from the lack of applicants for H1 Visas this year as compared to the last few years.

However instead of moving forward, immigration dates continuously move backward at an alarming rate. In my previous post I posted the dates from the April Visa bulletin. The May bulletin made all EB-3 (skilled worker, jobs that require a bachelors degree) unavaileble until October. The Jun bulletin moved EB-2 (jobs that require a Masters degree or significant experience) back to 2000 for Indians. That means that there are some Indians with advanced degrees who have been waiting for nearly 10 years!

Looking at the trend of visa applications, it seems that there are more than half a million pending applications. It looks like things will get worse before they get better and America probably needs some kind of legislation to help legal employment based immigrants, the guys who pay taxes, spend etc. and in general help the economy.

Downgrade to EB3 from EB2 aka how I got Screwed by Stupid Immigration Laws

I worked for a research center at the Unviersity of Virginia, which sponsored my original Green Card in a category called EB2 – for positions that require an advanced degree. However thanks to this ridiculously idiotic concept called retrogression, I could not file for the last stage of the process (I-485). At one point my entire team formed a startup and moved our research there. But I didn’t move because

  1. I knew my Green Card situation would be dicey
  2. It’s a startup. If it collapsed, my Green Card situation would be – deep trouble because I might have to leave the country.

So I switced to a different department at the University only to find that Green Card sponsorship is for that exact same position. So my new department started a new GC process for me (this one is a lot slower called EB3 because the posted position did not require an advanced degree).

Since my original position moved to the startup, at my request they continued my original Green Card process and filed new documentation showing that my position moved from the university to the startup and they would like to Substitute Employers (a process USCIS makes available in Successor in Interest cases) and at one point I could also file my I-485 along with a new second stage (I-140).

However USCIS rejected my I-140 because according to them this is not a successor in interest case and the position at the startup is not the exact same as the one at the Unviersity. At this point including filing fees, lawyer fees etc., I’m out more than $6000. My lawyer, Helen Konrad at McCandlish Holton has now given up telling me that pursuing this further is a waste of money.

Also my third stage is in limbo. I have requested that it be attached to my other green card application but nobody knows if USCIS does that or not. There is no form for that, nor is there any proper procedure. One can only hope they do it in time. People can only switch jobs safely once the third stage is pending for more than six months. They can travel outside the country and do other work without being bothered about getting visas stamped**

Now I call this retrogression idiotic because, were I from some country other than India (where I’m from) or China, like for example Iraq or Afghanistan, I would already have had my green card, never would have had to deal with employer substitution or been unable to file my I-485 and deal with the nightmare that is American Immigration laws.

Luckily for me I have my other application which will take another 5 years, maybe? Maybe more considering that dates (the date by which you have to have filed your application to have it processed) have not moved forward much in the last three years:

Oct 06 EB3 dates – 22APR01
Oct 07 EB3 dates – 22APR01
Oct 08 EB3 dates – 01OCT01
Current EB3 dates – Unavailble until Oct 09, possibly still somewhere in 01
Last Known EB3 dates –  01NOV01 in Apri 09

My filing date Nov05.  Now if you do the math, the situation is so bad that it is ridiculous. Inspite of the sorry situation for people who are in this country legally, Immigration reform always puts Illegals before legals.

**Without Visas is not as simple as it sounds. You need to pay USCIS $325 to provide you with a travel document that is only valid for one year. So Parchayi and me  paid then $650 just so we can travel to India. To work you need to apply for an EAD (I forget how much that costs), which used to be for a year. But these days they are valid for two years.

How simple is the solution to this problem? It is really really simple. All that needs to happen is people need to be able to file their third stage even if there is retrogression. They can process the third stage after retrogression is over or whever they want.  But just the ability to apply is good enough to solve this problem completely. I’m in no hurry to get my green card as long as I know I’ll get one and I can still do whatever I want instead of being tied to one employer only, not being able to start my own business or do some freelancing without getting into sticky visa situations.

So all in all, US Immigration is messed up. With the upcoming CIR it is very well possible that you will be better off coming to US illegally and the smugller who gets you across will charge you a lot less than USCIS and immigration lawyers and it will be a one time fee intead of the constant money-grubbing that USCIS will do with you.

How much do you think it costs to replace a lost document with USCIS? The answer is $340.

If you had to travel out of the country in an emergency, how long would you have to wait to get back to the US? The answer is 3 months? maybe?

If you want to read about even worse horror stories – Widow Penalty, Aged out kids, Illegal Citizens? – there are plenty most of which are caused by inefficiencies in the process and ridiculous laws that are never changed or have unintended effects.