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  • rheoretro
    09-13 03:36 PM
    Yes, I obviously cannot diasgree with that logic; it is all about votes. But, I looked at the articles: the one in WASH POST is about illegal immigration. Also, there is no article in NY TIMES. We need the big newspapers and PBS to discuss our issue repeatedly.

    Also, all these articles should be on a sitcky thread for all to see.

    Why don't you write and sumbit an op-ed piece to The NY Times? While I personally like watching Jim Lehrer's newshour on PBS, we shouldn't get obsessed with a particular program. We have been featured all over the mainstream media.

    Here's the Washington Post Article that inspired me to join IV in April. I challenge you to write an article that will get us our next 6,000 members. And alll news articles about IV exist on a thread. Please look carefully before you trash our efforts. Thank you.

    RR
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Skilled Immigrants Turn to K Street
    High-Tech Workers Awaiting Green Cards Hire Lobbyists, Hit the Hill
    By S. Mitra Kalita
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, April 26, 2006; D01
    On the December day when Congress killed a budget amendment that might have allowed him to become an American a little sooner, Aman Kapoor started a movement.
    He did not march through streets, carry signs, wave a flag from here or there. He did not walk off the job or file out of school. The computer programmer simply went online to a message board tracked by thousands of people in his predicament: highly skilled foreigners waiting years for their green cards.
    "I think we can do better and really create the impact with organized effort," he wrote. "To achieve this we need a group of individuals who have shown commitment and motivation in this forum."
    The next night, a dozen people living across the United States shed their Internet handles -- Kapoor's was "WaldenPond," a nod to his hero, Henry David Thoreau -- and addressed one another by name on a conference call that lasted an hour. Today, just four months later, the organization they dubbed Immigration Voice boasts 3,000 members; a fundraising goal of $200,000; and, most notably, a partnership with a high-powered lobbying firm, Quinn Gillespie & Associates LLC.
    The group's transformation from an insular circle to a politically active movement offers a window into an alternative immigrant campaign being waged as the Senate this week resumes its work on immigration laws.
    Most members and all the core organizers of Immigration Voice hail from India, though Chinese membership numbers in the hundreds and is on the rise. Most arrived on an international student visa or a visa known as the H-1B, reserved for highly skilled workers who can stay for up to six years -- unless an employer sponsors their green cards, which grant immigrants permanent residence in the United States and the right to live and work here freely. Over the past decade, the largest numbers of H-1Bs have been awarded to high-technology workers from India and China.
    Thus, while the passage of a strict border-security bill introduced by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) mobilized many other immigrants in December, members of this high-tech group had their eye on another: a budget reconciliation bill that, in the Senate version, would have allowed those waiting in line for a green card to proceed even if the quota had been exhausted. The provision was cut in conference committee, stirring many to action and leading to the founding of Immigration Voice.
    While hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets to get Congress's attention, Immigration Voice took a decidedly different approach. Shortly after the group was established, Kapoor and other volunteers began interviewing lobbyists, relying mostly on Google searches and data from the Center for Public Integrity's Web site.
    "If it was not going to be big, it would not be worth the effort," said Kapoor, who works for Florida State University and has traveled to Washington nine times in the past three months. "Most of us have reached that point, having waited for eight or nine years, where individual lives are on hold."
    Neither Quinn Gillespie nor Immigration Voice would disclose the amount being paid for the firm's services. Kapoor said it is "less than five figures."
    "This is a sympathetic story," said Nick Maduros, a lobbyist for Quinn Gillespie. "For this group, their issues are very technical and are frankly not that controversial, but they have been overshadowed ."
    Immigration Voices also enlisted the help of Rick Swartz, who has his own firm and has long been a leading lobbyist for immigration groups. Swartz gathered members of the group at his home one January weekend for a crash course in American politics, teaching them to position themselves as the "new Cubans for the Republicans."
    Although their numbers are far smaller -- fewer than 2 million Indians live in the United States, according to the 2000 Census -- the group is among the more affluent immigrant communities. And because their numbers are smaller than those of Hispanics, they are trying to focus on other ways they can exert power -- through their wealth, their positions of influence in the high-tech and business communities, and their alliances with more established advocacy groups such as one for Indian physicians and an Indian political action committee.
    While the immigrant marchers' demands have covered a range of issues, including allowing immigrants to gain legal status and eventually citizenship, the members of this association are more narrowly focused: They want Congress to pass measures that would end the years-long wait for a green card. In fact, they warn that efforts to enable millions of illegal immigrants to remain here permanently would result in the same bureaucratic nightmare legal immigrants are now facing.
    "If you're going to reform, reform across the board," said Bharati Mandapati, who oversees content for the group, which means she has learned how to word and pitch legislative amendments.
    The group has refrained from taking a stand on the fate of the undocumented workers, though it monitors chatter on its Web site to ensure that frustrated high-tech workers don't disparage lower-skilled laborers such as landscapers and restaurant workers. It also has stayed mum on raising the cap on H-1Bs, the visas that made most of their passages possible.
    Under a proposal introduced by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the number of employment-based green cards being issued would increase from 140,000 to 290,000. Currently, no one country is supposed to take up more than 7 percent of the allotment, though unused green cards can be redistributed to countries that have already met their quota. That has made possible migrations in excess of 7 percent from nations such as India, China, Mexico and the Philippines. Under the proposal, the per-country cap would be increased to a hard and fast 10 percent. Proponents say this would prevent one country from dominating the category and would retain jobs for native-born Americans.
    But Mandapati, a California-based economist, argues that the restriction would hurt the United States because the demand for skills changes. "It just so happens that computer technology and certain technical skills are in great demand here and all over the world. It just so happens that there are two countries that have invested a lot of resources in educating people in these fields . . . India and China."
    About a half-million immigrants are caught in the green-card backlog, some as they wait for Labor Department approval or because quotas have been exceeded. In that time, they cannot be promoted or given substantial pay increases because that would mean a change in job description and salary. They turn to Web sites to compare their wait times with others, and their Internet handles, such as "stucklabor" and "waiting_labor," exude their frustration.
    During meetings on Capitol Hill, Maduros and at least one Immigration Voice representative lay out the group's platform, weaving in the personal stories of members. Shilpa Ghodgaonkar, a Germantown housewife, has become a staple anecdote -- and a frequent visitor on the Hill.
    For four years, she and her husband have been waiting for their green cards. Ghodgaonkar's husband arrived on an H-1B visa, and she followed as his dependent, unauthorized to work here. To pass the time, she learned to cook. Then she volunteered as a career counselor in Montgomery County. Last year, she earned her MBA from George Washington University. In December, around the time Kapoor sent out his e-mail plea for mass mobilization, Ghodgaonkar had run out of options.
    "I just couldn't keep quiet anymore," Ghodgaonkar said. "I cannot be depressed anymore."
    She keeps a spreadsheet that lays out appointment times and the senators' offices she has visited or still plans to: Specter, Frist, Schumer, Brownback, Bingaman, Feinstein, Feingold. Wednesdays bring a weekly call with Quinn Gillespie. And every few nights, there are conference calls among Immigration Voice's core team.
    Now the group plans to closely watch the debate resuming in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Earlier this month, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) proposed amendments with all of the group's provisions. Other lawmakers confirm that they are still meeting with the group to hear their concerns.
    Immigration Voice leaders say the past few months have focused and politicized Indian immigrants in a way that was not apparent in the past. "There is a very 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' quality" about the current effort, Mandapati said. "It's been a journey, a loss of naivet� and getting to know about American politics."
    � 2006 The Washington Post Company





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  • gcsomeday
    07-11 12:38 PM
    Guys, For better marketing our plight wearing business suits for rallys will have a significant impact on the perception of the rally on both onlookers and the press. It will immediately convey :
    The professionalism of the crowd
    The difference between previous illegal protestors and legal high skilled protesters
    People will notice crowds of business suits and it will leave an imprint on their mind. Especailly in places like bay area they will just stick outOrganizers may want to think about this.





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  • DesiGuy
    09-17 10:58 AM
    folks, we have come this far, let's be optimist and patient.

    there are only 5 ot 6 (judicairy) members, but the front benches seem full (with chatty ppl)

    no volume though





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  • gagbag
    07-11 12:53 PM
    http://www.ilw.com/articles/2007,0710-lee.shtm

    Is Money Behind USCIS Move To Have Department Of State Take Unprecedented Action To "Update" July Visa Chart?
    by Alan Lee, Esq.

    Was the Department of State's unprecedented action on July 2, 2007, issuing an "Update on July Visa Availability" closing off visa availability for the rest of the fiscal year for employment based cases and essentially gutting its July visa bulletin (which opened the employment based categories EB-1 through EB-3 for adjustment of status applications) all about the money with U.S.C.I.S. in the role of culprit? We believe the answer unfortunately is "yes" and reflects U.S.C.I.S.'s desperate desire to grab its huge future fee increase from individuals that it saw slipping through its fingers. U.S.C.I.S. undoubtedly perceived its expected windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars through its outlandish July 30th increase in fees for petitions and applications (average increase 66%) threatened by the July visa chart which would allow many employment based individuals and their families to beat the fee increases. A typical family of four (husband, wife, child aged 16 and the other 12) applying for adjustment of status currently pays $1,605 to U.S.C.I.S. (including I-140 charge). That same family on and after July 30th would pay $4,105, an increase of $2,500, or 255%. If one multiplies those figures by at least 100,000 ( $250 million difference),[1] one can imagine the explosive temper of top U.S.C.I.S. officials when they saw the Visa Office July chart. U.S.C.I.S. has made no bones that it is depending upon the fee increases to fund its proposed systems and structures for the 21st century.

    The Visa Office made it clear through the updating of the visa bulletin that its update was only because of U.S.C.I.S. action using the phrases "The sudden backlog reduction efforts by Citizenship and Immigration Services Offices during the past month....", and "As a result of this unexpected action....." The Visa Office cited these efforts as resulting in the use of almost 60,000 employment numbers. It is also clear that the Visa Office had no wish to defend U.S.C.I.S. when it issued its update on July 2nd. Whether it retains its stance in the future of washing its hands and pointing the finger at U.S.C.I.S. remains to be seen in light of probable Administration pressure to spin the story in a more positive light to the government as this Administration has exhibited a continual attitude of "soaking" immigrants, legal or otherwise ( $25,000+ for a family of four to immigrate under the recent fallen Senate bill ( See our article, "$10,000 Required For Earned Legalization and Adjustment Under the Secure Borders, Employment Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act", http://www.alanleelaw.com/english/articles/a2007-05-26.htm), which figure was modified from the earlier Administration proposal of $82,000+ ( See our article, "Mr. Lee's Comment to March 28, 2007 White House Immigration Reform Proposal - Z Visas", http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/digest/2007,0403.shtm in "LETTERS" section), the passed amendment to S. 1639 raising H-1B surcharge fees to $5,000 on top of the fraud ($500) and filing ($190) fees, and the rapacious July 30th U.S.C.I.S. fee increase). The author recalls his telephone conversation with Charlie Oppenheim, the chief of immigrant visa control and reporting, Visa Office, in December 2004 concerning the 101,000 "pool numbers", in which Mr. Oppenheim gave no credence to U.S.C.I.S. figures that the agency had cleared over 100,000 cases (including dependents) between April and November. (The exact differential was 115,000 cases, a rate of about 16,400 per month). The author has no knowledge of the exact number of cases that U.S.C.I.S. claimed to close in June for the State Department to announce that almost 60,000 employment numbers were used (employment based immigrant visa numbers are also requested by U.S. consulates and embassies), but notes that the vast majority of employment based cases are with aliens in the States who adjust status here rather than consular processing their cases. If U.S.C.I.S. claimed to clear anywhere in the area of 40,000-50,000 cases last month, that number for one month is difficult if not incredulous to believe, and if true would have involved massive shifts of U.S.C.I.S. personnel from other responsibilities to comb through and adjudicate all files of persons eligible to immigrate through employment, or less than careful consideration of the cases. Hopefully the agency was not in such a desperate state as to cut corners to endanger our national security if it was the latter case.

    The facts and the legality of U.S.C.I.S.'s actions will undoubtedly be the subject of multiple lawsuits. However this turns out, the agency and the Administration will wind up with less respect than before. This Administration needs all the good publicity that it can muster in light of its unpopular Iraq war and recent actions freeing Scooter Libby (not even Paris Hilton avoided imprisonment) and supporting Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and creating further public mistrust of the justice system even after confirmation that he and other White House aides politicized the selection of United States Attorneys. Unless U.S.C.I.S. and the Visa Office can change course, this episode will unfortunately become a black eye to all parties as further facts emerge in the coming days.



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  • gbof
    08-20 09:53 AM
    Thanks All-
    .. for this valuable information. Best wishes





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  • garamchai2go
    12-14 06:04 AM
    It is very important to put proper subject in your e-mail. Please refer to the chennai consulate website for more information. Because of the volume of e-mails they'll be getting, they don't respond to normal e-mails. I got the response the next day. I don't know if i am a isolated case but it doesn't hurt to follow the instructions in the website.

    The email response I got from consulate says following:
    >>>
    Thank you for your e-mail.

    Our records show that because of the recent changes implemented in processing the H1b visas, your cases are being delayed. Your petition information has to be verified in the PIMS database before the visa could be adjudicated. It will take approximately another 5 more work days. Thank you for your patience.
    >>>

    Then I called the consulate officer and she told me that if I dont recieve passport by next Wednesday, then give a call. My case is not complicated..no issues with H1..no questions asked about my employer..just only about my spouse AOS..and I have AP, EAD which means they should have my background information already. I feel like I unnecessarily went to visa stamping. It is taking more than 2 weeks, after visa stamping, to get passport back..so going to India for 1 month vacation with visa plans is very risky..

    Will let you know once i receive my passport.



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  • jimytomy
    04-23 06:24 AM
    Did you get finger printing notice? You did not mention that in the porting process.

    No, I did not get get finger printing notice .

    Thanks,

    Jimytomy





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  • 485Mbe4001
    02-01 05:20 PM
    maybe we should have a 'sounding board' section where such threads can be started where you can cirb all you want about desi companies/consultants and other issues you want to get out of your system. You do realize that many people read these threads. Spritied discussions are great but upto a certain point and if they help the cause.

    We are a small community here and all of us are stuck in a problem we DID NOT create. we are a part of a system that is broken. Instead of crying about problems, lets try and figure out ways to solve one for a change.

    if people cannot contribute financially, conrtibute your time and talk to people about IV. Try to meet sucessful/influential immigrants and see if they can help us out, see if they can help us with their contacts. Try to seek people who are stuck in this mess and educate them about it. Get leads on people who can help us out.

    Start a thread that mentions what you have done to help IV maybe people will learn from that
    thanks,



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  • forever_waiting
    04-22 07:54 PM
    The point behind the lawsuit example was that just talking frivolously about lawsuits without understanding background and facts - is completely meaningless. This has been proven in the past.

    It was about why more visas were given to EB-I and less to EB-C. Nothing to do with present debate





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  • s_r_e_e
    03-18 05:50 PM
    I found this only today.. I do not work for this employer since Jan 2008. On EAD now.. 46 days passed since the date mentioned.. not sure what is this about..

    Current Status: Case reopened or reconsidered based on USCIS determination, and the case is now pending.

    We reopened this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER on January 30, 2008, ...


    I found out from prev employer that it was due to the H1 withdrawel petition..



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  • fasterthanlight�
    05-31 12:09 PM
    My entry:





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  • pappu
    10-16 12:46 PM
    Are there only 3 people suffering from namechecks?
    This issue can be pushed if we have strong support for it.



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  • nixstor
    05-23 07:32 PM
    When I called Lucille Raybal Allard's office last week, a rep from the office had an extensive conversation with me about both the bills and they have not heard about them before. He recognized me when I called him back to check if they made a decision.

    Alright Folks, Let us not get distracted. We have lots of work to do.

    Santb,

    Right on. Thanks for confirming my hunch

    Folks,

    Watch out for stuff coming out after Memorial day. We will have more similar work to do.





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  • kshitijnt
    05-12 04:54 PM
    USA has a right to choose who they give green card to but not fool Indian people by swinging visa bulletin by 4 years every now and then. Not by discriminating. There should be some transparency to the process and law should be followed. If USA makes a law that Indians wont get GC in EB, I am happy to note. Can they remove their gloves?



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  • lskreddy
    01-31 10:48 PM
    You know, there are often times we all get upset that some stupid questions make it to the list, republican debate was one such yesterday, today's democratic one looked better. I hated that they did not ask our question inspite of it being the 2nd popular one but I personally think the question was too damn narrow for them to care.

    For us, it may seem the world but for them it is just a technicality/one of the several points of CIR. Both Clinton and Obama seem to always chime in and act all gung-ho about legal immigration coming first.

    Whenever they are asked about any frig'n immigration question, they throw the buzz word 'comprehensive immigration reform' and that folks, covers the entire gamut. The worst part is, on this issue the entire front runners look the same, well, almost. Mitt R is against but John, Hillary and Barack all seem to sing the same koom-ba-yaa song about CIR.

    ...





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  • JazzByTheBay
    12-13 08:57 PM
    And I don't blame you for thinking that way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and stating your new (modified) stand on this issue. :)

    cheers!
    jazz

    I saw the poll in the morning and voted FOR making this a paid site, but going through the discussions and a little bit of soul searching (slow day at work :p) i am a bit wary about making it a paid site now.

    As much as i would like to see the riff-raff (pardon the expression) go away, maybe we should be more inclusive then exclusive (?). Not everyone is an early adoptor, it took me a while to contribute as well, but i did eventually turn around and contributed the lil bit i could.

    Thats just my take, and excuse the rather altruistic title of my post.



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  • sbindval
    07-19 02:36 PM
    Aman,
    You are an inspiration to all of us in the IV community.
    You are selfless and humble and these are amongst the most noble qualities a leader can have.
    Thanks!
    -S





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  • indyanguy
    11-09 05:51 PM
    bump





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  • dixie
    11-15 02:29 PM
    Besides, out unclaimed social security tax ends up financing the retirement of those very same anti-immigrants.
    why dont they talk about the endless fees we pay, attorney, government?
    at least we are providing the legal industry with plenty of jobs, if not for us 75% of their immigration attorneys would be out of business





    sobers
    02-21 11:17 AM
    When the Irish Govt is supporting lobbying by it's ILLEGAL in the U.S, why can't we seek remedies to solve our problems- we are after all, LEGAL immigrants. There is a world of difference!

    Maybe someone should contact the Indian Consul in NY too!


    ---------------
    Irish Immigration Slips Into Reverse
    As Post-9/11 Security Increases Pressure on the Undocumented, Emerald Isle Offers Haven

    By Michelle Garcia
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, February 20, 2006; A03


    NEW YORK -- By now the shipping container carrying Jonathan Langan's material life in the United States has arrived in Ireland. The plush green furniture, his American flag and the construction tools of his trade are all gone from his Queens apartment.

    Langan, a lanky, red-haired Irishman, was bidding a final farewell to his adopted country. He didn't leave for want of work -- his fledgling construction company was booming. Success was his problem. The more prosperous his company became, the more Langan feared he would get snared by immigration agents.

    "You don't want to give off red flags because you're not supposed to be working," said Langan, 24, who lived illegally in the United States for three years. "It's too dangerous, what happens if you get caught."

    The green is draining out of the Irish immigration boom that revitalized neighborhoods across New York over the past two decades. Fear of getting caught in a post-Sept. 11 net coupled with the booming economy in Ireland is drawing thousands of Irish back to the Emerald Isle. Numbers vary on how many have left: The Irish government estimates that about 14,000 Irish returned from the United States since 2001, with more than half of them coming from New York. The Census Bureau reported that between 2000 and 2004, the Irish population throughout the United States shrank by 28,500 people, to 128,000.

    A more vivid picture of the exodus is the Gaelic downtown of the northern Bronx, on the border with Yonkers, where green signs and shamrocks decorate store windows.

    The Padded Wagon, a popular moving company among the Irish, shipped 30 containers to Ireland in the past three months, each containing the possessions of an Irish family. The Irish games -- Gaelic football and hurling -- have suffered losses. More than 200 players returned to Ireland in the past year, said Seamus Dooley, president of the Gaelic Athletic Association, which has its games at Gaelic Park in the Bronx.

    Last month, the Irish minister for social affairs visited New York, to unveil "Returning to Ireland," a guide for Irish preparing for a permanent return trip.

    "A travel agent was saying they had sold 1,700 one-way tickets to Ireland," said Geraldine McNabb, an Irish-born naturalized citizen, while she sipped a cranberry cocktail at a pub. "They're not coming back."

    Post-Sept. 11 security procedures have disrupted life for the city's undocumented Irish, who number about 20,000, according to estimates by Irish officials and activists. Few experience immigration raids in their homes and job sites. In 2005 just 43 Irish nationals were deported from the United States, none from the New York area, according to U.S. immigration officials.

    But federal and state policy changes, the fingerprinting of foreign nationals at airports and a crackdown on driver's licenses have made it much more difficult to hop a plane to visit relatives or drive a car. And tighter scrutiny of banking transactions to prevent the financing of terrorism has scared off families and made starting a business far more dicey.

    "What's more alarming to me is people who've been here for years and years are packing up. Families are moving," said Nollaig Cleary, president of the women's division of the New York Gaelic Athletic Association. "You've had the community people who set up business and their families, they're going."

    Brenda Flannagan, 31, immigrated illegally to the United States in her twenties, looking for adventure. Now she has a husband and a baby, and is looking to settle down. A trip back to Ireland to visit her parents could leave her open to discovery by immigration officials -- so she is going home for good.

    Raising a child will only compound her difficulties here. "You can't drive. It will get more difficult," said Flannagan, who expects to leave in the fall. "Things like play dates and after-school activities."

    With fewer immigrants pouring in, and so many Irish packing up, pub talk revolves around the question of the survival of the Irish spirit in New York. Irish immigrants poured in by the hundreds of thousands in the 19th century and again in the early 20th century.

    A third wave came in the 1980s when the Irish economy tanked, and it rejuvenated Irish culture in New York, as politically inspired Irish rock and hip-hop bands worked the club scene, and Irish theater and poetry spread throughout the city.

    "You have a great Irish neighborhood beginning to crumble," said Niall O'Dowd, publisher of the Irish Voice and chairman of the newly formed Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform. "Unfortunately Americans are mixing up terrorism and immigration."

    The Irish, however, retain considerable political clout. Fifteen years ago, they successfully lobbied Congress to direct tens of thousands of green cards into the hands of undocumented Irish.

    O'Dowd and other activists recently rallied the fighting Irish spirits at Rory Dolan's pub in Yonkers, as they begin lobbying for an immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.

    The Irish government contributed 30,000 euros, ($40,000 at today's rate) to the effort. Tim O'Connor, Ireland's consul general in New York, stresses that the United States played a vital role in helping to stimulate Ireland's economic boom with investments.
    "It's in the interest of both countries that we have people who have the ability to go back and forth between both countries," said O'Connor, noting that 15 percent of new businesses in Ireland were built by returning Irish.

    Some Irish take their leave with optimism, looking to the jobs and construction boom in their homeland.

    "Everything is so good in Ireland," said Flannagan, while her husband, John, a carpenter, was at the pub enjoying "a few sociables." "There's a lot of construction work for the guys."

    Flannagan held her baby girl, a U.S. citizen and last link to the United States. "Maybe she can sponsor us when she's 21," she said. Then, she added, "I think the notion of coming back, by then, will be gone."





    satyasaich
    07-19 10:01 AM
    Friend
    First of all, there is no typo, never he will say something not real.
    Come on, it's not you and me stood up, spent personal time, sacrificed so much.

    If you can not contribute for obvious reasons, no one is demanding you. I hope and sincerely wish that 'Aman' doesn't have to sell his house.
    It's heart breaking to see such statements
    isnt it obvious that its a typo..

    Great Job Aman , you are our hero...



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