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  • just_wait_for_gc
    08-11 02:52 PM
    toung is made of BS

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  • pitha
    04-07 11:02 PM
    Restrictionist and proctionist measures have a high probability of passing than anything relatively pro immigration. With or without strive this will pass. If not as a stand alone bill then as rider in any other bills (appropriations budget etc). All those lawmakers who were preaching against adding any immigration related issues as riders to other bills will turn the other way when this draconian measure is added as a rider to other bills.

    Ability to file 485 without priority date is the only measure that will help people already on h1.When the whole discussion regarding ability to file 485 even when priority date is not available was being discussed, people who have already filed 485 and were opposing the 485 measure were saying things like, there is no advantage with EAD, you can keep on extending h1, now see what happenned.

    People who seem to think that this measure will help people on h1 by curtailing consulting companies are being naive. Far from helping us get full time jobs because of non availability of contractors it will speed up outsourcing of the projects overseas. To all those people who are in full time positions (including me) who seem to think this will not affect them because they are in full time non consulting jobs, think again. With current GC processing times running into 7 to 10 years (may be even more), you have to understand that there is no job nor company in US which will guarantee a job for such a long time. Without EAD we are screwed. If you lose the job before getting the EAD then you will have to get a full time job in a non consulting company, chances for getting such a job are very slim (because its not just about getting a full time job alone but getting it as quickly as possible, remember you don�t have the luxury of a couple of months to get a full time job when you are on h1). There is no concrete answer but the general rule of thumb is that if you get a new job within a few weeks (2 to 3 weeks at most) USCIS will usually approve the transfer. Now ask yourself this question if you are laid off what is the probability of getting a new full time job within 2 weeks when on h1. The chances are very slim. To all those people who are saying this new bill might be good for us think about a bad case scenario like what happens if you lose the job, not best case scenarios. It is a lot easier to get a consulting job in 2 weeks than a full time job.

    This bill could go as a rider to STRIVE, there is less chance of STRIVE being passed as it is. So both these things will go hand in hand or nothing will pass.
    before expanding H1B they will have to tight the programe.

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  • ThinkTwice
    09-26 02:32 PM
    My friends also live in the UK. I have a few friends and relatives who work in the health care system. UK health case is pretty bad. The situation is similar to Govt. hospitals in India. You don't have to pay, but you have to wait a lot to see the doctor and to receive care.

    Good Companies provide private insurace. Both we and my wife have offers from companies in London and have Private Insurance in our Benefits package.

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  • Macaca
    05-27 06:05 PM
    The Audacity of Chinese Frauds ( By FLOYD NORRIS | The New York Times

    To pull off a fraud that humiliates the cream of the global financial elite, you need to have some friends. And where better to have them than at the local bank?

    The fraud at Longtop Financial Technologies, a Chinese financial software company, was exposed this week in an amazing letter from its auditors, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. It appears to be a tale of corrupt bankers and their threats to auditors who had learned of the lies.

    Deloitte, which had given clean audit opinions to Longtop for six consecutive years, apparently was well on its way to providing a seventh, for the fiscal year that ended March 31. But for some reason � Deloitte did not say why �the auditor went back to Longtop�s banks last week to again seek confirmation of cash balances.

    It appears Deloitte sought confirmations from bank headquarters, rather than the local branches that had previously verified that Longtop�s cash really was on deposit. And that set off panic at the software firm.

    �Within hours� of beginning the new round of confirmations on May 17, the confirmation process was stopped, Deloitte stated in its letter of resignation, the result of �intervention by the company�s officials including the chief operating officer, the confirmation process was stopped.�

    The company told banks that Deloitte was not really the auditor. It seized documents, Deloitte wrote, and made �threats to stop our staff leaving the company premises unless they allowed the company to retain our audit files.�

    Despite the company�s efforts, Deloitte learned Longtop did not have the cash it claimed and that there were �significant bank borrowings� not reflected in the company�s books.

    A few days later, Deloitte said, Longtop�s chairman, Jia Xiao Gong, told a Deloitte partner that there was �fake cash recorded on the books� because there had been �fake revenue in the past.�

    The stock has not traded since that confrontation. The final trade on the New York Stock Exchange was for $18.93, a price that valued the company at $1.1 billion. At its peak in November, it had a market capitalization of $2.4 billion.

    It now seems likely that the stock is worthless. It is a real company, but its revenue and profits probably were a small fraction of the amounts reported. The existence of the �significant� debt means that whatever assets are left are likely to be owned by the banks, not the investors.

    Deloitte may have decided to check the numbers again because it knew a growing group of bears on the stock had been challenging the Longtop story as too good to be true, questioning both its financial statements and the claims it made for its software. A month earlier, Deloitte resigned as the auditor of another Chinese company, China MediaExpress, in part because of questions about bank confirmations.

    It is never good for an auditor to have certified a fraud, but Deloitte seems to have acted properly. It got bank confirmations, and it got them directly from the banks rather than relying on the company to provide them, as PricewaterhouseCoopers had done when it failed to notice a huge fraud at Satyam, an Indian technology company.

    But the confirmations were lies.

    �This means the Chinese banks were in on the fraud, at least at branch level,� says John Hempton, the chief investment officer of Bronte Capital, an Australian hedge fund. He was one of the bears who questioned Longtop�s claims and now stands to profit from the stock�s collapse.

    �This is no longer a story about Longtop, and it is not a story about Deloitte,� he added. �Given the centrality of Chinese banks to the global economy, it�s a story much bigger than Deloitte or Longtop.�

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has started an investigation, and no doubt more details will emerge, including the names of the banks involved. Just what, if anything, Chinese officials choose to do could provide an indication about whether defrauding foreign investors is deemed to be a serious crime in China.

    Fraud in Chinese stocks is not new. But it had seemed that the worst problems were in small companies without Wall Street pedigrees. Many of the fraudulent companies went public in the United States by the reverse-merger shell route, a course long favored by shady stock promoters. That route allowed companies to start trading without going though a formal underwriting process or having its prospectus reviewed by the S.E.C. And many used tiny audit firms based in the United States that seemingly did little if any work.

    What is stunning about Longtop and some other recent disasters is the list of smart people who were fooled.

    Longtop did not go public through a reverse merger. Its initial public offering, in 2007, was underwritten by Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. Morgan Stanley was a lead manager in a 2009 offering of more shares. Major owners of the stock included hedge funds run by people known as �tiger cubs� because they got their start at Julian Robertson�s Tiger Fund.

    On May 4, only a couple of weeks before the fateful struggle at Longtop offices, an analyst for Morgan Stanley, Carol Wang, wrote:

    �Longtop�s stock price has been very volatile in recent days amid fraud allegations that management has denied. Our analysis of margins and cash flow gives us confidence in its accounting methods. We believe market misconceptions provide a good entry point for long-term investors.�

    By then, Longtop officials had begun to scramble. According to its last audited balance sheet, cash accounted for more than half of Longtop�s $606 million in assets. Bears were asking why the company needed all that cash and were questioning whether it existed.

    In mid-March, just after the fraud at China MediaExpress was exposed, Longtop announced plans to put some of the cash to use by spending up to $50 million to repurchase its own shares. On April 28, the company tried to assure analysts that the fraud claims were bogus. Derek Palaschuk, a Canadian accountant who served as the company�s chief financial officer, wrapped himself in Deloitte�s prestige, saying that those who questioned Longtop were �criticizing the integrity of one of the top accounting firms in the world.�

    �For me,� he said, �the most important relations I have other than with my family, my C.E.O., and then the next on the list is Deloitte as our auditor, because their trust and support is extremely important.�

    Mr. Palaschuk had an explanation for why the company had not repurchased any shares. It had some very good news that it had not yet released, and �we were advised by our securities counsel that we should not be in the market purchasing our own shares in the event that this would be considered insider trading.�

    Longtop is not the only Chinese fraud that caught prominent Americans. Starr International, an investment company run by Hank Greenberg, the former chairman of American International Group, invested $43.5 million in China MediaExpress and had a representative on the company�s board. Starr has filed suit in Delaware against the company and Deloitte.

    Goldman Sachs was not the underwriter of ShengdaTech, a Chinese chemical company traded on Nasdaq, but its investment arm, Goldman Sachs Investment Management, had accumulated a 7.6 percent stake in the company before its auditor, KPMG, refused to sign off on the company�s 2010 annual report and then resigned in late April. KPMG cited �serious discrepancies� regarding bank balances and �discrepancies between KPMG�s direct calls to customers and confirmations returned by mail.� Just as at Longtop, it appeared that auditors had been given false confirmation letters.

    In each of those three cases � Longtop, China MediaExpress and ShengdaTech � the auditors discovered discrepancies, but only after signing off on financial statements. That was not the case in this year�s other � and perhaps most embarrassing � resignation by a Big Four auditing firm.


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  • raysaikat
    07-13 11:23 AM
    Who has the authority to set the spillover mode ? (Vertical vs Horizonal)

    I read in some immigration forum that USCIS/DOS has switched between these at will in the past.

    No one, actually. It is supposed to be set by the law (congress), but apparently the law is not clear about the exact steps. So USCIS "interprets" the law to supply the missing details. In this case, by consultation with congress (administration? House/Senate officials?) and reading the "intent" of the law more carefully, they have arrived at the conclusion that the spill-over visas must go in the horizontal direction.

    The current interpretation is the sensible one, IMHO, if the word "preference" is to mean anything.

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  • dixie
    07-17 02:46 AM
    This thread is very interesting to me. I've kind of lived though both sides, and it is really aweful for everyone but the abusive employer.

    My understanding of Immigration Voice's agenda is that this group is really for people who have H1B visas and are in the country already to bring their spouses and children here with full rights to travel and work, make sure renewals of H1Bs happen so you can stay in the country, and, even better, to convert H1B visas to green cards.

    My understanding is that the only reason that Immigration Voice supports increased H1B visa numbers is because people whose current visas are about to expire, and family members, are counted in these same numbers.

    Please correct if I'm wrong. I really would like to get this right.

    Anyway, if I do have it right, it seems to me that the AFL-CIO position (give people green cards instead of H1B visas) bridges the core concerns of members of Immigration Voice and the Programmers Guild. Whether or not everybody recognizes this is a different story, but it is good to know where the overlapping concern is, and hopefully in long term, get people talking about a solution that really does try to bridge the gap.

    For the record, we are neutral on the issue of H1-B visa increases. We neither support nor oppose increasing H1-B visas. The last thing we want to see is even more gullible H1-B folks with GC mirages being added to our midst. However, it often happens that ANY reform to the EB program is clubbed together with H1-B increases .. thanks to corporate lobbying or whatever .. in such cases we obviously have to support the broad package of high skilled immigration reform.

    We DO NOT deny the fact that H1-B has loopholes that make us vulnerable for exploitation .. that is one of our major reasons for pushing GC reforms. Our grouse with the likes of PG, lou dobbs etc is that they offer a one-sided criticism of the H1-B program full of half-truths, outright lies and insinuations about us "stealing" jobs. They highlight the exploitation part only to promote their agenda .. those occasional noises about giving GCs instead of H1-Bs is exactly that. Their real agenda is an end to all skilled immigration. Had they sincerely promoted balanced skilled immigration reform like tighter enforcement of H1-B provisions that protect US workers along with faster GC process for those meeting those tighter requirements, I would have gladly supported them.


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  • singhsa3
    12-27 10:26 AM
    Our is an adovacy group comprising of only volunteers and with specific agenda. There may be several other Advocacy groups with similar characteristics as ours, agreed they may or may not be immigration focussed. Thus, examples of such Advocay groups that had to lobby to change laws in their favor , overcoming oppositions will help.

    For such advocacy groups , do you have any insights into the following ( Based on your readings or research)?
    a) What such group do to increase active participation of their members?
    b) How such groups are organized?
    c) How the short term and long term goals are developed/identified?
    d) How the leadership pieline for such groups is developed?
    e) Best practices when interacting with other like minded groups, without undermining their own agenda.

    If you would like to discuss on the phone or through e-mail. Thas should be fine with me.

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  • masaternyc
    05-15 07:41 PM
    I think mbdriver is absolutely right, this would stop the exploitation of greedy consultancies and every one gets a fair chance.


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  • ita
    12-17 10:39 PM
    Sanju gave very good explanation here.

    I'm sure some of the readers would already know what I'm saying in my post and like many of them I almost stayed away from posting but for the benefit of those few ( even if it's one person) who might wonder if Gita could have been doctored I decided to share what I know .Again I felt the need to post because the idea was brought up by Sanju(NO..I'm not accusing you Sanju...nor 'm I preaching Gitaism here.Again it's just for the benefit of that few sincere folks...others can stick to Sanju's harm.)

    Hindu society all through the monarchical times was blessed with Enlightened Masters who willfully(for a person who had realized the ultimate truth material positions don't matter) served as subordinates (Mahamantri, ,Rajguru )to the Kings .

    These enlightened gurus were the protectors of some of our scriptures(just some because many of the scriptures were outside the intellectual realm of many kings no matter how powerful they were) be it shastras,stotra or sutras.

    Now before one goes on a spin with these enlightened masters let me also remind everyone that none of the great works are patented or owned by any king or master(unlike in some societies). They did truly protect our scriptures so they can be passed on to us, leaving these great works for use/abuse (based on the individuals intelligence/intention) popular examples in today's world being yoga/kamasutra (both are great spiritual mechanisms but are greatly misused so much so that one can't name (one of them) without feeling wee bit embarrassed).

    If one was to trace the evil practices like caste system they wouldn't find the roots in any of these scriptures. Now these evil practices, I would say were doctored/cooked up by people/kings, but Hindu scriptures were out of the reach of these people.

    These scriptures are wired in such a way that to change them one needs to be highly evolved(not just highly educated or filled with dry intelligence) , to understand them one needs to be sincere seeker not professional seeker.

    Also Vedic Culture which is way of life, a civilization got reduced to mere religion only after foreigners came to Bharatavarsha (although the basic pillars remain the same..dharma , karma ...)

    Thank you.

    Look, your intensions may be good and I respect that, but one cannot solve one problem by creating another problem of equal magnitude.

    Isn't "religion" the reason why folks are fighting? I do not mean to offend anyone, but I think all religious books have been doctored by the kings who were in power during the last two centuries. Bible, Geeta, Quran, or for that matter any religious book of any organized religion - they are all doctored from its original version. Why? Because the purpose of these books is? Guess what? To oragnize the religion. Their primary purpose is not spirituality. Because if the sole purpose was spirituality, no one will have fought each other in the name of religion for thousands of years.

    I guess the question I would ask is - WWJD ie. What Would Jesus Do? If you asked Jesus that are you the only son of god, WWJD? I can tell you with 100% surety that he will say - we are all sons and daughters of God. But con artists have doctored the holy book to suit their meaning and interpretation. Anyways, I do not mean to have a philisophical debate here with you being the "protector" of Jesus, why? Because Jesus or Allah or for that matter any great soul doesn't need any protection from anyone. Just as a cartoon cannot damage Allah, any discussion about any faith cannot damage the GOD. But too often we want to be seen as if "God is on MY side" because I follow CORRECT religion, and everyone else is against my team of "ME & GOD". And thats just the most absurd thing mankind could come up with in the form of organized religion. But the truth is, thats the most common view most humans take, everyone is protecting their "GOD", which actually sounds like a joke. Does god need any protection??? I mean give me a break.

    Please don't bring one flawed system to replace another flawed system.

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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-26 01:05 AM
    Why cats are better then men ...

    � A cat matures as it grows older.
    � Back hair on cats is cute.
    � When a cat sleeps all day it's natural, not annoying.
    � Unlike a man, a cat can fend for itself.
    � A cat is loyal.
    � Cats actually think with their heads.
    � "Meow" is never a lie.
    � They'll both stand outside your door and whine, but the cat will stop when it gets in. :)
    � It's more amusing to watch a cat try and deal with a piece of tape stuck on its paw than to watch a man do anything.
    � To buy a fancy dinner for a cat only costs 35 cents.
    � A cat's friend is less likely to be annoying.
    � Cats can't show love without meaning it.
    � Cats are always cute.


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  • sc3
    07-14 04:21 PM
    People in Eb3 visa are not our enemies most of these people are our friends. We all have friends in both categories suffering. The issue exploded because of the contents of letter drafted by pani_6. It was pitting eb2 vs eb3. We all agreed all along that entire immigration system needs to be changed but here we have a letter that says dont give visa's to eb2 because we are not getting any. That I feel is unfair because all these days these spill visa's were going to ROW and people like pani_6 were perfectly happy but once their friends from eb2 (Ind) started to get them he was crying fowl.

    I think we all agreed that the letter contents were somewhat pre-baked. The letter campaign was a idea in the right direction.

    And mind you, we are now very active not because EB2 is moving, but because we now have concrete proof that the system was changed this year. I had my doubts, and had been asking about it for a while now, but all of the people said, "no you are wrong, the spill-over is working as it should, and as it always has". We have just recently realized that we were being misled, and there indeed has been a change. That is the reason we are being active.

    Yes, you agreed that the immigration system needs to be overhauled, but the only relief in sight is for EB2 folks.. There is no legislation that will help EB3 backlogs. Recapture will again help Eb2 folks, and given the new "pecking order" that has been wrongly put by USICS, Eb3 will never truly benefit from any of these bills.

    IV has its goals, as any organization should, and we fully realize that it can't keep everyone happy. However, some of you are stopping voices of others from being heard -- which is fine too. IV is a private organization that can choose to censor or restrict some kind of activities. But when you do that, you can't hope that everyone will support the organization, and believe everything that is being told to them.

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  • Macaca
    02-13 09:38 AM
    10 Reasons to Lobby for your cause ( (courtesy krishna.ahd)

    For many of us, lobbying is something other people do—people who wear fancy clothes and buy politicians lunch at expensive restaurants. But lobbying, or more simply, trying to influence those who make policies that affect our lives, is something anyone can do. And it is something all of us should do if we believe in a good cause and in a democratic form of government. Read on to find out why.

    You can make a difference. It takes one person to initiate change. Gerry Jensen was a single mother struggling to raise her son in Toledo, Ohio, without the help of a workable child support system. She put an ad in a local newspaper to see if there were other moms who wanted to join her in working for change. There were. Over time, they built the Association for Child Support Enforcement, or ACES, which has helped change child support laws not just in Ohio, but across the country. One person—a single mother—made a difference.
    People working together can make a difference. Families of Alzheimer’s patients working together, through the Alzheimer’s Association, convinced the government to invest resources into research for a cure. Other individuals formed Mothers Against Drunk Driving and convinced dozens of states to toughen up their drunk driving laws. As a result, the numbers of drunk driving deaths are lower. Additionally, many people find healing from tragedy by telling their stories and working to prevent it from happening to others.
    People can change laws. Many of us think that ordinary individuals can’t make a difference. It is hard to change laws and policies. But it can be done. It has been done, over and over again in our history, in the face of great obstacles. People lost their lives fighting racist “Jim Crow” laws. They won. Women didn’t even have the power of the vote—as we all do today—when they started their struggle for suffrage. Our history is full of stories of people and groups that fought great odds to make great changes: child labor laws, public schools, clean air and water laws, social security.

    These changes weren’t easy to achieve. Some took decades. They all took the active involvement—the lobbying—of thousands of people who felt something needed to be changed.
    Lobbying is a democratic tradition. The act of telling our policymakers how to write and change our laws is at the very heart of our democratic system. It is an alternative to what has occurred in many other countries: tyranny or revolution. Lobbying has helped keep America’s democracy evolving over more than two centuries.
    Lobbying helps find real solutions. Services provided directly to people in need, such as soup kitchens, emergency health clinics, and homeless shelters, are essential. But sometimes they are not enough. Many food pantries, for example, needed new laws to enable caterers and restaurants to donate excess food so the kitchens could feed more people. Family service organizations working to place abused children into safe homes needed changes in the judicial system so kids did not have to wait for years for a secure place to grow up. Through advocacy, both changes were implemented.

    People thinking creatively and asking their elected officials for support can generate innovative solutions that overcome the root-cause of a problem.
    Lobbying is easy. Many of us think lobbying is some mysterious rite that takes years to master. It isn’t. You can learn how to lobby—whom to call, when, what to say— in minutes. While there are a few simple reporting rules your organization needs to follow, it isn’t complicated. Countless numbers of people have learned how. Lobbying is easier and more effective when many committed people work together. One person does not have to do everything or know everything.
    Policymakers need your expertise. Few institutions are closer to the real problems of people than nonprofits and community groups. They see problems first-hand. They know the needs. They see what works and what doesn’t. They can make problems real to policymakers. They care about the problems. Their passion and perspectives need to be heard. Every professional lobbyist will tell you that personal stories are powerful tools for change. People and policymakers can learn from your story.
    Lobbying helps people. Some people become concerned that lobbying detracts from their mission, but quite the opposite is true. Everything that goes into a lobbying campaign—the research, the strategy planning, the phone calls and visits—will help fulfill your goal whether it be finding a curefor cancer, beautifying the local park, or helping some other cause that helps people. You may not personally provide a direct service, but through your advocacy work, you enable thousands of others to do so.
    The views of local nonprofits are important. Increasingly, the federal government has been allowing local governments to decide how to spend federal money and make more decisions than in the past. This change gives local nonprofits even more responsibility to tell local policymakers what is needed and what will work. And because more decisions are being made locally, your lobbying can have an immediate, concrete impact on people in need.
    Lobbying advances your cause and builds public trust. Building public trust is essential to nonprofit organizations and lobbying helps you gain it by increasing your organization’s visibility. Just as raising funds and recruiting volunteers are important to achieving your organization’s mission so is lobbying. You miss out on an important opportunity to advance your cause if you don’t think as much about relationships with local, state, and federal government.


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  • rajuseattle
    07-14 08:40 PM

    Draft of this letter itself is an invitation for the investigation into Labor certification process for the individual who are suggesting they were qualified as EB-2, but their attorneys or HR reps told them to file under EB-3.

    Entire LC process is certified under the assumption that the employer in good faith has tried to hire US citizen and since he couldnt find a qualified US citizen for a that Job position, the employer is hiring an alien ( foreign national).

    I am not supporting this petition, even though i am a victim of the backlog centres and my labor took 4+ years for approval.

    We should all support IV's initiative for recapturing of wasted VISA numbers from the past years.

    Fighting among indian EB-2 and EB-3 is useless and it defeats the purpose of IV unity.

    IV seniours should immediately intervene in this matter and stop further discussions on this useless petition which doesnt have any legal standings and in itself is an invitation from DoL and USCIS to investigate the individuals who signed the petition and messed up their immigration process.


    PD: India EB-3 June 03.
    I-485 filed in Aug 2007 at NSC.

    awaiting I-485 approval...which will be 2-3 yrs down the road, if no relief from US congress.

    Right now enjoying the freedom using EAD.

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  • Alabaman
    08-13 08:11 AM
    ... nonetheless, we should all contact CNN or even his show to make a point.. I'll try to fill out his form. I can't believe how CNN has degenerated itself to today's standings..

    better still, we should contact Fox news... they would be glad to talk about this and CNN would then have to respond ;)


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  • SunnySurya
    08-05 10:58 AM
    I most definitely do. But all depends who needs the most help and what expense. If you ask me to donate a Kidney if my one my Kidney is already failing, I most likely will not help.
    But if you ask me for some other cause where I am not affected. I will definitly help. You would be doing the same things if your were in my shoes. If not atleast thinking the same things.

    So, you don't believe in helping others.

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  • Macaca
    05-27 05:39 PM
    As Indian companies grow in the U.S., outsourcing comes home ( By Paul Glade | The Washington Post

    Ray Capuana paces the rows of cubicles in a haggard high-rise a stone�s throw from Wall Street as his people hustle the phones and hope for a bonus check.

    His employees are not bond traders, though. They are call center workers. Many are African Americans without college degrees. Some lack high school diplomas. They work for a Mumbai-based company called Aegis Communications.

    India�s outsourcing giants � faced with rising wages at home � have looked for growth opportunities in the United States. But with Washington crimping visas for visiting Indian workers, some companies such as Aegis are slowly hiring workers in North America, where their largest corporate customers are based. In this evolution, outsourcing has come home.

    Capuana, a manager for Aegis in New York, motivates this U.S. office with dress-down days and the prospect that workers could, one day, earn a stint training call center workers in Goa, India. One of his tasks is to staff 176 cubicles, where workers make or take calls for customers of prescription drug plans or Medicare contracts and enter and verify information. The pay runs $12 to $14 an hour, with bonus checks of up to $730 a month.

    �Our recruitment model is simple,� says Capuana, who played Division III college football, wears rosary beads on his wrist and has a picture of Jesus above his desk. �I don�t care if you come from Park Avenue or the park bench. If you can do the job, we want you.�

    Aegis, a subsidiary of India�s Essar Group, an energy, telecom and metals conglomerate, says it�s pioneering the next generation of outsourcing: putting the work close to its global customers. Its executives call the practice �near-sourcing,� �diverse shoring� and, sometimes, �cross-shoring.�

    Madhu Vuppuluri, chief executive and dealmaker for the Americas division of Essar Group, remembers watching outsourcing grow in India in the late 1990s and early 2000s and thinking that the decline of U.S. call centers was overdone. He persuaded the billionaire Ruia brothers, Essar�s Indian owners, to let him make a counterintuitive bet: In 2000, he bid on the bankrupt assets of Telequestion, a 500-person call center in Arlington, Tex., for $2.5 million.

    That led to other acquisitions in the United States and abroad. Today, Aegis employs 50,000 of Essar�s 70,000 employees on several continents. About 5,000 people work at nine U.S. call centers. Aegis, which is on the hunt for more acquisitions, has said it aims to triple its U.S. head count, to more than 15,000.

    The strategy is based on the old-fashioned idea of being close to your customers. It�s one embraced by companies such as credit card giant American Express, insurer Humana and government agencies, which sometimes prefer on-shore call centers to handle customer service for sensitive life insurance, financial or health-care products.

    �The customer is the king,� Vuppuluri said. �Wherever the customer wants the services to be, we can provide.�

    Visitors on visas

    At its U.S. sites, Aegis says, 90 percent or more of its workers are American. In that way, Aegis is an exception to the rule. Until now, India-based outsourcing companies have largely brought Indian workers into the United States using H-1B visas and L-1 visas and have been the heaviest users of those programs.

    In India�s $60 billion software-exporting industry (which employs roughly 4 million people worldwide), Aegis is competing with companies such as Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Genpact, WNS and Infosys. Most are expanding their outsourcing work � from call centers to high-tech consulting and financial services � to the United States. In many cases, it�s a key part of the companies� growth strategy. But political and economic forces in this country and India complicate things.

    Some say the visa practice has hurt U.S. jobs and wages. These new visa categories were created by the Immigration Act of 1990, allowing foreigners to work in the country for up to six years. The aim was to lure high-tech talent. Tech America, an industry trade group, says that the visas are crucial to American innovation, future competitiveness and job creation.

    But they have been abused, too. In a study released in 2008, the government found fraud and technical violations on 20.7 percent of H-1B applications. Violations ranged �from document fraud to deliberate misstatements regarding job locations, wages paid and duties performed,� said Donald Neufeld, of the Department of Homeland Security, at a March hearing.

    Immigration officials and the State Department have worked to crack down on the fraud.

    �There will be, in any situation, an effort to go around the law,� said David T. Donahue, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Visa Services. �Our job is to catch the companies doing that.�

    :DSome lawmakers are looking to curb the practice and to encourage the India-based outsourcing firms to follow Aegis�s model of hiring Americans at U.S. sites.:D Issuance of regular H-1B visas � 10,200 so far this year � is down 43 percent percent from 2010, according to federal data. Last year, the Obama administration added a roughly $2,000 fee per H-1B visa for large companies, which could be curbing applications.

    In the past, if, say, BNY Mellon inked an IT contract with Infosys, Infosys would handle 70 percent of the work in India and send 30 percent of its project staff to the United States on temporary work visas. These Indian workers often live in ethnic enclaves on the outskirts of a city, work long hours and earn less than an American would for the same work.

    Companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Genpact and Infosys are the largest users of the H-1B visa program and have collectively brought as many as 30,000 workers into the country in a year on H-1B or other visas.

    Critics of the visa programs, such as :DRonil Hira:D, a public policy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, say the work arrangements can amount to indentured servitude. The workers are often paid �home-country wages� in America. �That�s as low as $8,000 a year� with housing allowances, he says. The employers own the visas � so the workers can�t bargain for wages, and if they lose their job they have to leave the country.

    Hira said Indian workers still make up more than 90 percent of most outsourcing companies� U.S. head counts. He and other critics argue that many of these workers are not more highly skilled than their American counterparts but are simply willing to work for less. �It�s harming American workers,� he said. �It�s taking away their job opportunities, bringing down their wages and harming their working conditions.�

    The companies that use the visa programs have faced opposition from U.S. labor unions as well as age-discrimination lawsuits from American tech workers alleging that they were passed over by the hiring practices.

    At the same time, as high unemployment lingers and the economic recovery lags, India-based companies have seized on an opportunity to improve their image and expand their U.S. businesses by taking over companies and hiring more U.S. talent.


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  • NKR
    04-15 10:16 PM
    The evidence is overwhelming. The housing will go down so much that there will be hard lessons learned. No one will talk about investing in housing for a long time. I want to buy a house too. I just don't think you pay whatever the inflated price is demanded and throw away my hard earned money. You pay what is worth. Why do you insist that everyone has to participate in this ponzi scheme and keep the price inflated? Housing should be affordable and come to sane levels and I believe it will.

    Ok Dude, I will try just one last time, nobody is advocating buying a house when the market is bad. The question someone asked was is it ok to buy a house when I485 is pending, and the answer given was if he has found a very good deal, in a very good location and considering his situation if it is affordable then I485 should not be a hindrance. People who were still on H1 have bought a house when the market was good and they are doing well now. Some people who got GC might have bought a house just before the market came crashing down and they were plain unlucky. I myself bought a small affordable home when I had just my labor stage cleared. If when I bought this house the market was like this, I would not have bought but would have waited. Period.

    And for those who become nostalgic. I myself was bought up in a small house, it had only two rooms, I repeat, the whole house had just two rooms, nothing else. We had to share a toilet with 3 other houses of similar size, was I happy then?, Of course I was happy, I used to play cricket and other sports on the street with other kids with vehicles passing by once in a while. Is the situation same here?. No, but do kids here have other ways of having fun, oh yes. It doesn�t matter if the kid is living in an apartment or a house, all that matters is if he is having fun. Somebody came up with a strange logic that our love for our kids will diminish if we buy a house. If you have bought a decent, affordable house your love will not diminish, it will only manifold.

    I am not against renting, nor against people living in an apartment, I myself have lived in apartments before. I am against people who only want to save for god knows what, for people who are afraid to take small risks (for ex: buying a small home and not a mansion) when the market becomes good, they will ask you to prepare for the worst case scenario. They will say don�t buy a house because the sky will fall or don�t buy because the world will come to an end. Nothing is permanent here, not the job, not the location. You just have to take calculated risks. You just cannot console yourself saying you are from middle class and cannot do a thing, lift yourself up. If you want to buy a house but you are not doing it now because the market is bad, then I am not against you, so don�t jump on me.

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  • myuname
    04-06 10:44 PM
    I guess the only way US of A will ever understand its worth in the world is when: (I am just referring to hypocritical US of A'ans, there are good people too.)

    1) India and China stop sending so many Engineers and doctors.
    2) China and south-east Asia stop supplying Nike's and toilet paper to Walmart's

    I guess the positive side of this H1 bill will be further development of Indian and Chinese economies via decreased brain-drain. I guess it already slowed down (to a trickle?!) quite a bit in the past few years and I Hope this bill plugs the leaks too. Hurray! No more brain drain from India and China.

    Why didn't this happen a few years ago and I wouldn't even have had any regrets being in US of A ever. Yikes!

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  • Macaca
    05-27 05:40 PM
    Rivals for IBM, Accenture

    Infosys and others find themselves in a quandary. U.S.-based rivals such as Cognizant, Accenture and IBM are ramping up hiring and offshoring in India, pushing up wages. So Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Genpact have had to move into the culturally uncomfortable area of managing Americans.

    �What you have going on in India are salary hikes,� said Joseph Vafi, an analyst at Jefferies & Co. in San Francisco. �As these companies get larger and larger, it just makes sense for them to do some hiring in the States.�

    Tata Consultancy Services, for example, is ramping up its North American presence in major deals with Citibank, Dow Chemical and Hilton Worldwide. It plans to hire more than 1,000 Americans in 2011 and to base 10,000 of its 185,000 global employees in the country.

    �The focus is on building stronger relations with our customers in North America, by far our largest market,� said spokesman Mike McCabe, who added that more than half of the company�s revenue comes from North America. �It�s kind of a natural effort to invest more here.�

    Robert Webb, chief information officer at Hilton Worldwide, said Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys increasingly rival the established consulting companies, such as IBM, Accenture and Bain Consulting, in areas such as integrating massive computer systems, developing applications for companies and even strategy consulting. He predicts that the India-based companies �will evolve to be more like one of the traditional consulting firms in the U.S.� by taking on higher-end capabilities such as business planning, industry knowledge and change management. Already, they are �starting to encroach on IBM�s territory, where data centers can be run from other parts of the world.�

    He said IBM and Accenture are rapidly hiring talent in India and other emerging markets as a counterstrategy. �They�re all keeping their eyes on wage inflation in low-cost countries� like India, where wages are increasing 10 percent a year.

    Hilton hired Tata Consultancy Services in 2009 to take over some back-office operations, such as human resources, financial systems and its intranet portal for the company�s 10 brands and 3,700 hotels. Hilton used to handle this work in-house or with hundreds of small consultants.

    Tata Consultancy Services is doing most of the work in Memphis and McClean, where Hilton has offices. Hilton is sharing these best practices with its parent company, private-equity firm Blackstone Group. Using companies with talent around the globe allows Hilton to continue working on projects around the clock and to innovate more quickly.

    �While some people are sleeping in the U.S.,� Webb said, �people can be coding in India and vice versa.�

    Rebadging U.S. workers

    Genpact, the outsourcing company created and spun off by General Electric, doubled its U.S. employment last year, to 2,000 of its 40,000 global employees. Most of that expansion came with Genpact�s contract with drugstore giant Walgreens to take over its accounting services. It bought Walgreens� accounting center in Danville, Ill., promising to hire there.

    Taking over existing employees of another company is called �re-badging.� Indian firms have been uncomfortable managing U.S. workers in the past, Hira said, particularly when Indian workers are working alongside Americans who are paid more. But companies increasingly see rebadging as a necessary way to expand.

    Genpact is also hiring at centers in California and Pennsylvania as it aims to expand in the mortgage and regulatory compliance industries and in consumer product, hospital and health-care companies.

    �The U.S. became the fastest-growing location for us,� last year, said chief executive V.N. �Tiger� Tyagarajan. �We expect that to continue on this year.�

    Bob Kane, treasurer of New York-based textilemaker Westpoint Home, which makes Ralph Lauren linens, uses Genpact for general accounting in India and accounts payable in Mexico. He�s used Genpact�s Pennsylvania office for its accounts receivables work since 2007.

    The Pennsylvania office �is the most competent and is the most business-savvy,� he said, noting that it does the work 40 percent more efficiently for less money and with fewer people than his company could do in-house.

    �They understand it is important to get the job done and stay the extra hour,� he said. �They get it. They get what we need. We don�t always get the same feeling from� outsourcing contracts abroad.

    He pays slightly higher wage rates � $15 an hour � to keep the receivables work in the United States. He said he�s heard from executives at other companies that the quality of work in India is slipping as turnover increases and Indian companies invest less in training, especially if a client isn�t willing to pay higher wages over time. Some U.S. companies don�t want sensitive customer data transmitted abroad. Others are tired of poor service, accents and crackling phone lines.

    Managing across cultures

    The lower Manhattan branch of Aegis, on Broad Street, is one of the company�s top performers. And Capuana, 41, is hiring. The 11th-floor lobby is crowded with applicants looking for training and jobs, some of them unemployed and on public assistance.

    At $12 to $14 an hour with possible monthly bonuses, workers can make four times what call center workers in India do. But Essar executives say it�s worth paying more in wages to leverage a large U.S. presence to gain contracts with banks, health-care companies and governments that require the work to be done here.

    Some workers at the call center, such as Mary Auguste-George, eventually move up the ranks. Originally from St. Lucia, she started as a phone rep, moved to supervisor, then trainer and and is now payroll manager of the lower Manhattan division. Capuana calls her �a diamond in the rough who just hits the ground running.�

    Capuana, a stocky man who prefers jeans and wears his hair long, uses a motivational-speaker�s approach to get workers to show up on time and do their best. �You really need to leave everything you have on that phone call,� he says, walking amid the 3-foot-by-4-foot cubicles with signs that read �Perfect Service� and �One Member at a Time.�

    He pins pictures of the top 12 performers on a �Circle of Leaders� bulletin board each quarter. They receive free movie tickets, have greater dress-down privileges and eat free lunch. The practice has been adopted by Aegis on a corporate-wide level, he says.

    Many Aegis employees at the site are not very aware that they work for an Indian company. The Dallas headquarters, though, celebrates India�s independence on Aug. 15. And the call center workers have made music videos for each other: The Indian office performed a Bollywood song, and workers at the U.S. office danced to the Black Eyed Peas.

    But with all its globalism, Aegis also has its culture clashes. Some managers from India have a hard time understanding what motivates U.S. workers and why they are less-educated than their Indian peers. One Indian-born manager said he thinks that the U.S. standard of living has spoiled Americans and that they take less pride in their work. In other words, he says, they are lazy.

    The India executives are also puzzled by the appeal of dress-down practices. �We don�t do that� in India, says Ramya Devi Ramachandran, 27, a former administrative assistant at the lower Manhattan office who worked for Aegis in India before moving to New York.

    Essar and Aegis, however, want to step up the cross-sharing this year, shuffling dozens of U.S. Aegis employees to Goa and Bangalore in India to help handle large U.S. government contracts. Aegis executives say the cross-continent exchange will help India�s call centers keep up during peak Medicare enrollment season and aid the company�s cross-cultural efforts.

    A few employees from the lower Manhattan call center are applying for the temporary transfer. �I�ve never been to India,� said Keith Swindell, 39, a trainer. �I�d enjoy traveling and getting international experience.�

    US Sours on Globalization ( By Nayan Chanda | Businessworld
    GE Joins Intel to Advise Obama as Overseas Holdings Expand ( By Mike Dorning | The Washington Post
    Can 'Made in America' Survive in a Global Economy? ( By Nicole Lapin | CNBC
    Private Sector Lifts Grads' Job Outlook ( By SARA MURRAY and JOE LIGHT | Wall Street Journal

    My life without gadgets ( By Chris Williams | The Washington Pos
    Our Irrational Fear of Forgetting ( By MARGARET MORGANROTH GULLETTE | New York Times

    08-05 11:51 AM
    There are burning issues like recapture of un used visas which has little momentum after a lot of lobbying....remember this is just to implement the existing law.
    Now you are talking about not allowing EB3 folks to EB2. Come on...the process is not a child play. There is a reasons why this whole process is in place....

    07-13 11:45 PM
    Actually Version 2 is the latest draft:

    Excellent letter. - I support even I am EB2.

    One should not point other category and ask for the right.