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  • Macaca
    08-17 09:12 PM
    Dem majority triggers mixed results for K St. ( By Jim Snyder and Jeffrey Young | The Hill, August 15, 2007

    Patton Boggs appears likely to continue as the reigning king of K Street with a revenue growth of nearly 9 percent, according to mid-year lobbying reports filed to Congress Tuesday.

    The law firm earned nearly $19.4 million from lobbying as defined by the Lobbying Disclosure Act, or LDA, for the first half of 2007, versus the $17.8 million it took in during the first six months of 2006. The firm finished first in the revenue race in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

    Elsewhere along Washington’s lobbying corridor, though, results were decidedly more mixed. While several firms reported revenue growth, a number have yet to shake off the doldrums of the last half of 2006, when legislative activity dropped off as members left town to campaign for the midterm election.

    For example, Cassidy & Associates reported a slight dip in revenues in 2007. It reported $12.3 million for mid-year 2007 versus the $12.6 million the firm reported a year ago.

    Van Scoyoc Associates, another big earner, reported flat revenues. Hogan & Hartson, a top 10 earner, reported a slight dip (see chart, P 9).

    The LDA numbers were due Tuesday, and several big names did not have their revenue totals ready by press time. These firms include Dutko Worldwide, which generated more than $20 million in lobbying revenues last year.

    (The figures will be added to the chart online at as they become available.)

    The firms that did well attribute their success in part to the new Democratic majorities.

    Perhaps the biggest success story so far is Ogilvy Government Relations. The newly bipartisan firm, which was formerly all-Republican and known as the Federalist Group, reported mid-year totals of $12.4 million, versus the $6.8 million it reported for the first six months of 2006.

    “We have added talented Democrats that have contributed significant value to our clients and the firm,” said Drew Maloney, a managing director at Ogilvy and a former aide to then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

    Although the switch to bipartisan seems to have been a good one, the firm’s success can largely be attributed to one client. Blackstone Group, which is lobbying against a proposed tax hike on private equity firms, has paid Ogilvy $3.74 million so far this year. Blackstone paid Ogilvy just $240,000 for all of 2006.

    Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, a perennial top five earner, also grew. The firm reported mid-year totals of $15.2 million, compared to $13.3 million during the first half of 2006.

    Joel Jankowsky, who runs Akin Gump’s policy practice, said Democrats have been good for his firm’s bottom line.

    “The change in Congress has increased activity on a variety of issues and that has spawned more work,” Jankowsky said. Akin Gump now counts 186 clients versus the 165 clients it had at the end of last year.

    Barbour Griffith & Rogers and K & L Gates’s policy group each also reported a slight growth over their revenue totals of a year ago.

    Even firms that did less well were optimistic business was beginning to pick up, even though Democrats have sought to change the cozy relationships between lawmakers and lobbyists through new gift and travel limitations and other rules.

    Gregg Hartley, vice chairman and chief operating officer for Cassidy, said the firm’s business was rebounding from a slow 2006.

    “I see us on the way back up,” he said.

    The Cassidy figure does not include revenues reported by its affiliate, the Rhoads Group, which reported an additional $2.2 million in revenue.

    Van Scoyoc Associates, another top five firm, reported Tuesday that it made $12.5 million this year, roughly the same it reported during the comparable period a year ago.

    “We held pretty even in a very difficult environment and I would consider that a pretty successful first half,” said Stu Van Scoyoc, president of the firm.

    Scandals have made it a difficult political environment for lobbyists and clients have moved cautiously because of uncertainty about new congressional earmarking rules, Van Scoyoc said.

    The LDA filings paint only part of the picture of these firms’ performances. Many of the large and mid-sized firms have lucrative lines of business in other areas.

    Firms like Patton Boggs and Akin Gump that operate large legal practices are also benefiting from the more active oversight of the Democratic-led Congress, for example.

    Democrats have held an estimated 600 oversight and investigation hearings so far, and many clients under the microscope have sought K Street’s counsel.

    “The overall congressional activity is through the charts,” said Nick Allard, co-chairman of Patton Boggs’s public policy department.

    “Lobbying reports are up, but they are just part of what we do, and underestimate what is probably a historic level of activity in Congress and as such a historic level of representation of clients before Congress,” Allard said.

    The investigations also often lead to new legislation, which further drives business to K Street.

    The LDA numbers also do not capture work done under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), which is reported separately. Most public relations and federal marketing work, both of which are growing revenue streams for many firms, are also not reported under LDA.

    Cassidy, for example, made an additional $1.4 million from FARA, public relations and federal marketing, Hartley said. Van Scoyoc also will report at least $300,000 in FARA revenue.

    Moreover, the LDA itself provides firms with wide latitude in how they define lobbying activities, and thus what revenue must be accounted for in their semiannual filings.

    While some firms blamed stagnant revenues on the unfavorable (and, they add, unfair) scrutiny the lobbying industry has received from the Jack Abramoff scandal, most lobbyists don’t see the recently passed lobbying/ethics bill as a threat to their businesses.

    Patton Boggs’s Allard, for instance, believes the new rules may benefit firms with legal practices and larger lobbying firms that may be better equipped to manage the intricacies of the new law.

    “The need for public policy advocacy doesn’t go away,” he said. Firms that relied on relationships, however, may well be hurt. Potential clients are “are not going to go for the quick fix or silver bullet or glad-handing,” Allard said.

    Lobbyists will have to report more frequently. The new law requires filing quarterly rather than semi-annually.

    The continued focus on earmarks, though, may eventually hurt firms that have built their practice around appropriations work, said Hartley.

    “There is a potential for a dramatic impact on that part of the lobbying industry,” said Hartley.

    Cassidy was once just such a firm. Until recently, as much as 70 percent of Cassidy’s lobbying revenue came from appropriations, but a four-year restructuring effort has dropped that figure to 51 percent, Hartley said.

    Now 67 percent of new business is tied to non-appropriations work, he added.

    The Democratic takeover of Congress also spawned a growth in all-Democratic lobbying firms.

    Elmendorf Strategies, founded by Steve Elmendorf, reported revenues of nearly $1.9 million, despite having just three lobbyists. Elmendorf is a former chief of staff to House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) and is a sought-after party strategist. His firm is six months old and has 19 clients.

    The firm Parven Pomper Schuyler reported revenues of $750,000 in part by targeting business-friendly Blue Dog Democrats. Scott Parven said the firm has 13 clients. It recently signed on to lobby for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. The contract was not included in its mid-year filing.
    K Street's Top Firms ( By Jim Snyder and Jeffrey Young | The Hill August 15, 2007

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  • krishnam70
    03-26 08:17 PM
    With regards to h-1b processing; if you file an h-1b and you are silent as to the work location on the i-129 and you get an lca for your h-1b office location and then USCIS gives you an rfe for a client letter.

    You get a client letter in a different location and did not have an lca for that location prior to the receipt date of the h-1b filing then USCIS will deny the h-1b saying that it wasn't approvable when filed. Therefore, because of this USCIS is essentially saying that you are only getting h-1b approval for the work location specified in the petition when it was filed. It does not include a blanket approval to work at multiple locations.

    Therefore; one should always amend the h-1b for different work location. Everytime you amend; you have to pay uscis/lawyer fees and are at risk of getting rfe everytime.

    With regards to greencard. You don't have to work at the location required in the labor until the greencard gets approved. Most labors state job location is "various unanticipated locations across usa". If it has this statement then you are covered and don't have to locate to the office of the company; you can work in any location.

    If there is not such an annotation in the labor then to make it 100% legal you should go and work in the location covered by the labor. However, as the baltimore decision stated; you can use ac21 for a different locaiton with same employer. Therefore, if 485 is pending more then six months and greencard gets approved; you have essentially used ac21 without even knowing it.

    I do know a few cases where attorney did labor in location of where persons client was located. However, if person has shifted to another location then it would be impossible to justify it legally that you will go back there when greencard gets approved because that job would no longer exist.

    There are a lot of complexities involved in this. It just goes to show that on a whim; uscis can do a lot of things to make peoples lives miserable.

    So then lets take an example

    1. Company Files H1b from NJ
    2. Consultant gets a job in NY or OH or xyz state. Employer files 'amend location' each time. The work and keep on moving like that
    3. Time comes up for renewal of H1, if the employer gives the current client's contract in a different location, it will definitely trigger USICS to possibly deny the extension? Since the original H1 petition did not mention this place or since they filed amend its ok?
    4. When they file for amend, do they need to give a contract/client letter to justify the amend? If yes then will it trigger an RFE?

    According to you anything is possible with USCIS these days.

    My original request still stays. I want some advise, I will definitely use an attorney but wanted your opinion on it..


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  • cinqsit
    03-26 02:08 PM

    So whats the way out for people who get into this situation ? Find a job with a non-consulting company and start everything H1/GC from scratch ?


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  • hopefulgc
    08-06 11:13 PM
    Abe.. lets call it "manhole".

    coz these days the environment is no better than that :D:D:D

    Mohol --> :D


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  • sin94
    03-24 12:17 PM
    face it as long as the economy is tanking this is going to be an ongoing debate. Everything goes thorugh stages of high and low and we are now expereincing the lows of having the h1b's.

    Sledge While your points are valid, remember folks do not choose consulting (nor do students) as a first choice but I have friends who were employed without any issues directly with client companies who in the midst of recession decide to fire everyone. What are you options if your GC is denied because the company declared bankruptcy? How do you justify to yourself staying with the employer when they files you under Eb3 category when you a master's degree holder from one of the 10 best universities in the US? What are the employee choices here, just pack up and leave? leave houses, friends and people you stayed with many years.

    You think they haven't searched for full time positions with other companies only to be turned back? or worse case restart the entire GC process and forgo the 6+ years?

    And the experiences I am relating are from the 2001 recession. I have already seen history repeat itself now but my more fear is that tomorrow USCIS will unfortunately hit the person who followed all the rules After all how is the USCIS knowing which are the good companies and which are bad? These very things are happening and very much can happen to you as well. Do not sit on a high perch and think it will not trickle down to me

    Dude, it does not matter what you're reasoning is for getting into consulting. You do not even need to prove anything to me. Take your justification with you and present it to the guys that are going to approve your GC, NOT me!!!!

    If you are still so hard headed that you do not want to accept realities, what can I say!

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  • vijay0101
    07-14 05:30 PM

    News Release

    U.S. Department of Labor
    Wage and Hour Division
    Release Number: 05-1573-SEA (05-145)
    Dec. 2, 2005

    Michael Shimizu


    Ajay International of Bothell Ordered to Pay $65,830 in Back Wages to Three Employees
    SEATTLE -- Ajay International Inc., Bothell, Wash., has been ordered to pay $65,830 in back wages to three employees, the U.S. Department of Labor announced today. The department�s Wage and Hour Division also fined the company $18,400 in civil money penalties for violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act�s H-1B visa program, including the failure to pay the prevailing wage to non-immigrant workers.

    Also, in a motion for summary judgment, the Administrative Law judge ordered the firm debarred from filing any new Labor Condition Applications under the Act for a period of two years.

    �This employer failed to pay the required prevailing wages to employees, misrepresented material facts, failed to provide notice of filing, accepted payment from an H-1B worker for filing fees, failed to maintain required records, and violated other provisions of the Act,� said Donna Hart, Seattle district director for the Wage Hour Division.

    The H-1B visa program permits employers to temporarily hire non-immigrants to fill specialized jobs in the United States. An employer must pay an H-1B worker at least the same wage it pays other employees who perform the same type of work or the prevailing wage in the area.

    Seattle area-based Ajay International is an employment agency in the high-technology field. The department's investigation covered the period April 1, 2003, through Jan. 31, 2005.

    The Wage and Hour Division recovered nearly $200 million in back wages in fiscal year 2004 for more than 288,000 workers nationwide. Average days to resolve a complaint during that time decreased from 108 to 92 days.

    For more information about the H-1B non-immigrant worker visa program and other provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Seattle District Office at 206-398-8039 or the department�s toll-free help line at 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243). Information is also available at


    The information in this release is available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape, and disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.


    Hi Guys

    Be Careful with The Ajay International Inc and The Real Technologies USA Inc web sites used . And the Person Name "Sanjay Tyagi". This is the company recently black listed by DOL Seattle and then they opened a new company Name called �Real Technologies USA Inc" with web site and doing the same thing to get the black listed. So I like to warn the guys who are working for them or considering working for them should have rethink about their decision. Please be very careful when you are dealing with this guy and the company.
    So spread the word.
    You can read the press release above in this post.


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  • rimzhim
    04-09 11:43 AM
    Very true indeed. I am sure you have gone through the full nine yards and understand. Also you will still be an asset no matter what. That is not the case with "consultants".
    Thx for saying that. My boss who is a professor in a research university at least thinks that way, and also believes that I am a leader (FYI riva2005). Frankly, if you are not displacing an American, and there is legal proof of that, there is no reason to worry. Also, mjrajatish: yes, it will be difficult to move in 2 weeks. Same holds for me too because they have to prove that Iam not displacing another American in the new workplace. I see nothing wrong in that.

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  • Macaca
    11-29 08:39 PM
    Trade groups question new lobbying law ( By Jim Snyder | The Hill, November 28, 2007

    Trade groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce say a new lobbying law could require the release of their member lists, violating freedom of association protections granted by the Constitution.

    The Chamber, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the American Society of Association Executives wrote Senate Secretary Nancy Erickson and House Clerk Lorraine Miller on Wednesday asking for clarification in how the new law will be applied.

    The potential problem relates to a section in the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 that would impose new lobbying disclosure rules.

    The trade groups said Congress wrote the section of the law to shine light on so-called �stealth coalitions� that often use innocuous-sounding names to anonymously represent specific industries.

    But the imprecision of lobbying definitions in the law could mean disclosure requirements would fall on a variety of trade groups, the groups said in the letter.

    Groups that fail to accurately disclose their lobbying activities now will face criminal penalties, the letter also notes.

    �The price for being wrong is extremely high,� said Steven Law, senior vice president and chief legal officer for the Chamber.

    The letter was signed by Law; Jim Clarke, senior vice president of public policy for the American Society of Association Executives; and Jan Amundson, senior vice president and general counsel at NAM.

    The lobbying law, passed in response to scandals surrounding Jack Abramoff and ex-Rep. Randy �Duke� Cunningham (R-Calif.), would require disclosure of any organization or entity that �actively participates in the planning, supervision, or control� in lobbying activities and contributes more than $5,000 per quarter for those efforts.

    The �breadth and vagueness of the provision� require further clarification in how the new law will be applied, the letter stated.

    The groups noted Supreme Court rulings that they say prohibit the government from forcing groups to disclose their membership without a compelling government interest in doing so.

    �We take seriously the constitutional rights of our members to associate freely without government looking over our shoulders,� Law said.

    Brett Kappel, a campaign finance and government ethics lawyer, said Congress wrote the provision to target ad-hoc associations that are formed to lobby on a particular issue.

    �These typically spring up when there is legislation that would have a major economic impact on a small number of companies from a specific segment of the economy. That�s when they form the Coalition for Apple Pie and Motherhood and lobby against it,� said Kappel, who practices at the firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease.

    The new law �wasn�t designed to get at trade associations,� he said.

    Law said the lobbying law gives the clerk and the secretary broad powers in implementing the new requirements. He said he expected further guidance from those offices by Dec. 10.


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  • puddonhead
    06-07 06:22 PM
    I think it really is a matter of personal choice. A house is much more than a mere investment. For people like us it adds another layer of complications
    due to our status (or rather...lack of status).

    We are in Bay Area (San Jose Metro area) and were paying around $2000 in rent. We just bought a condo where our payments (mortgage + Taxes + HoA) are going
    to be around 2300. Hopefully we will be getting back around 400-500 in taxes and this makes it a good deal. However only 15 days after moving into our
    new house, I was laid off and now our biggest concern is if I am not able to get a job in next few weeks and if we have to go back we will be almost
    80k down the hole.

    Personally I would wait till 2012 beginning to consider getting into Cali, Las Vegas, Florida markets. The neg-am/interest-only bubble (BusinessWeek Article ( is just beginning to burst with their interest rates resetting, and wont peak until late 2011. This bubble is just as big as the sub-prime one (in terms of dollar value - around USD 0.5 - 1.5 Trillion) and will probably have much higher default rate (north of 50% by all estimates I have seen so far). These loans were originated to make the high priced homes in these area affordable. So it will hit the middle class to aspirational neighborhoods the most - unlike the sub-primes, which mostly hit the lower income areas.

    I don't mean to sound disheartening - just want to provide info and interpretation as I see it so that people can avoid getting into this trap.

    Personally, I am also surprised/uncomfortable that the prices in the NY Metro Area has not come down so much even though all the indicators (rent/price ratio, affordability) are way off base and getting worse with rents heading south. I don't know how these ratios will correct themselves (the neg-am mess is unlikely to hit this area too much) - but my intuition tells me that it has to. If anybody more knowledgeable can add more insights then that will be great.

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  • alisa
    12-26 11:45 PM
    Well, remove the threat by telling Clearly and unmistakably that use of nuclear weapon by Pakistan would invite catastrophic counter attack.
    Don't you think Pakistan already knows that?

    Otherwise what happens...Pak would keep taunting that " Hey, remember we have nukes...wanna pick a fight with us?" and keep doing what they are doing.

    Do you mean to say that the state and the government of Pakistan did this?


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  • nojoke
    04-15 06:17 PM
    I suggest you stop looking at national level figures if you are seeking accurate information. Look at the specific neighborhood you have mind and you may find that the situation there is not exactly what is shown on CNN.

    As an example the DFW area is doing alright inspite of the gloomy picture painted by the media at the national level. Used homes will take longer to sell, but it is nowhere as bad as Florida or CA. And we are not discussing selling here anyway...we are discussing buying.
    Now it is global.:D. India has started seeing decline too. After all a ponzi scheme is still a ponzi scheme wherever.

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  • Macaca
    12-29 07:32 PM
    �Can�t Be Done�

    Gibbons, 70, says he learned that lesson when he tried to raise 4 million pounds ($6.2 million) from two wealthy London- based nonresident Indian investors in November 2006.

    Talks failed because of differences over expectations for returns on equity and other contract terms, he says.

    �That�s what made me think this just can�t be done,� he says.

    Indian microlenders differ from Yunus�s Grameen Bank in key ways. To protect depositors� money after bankruptcies among nonbanking financial companies in the early 1990s, India�s Reserve Bank in 1997 made it more difficult for them to meet the requirements needed to take deposits from the public. Only 36 microlenders are registered as nonbank financial companies, according to information supplied by the Reserve Bank.

    �I Feel So Sad�

    Indian microlenders themselves borrow from banks at 13 percent or more on average and extend credit to the poor. They charge interest rates that can rise to 36 percent, says Alok Prasad, chief executive officer of the Microfinance Institutions Network, which represents 44 microlenders. He says all 44 firms are registered with the Reserve Bank.

    SKS Microfinance gets funds at about 12 percent interest and lends at 24.52 percent in Andhra Pradesh, spokesman Atul Takle says.

    In Bangladesh, Grameen Bank got a banking license in 1983, which allowed it to take deposits. It charges 5 percent for education loans and 8 percent for housing loans. Beggars can borrow for free, and interest on major loans is capped at 20 percent, Yunus says.

    �Microfinance has been abused and distorted,� he says. �I feel so sad because that�s not the microcredit I have created.�

    Indian microfinance has roots in decades-old informal community financing.

    Nongovernmental organizations pioneered cooperative lending, known today as self-help groups, with seed money from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development. Encouraged by these projects, the state-backed bank worked to tie borrowing groups to local bank branches in 1992.

    For-Profit Companies

    Nonprofit organizations subsequently got involved as middlemen between the banks and the borrowers. By 2005, nonprofits such as SKS and Share Microfin had turned themselves into profit-making enterprises.

    Akula�s SKS attracted investors such as Khosla Ventures, Sun Microsystems Inc. co-founder Vinod Khosla�s venture capital firm.

    Capital flowed into the new industry from commercial banks, venture firms and private equity.

    Sequoia Capital, in Menlo Park, California, and Bangalore- based Infosys Technologies Ltd. Chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy were among the backers. George Soros�s Quantum Fund has a 0.37 percent stake in SKS.

    Private-equity investors alone have put $515 million into Indian microfinance companies since 2006, research service Venture Intelligence says.

    �Explosive Growth�

    More than half of the 66 Indian microlenders tracked by Micro-Credit Ratings are for-profit firms. Some 260 microlenders had 26.7 million borrowers and 183.44 billion rupees of loans outstanding as of March, according to the Microfinance India State of the Sector Report 2010.

    �Over the last two years, we�ve been seeing explosive growth,� says N. Srinivasan, who wrote the report. �Microfinance institutions found that it�s easy to make money. Not that making money is bad, but when you go overboard and say you require money for growth, you get into problems.�

    Polelpaka Pula, a mother of two, says she saw microlenders rushing into her village of Pegadapalli to compete for business -- with tragic results.

    Her husband, Prakash, a painter who made 250 rupees on a good day, first borrowed from a group of villagers to build a house. Each participant of the so-called chit fund contributed 1,000 rupees a month and took a turn collecting the entire sum.

    Microfinance officers from L&T Finance Ltd., Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd., Share Microfin and SKS began offering loans in the village starting in 2004, she says.

    The couple, already contributing to their village fund, took five more loans totaling 64,000 rupees. That saddled them with payments of 7,300 rupees a month, more than Prakash�s 5,000 rupee maximum monthly income.

    Loan Shark

    When Prakash ran out of microlenders to borrow from, he went to a village loan shark, who charged 100 percent interest.

    With no way out and debt from multiple lenders ballooning, Prakash hanged himself in November 2009, his wife says.

    The small house he�d dreamed of was never completed. Only the foundation stands next to the home of his parents, a tiny structure with a roof of palm leaves.

    Spandana says that neither of the couple�s names is in its database. The company says the media wrongly attribute harassment cases to microfinance, especially when Spandana is mentioned.

    �The trigger factors for suicide are manifold, such as stressful situations at home,� the company said in an e-mail response to questions about the death.

    Subprime Parallel

    SKS spokesman Takle says its staff has practiced responsible lending for the past 12 years. Its employees are not paid based on the loan size or repayment percentage.

    �This ensures against giving out larger loans than what a borrower can repay,� Takle says. A spokesman for L&T Finance declined to comment.

    Overlending in Andhra Pradesh calls to mind the U.S. subprime crisis, says Lakshmi Shyam-Sunder, director of corporate risk at International Finance Corp. in Washington, which invests in microlenders.

    �Subprime lending was initially seen as extending homeownership to poorer people, doing good,� Shyam-Sunder says.

    As the industry expanded, making a profit became more important to some lenders, she says. �Tension arises when you work on activities with both social goals as well as commercial interests,� she says, adding that it�s important to strike the right balance.

    Companies chasing profits amid poor corporate governance are undermining the intent of microfinance, Cashpor�s Gibbons says.

    �Lending Gone Wild�

    During the past five years, the number of microloans in India has soared an average of 88 percent a year and borrower accounts have climbed 62 percent annually, giving India the world�s largest microfinance industry, Micro-Credit Ratings says.

    �This is unrestrained consumer lending gone wild,� Gibbons says. �It�s not about poverty reduction anymore.�

    Sumir Chadha, managing director at Sequoia Capital India Advisors Pvt., says that without a profit motive it�s hard to find anyone who will lend to the poor.

    �Capitalism doesn�t have to be a bad thing,� says Chadha, whose firm has a 14 percent stake in SKS. �If you can�t profit off the poor, it means that no companies will service the poor -- and then they will be worse off than earlier.�

    Chand Bee�s Tale

    For Chand Bee, a 50-year-old who led three borrowing groups in Andhra Pradesh, too many loans almost became her undoing.

    She says she ran away from home after collectors began harassing her. She took out multiple loans beginning in 2005, and she names Spandana as one of the lenders.

    Some of the money paid for the funeral of her eldest son. When she fell behind on payments, she says loan officers threatened to humiliate her in front of neighbors and pressed her to sell her small grandchildren into prostitution.

    She left her slum in Warangal, where she lived with her deaf husband, some of her eight grown children and more than a dozen grandchildren.

    After living as a beggar for a year, Chand Bee returned home in early November when family members told her that the state ordinance that went into effect on Oct. 15 had suspended some collections. A Spandana spokeswoman says none of the company�s four customers in the district with the name Chand Bee has had trouble repaying.

    Almost every household in the slum of 250 people -- where barefoot children play in lanes between rows of dilapidated shacks -- has taken several loans. So many microlenders ply their trade that residents refer to them by the days they collect: Monday company, Tuesday company and so on.

    Debt Free

    Rabbani, a widow with four children, is one of the few women who are debt-free. She started a spice shop with two loans, which she repaid with her small profit. After seeing her neighbors� pains, she vowed never to seek another microloan.

    SKS says 17 of its clients have committed suicide, none because of loans being in arrears or harassment.

    �Suicide is a complex issue,� Akula says.

    Sitting in the second-floor conference room of SKS�s seven- story headquarters in Hyderabad, where posters of smiling women running handicraft and tailor shops decorate the doors of elevators, Akula says there�s nothing wrong with seeking profits.

    �What does it matter to a poor woman how much an investor makes?� says Akula, dressed in his trademark knee-length kurta shirt from Fabindia, a seller of ethnic clothes made by rural craftsmen. �What matters to her is that she gets a loan on time at a reasonable rate that allows her to earn higher income.�


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  • Macaca
    05-14 06:24 PM
    An Increasing Population is a Good Thing. So is Immigration. ( By ALEX MASSIEFRIDAY | Spectator

    Plenty of folk seem to think otherwise. Including George Bridges who has written a very curious post for the Motherblog in which he seems most perturbed by the prospect of this happy isle's population increasing. He even suggests he's not doing his bit since Mrs Bridges is expecting their third child, presumably furthering the onrushing demographic apocalypse.

    Piffle. Good for Mrs Bridges and her fecund husband. Congratulations to them. May they produce this and many more little Bridges. A rising population is a feature of a healthy society, not the beginning of the end for this sceptered land. Of course an increasing population puts pressure on any number of public facilities and services, from transport to schools to housing to hospitals. But so what? It's also a motor for future economic growth which will - hurrah! - provide for all of this. Excess capacity caused by an absence of demand is, as many a rural parish will tell you, a much more grievous problem than having too many people. There is no need for this "for we are too many" Jude the Obscure stuff. There really isn't.

    Mr Bridges concludes, darkly:

    Cameron, Theresa May and Damian Green have made a good start at controlling immigration. But that�s just a start. More needs to be done to educate the public about the challenge. We need some radical thinking about how we solve it; and we must ask ourselves whether a state that was largely constructed to cope with 50 million people can meet the challenges of 70 million people?

    Really? The logic of this position leads us to China's one-child policy. Is that really what those obsessed with population figures want to see? If not, perhaps they can tell us what the optimal UK population figure might be and how they propose to "cap" the number of people living in this country at that number?

    OK, let us suppose that, ill-advisedly, the government reduces immigration to "zero". What then? Do you, as I say, limit the number of children people may have? Or do you pay people to emigrate so the population remains beneath your arbitrarily-decided "ideal" figure? Would that be enough? Probably not! There could be back-street, clandestine babies born every day!

    Seriously, do these people think a falling population would be a good thing? Perhaps they do. Population decline is rarely the sign of a healthy society. Rarely? Never seems more probable. Factor in the reality that the existing population is increasingly elderly and it becomes clear, surely, that Britain will need more people. The alternative is fewer and fewer workers providing for more and more pensioners and, by doing so, ensuring that their own futures are bleaker than they need be. Suggesting that population growth is so very dangerous is, essentially, to demand much higher taxes on today's teenagers and their future. What's just about that?

    So it's good that Mr and Mrs Bridges are spawning again. But their efforts, no matter how heroic, will not be enough. Which is another reason why immigration is a good thing not the beginning of the end. We need more people so we can cope with the costs of an increasingly wrinkly population.

    This is the self-interested justification for more immigration (since not everyone is as selfless as the Bridges when it comes to healthy birth-rates) though of course there are many other, more altruistic and even noble grounds for welcoming a come-all-ye approach to these matters. To be born or live in Britain is to have access to opportunities and riches that are the stuff of dreams for most of the world's population. We should allow more people from other lands to have those chances.

    That will be good for them and it will be necessary - and good - for us too. Sure, there are problems and strains and pressures associated with immigration and population growth but they're not nearly so terrifying as the prospect of a geriatric and closed society working its few remaining young people to the bone with little to no regard for the future well-being of the people supporting the oldies. Those obsessed by population figures should be asked what they consider to be the ideal worker:retiree ratio.

    Again, and really it cannot be stressed enough, in the developed world a growing population is a mark of success, not failure.

    Still, if you do think there's an imminent population crisis, there is one more option available to you: compulsory euthanasia ten years after you pass the point of average life expectancy. This seems a modest enough proposal, don't you think?

    Obama�s wise investment: Making life easier for 'illegals' ( By DOUG SAUNDERS | Globe and Mail
    Obama playing games with immigration ( By Ruben Navarrette | CNN
    Gutless politicians are broken, not the immigration system ( By Greg Kane | Examiner
    The Muslim-American: reclaiming my identity ( By ARSHAD CHOWDHURY | The Japan Times

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  • mrajatish
    07-08 11:01 AM
    The other posters are correct in that they are telling you that your spouse is covered under section 245k. That is as long as a person hasn't overstayed an I-94 card by more then six months; no major criminal or health issues then everything is reset upon leaving and re-entering USA.

    However; USCIS officers try to find other ways to nail people when a person needs protections such as 245k.

    I have seen a couple of cases where people have had an i-140 denied due to education. They appealed and re-filed another 140 and in the eta 750b they omitted certain education diplomas that were listed in the first application. USCIS then accused them of fraud and a permanent barrier to getting greencard.

    Now; it looks like the officer is going down the same road on your husbands case. Accusing your husband of essentially fraud by claiming that he was working with a company listed in the g-325a biographical information when it appears to uscis that he wasn't working with them. 245k or any other part of immigration law which could protect him becomes difficult to use when they accuse you of fraud.

    To get a better grasp of things; you need to post the RFE's that he received on his original case (don't post general stuff but be specific) and what they are saying now. It will allow people to help you better assess the situation.

    Particularly worried about what you just mentioned about USCIS using other means to deny application - this seems to go against the principle of 245(K) which was to allow folks to get GC irrespective of a violation in the past. If the intent is to not let folks use 245(K), why even publish such a law? MOre importantly, for folks who have been staying and working in a country for many years (read > 5 yrs), it is possible that they might have some glitches and 245(K) was there to cover that (I am not saying every one has gone through this but a lot of people in 2000/01/02 went through this).

    What are the grounds for I-485 denial if my I-140 is approved?

    The followings are the grounds for an I-485 denial.
    a. Some crimes committed by the applicant.
    b. The applicant is out of status or illegally worked for over 180 days.
    c. If the I-140 is employer-sponsored, the applicant changes job before I-485 has been pending for 180 days.
    d. The applicant drastically changes occupation or job field.
    e. The applicant travels abroad without Advance Parole (H/L visa or status is excepted).
    f. The applicant’s failure to RFE or fingerprint.


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  • like_watching_paint_dry
    04-13 10:36 PM
    thanks for the suggestion..I dont have those details..for now its all good..but I was thinking one more time, I will hire an attorney.. :)

    You can try contacting the acquiring company. They usually also have all the records of the company they bought and may be able to give you a letter of employment or a HR contact who can respond to employment verification requests. I did this with my old company which got acquired after I quit, and the acquiring company obliged. They also discovered I had some uncollected pay, which I still need to cash out. :o

    Fortunately, in my case, it never went that far where the IO was verifying all that information. Is this IO processing your G325A document?

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  • sanju
    04-07 05:54 PM
    I wonder if big names like Mircrosoft and others are aware of this. I am sure they will have a huge loss if this bill went through. May be it is time Bill Gates dropped his gloves and fight for us too.

    Bill Gates is very influential but he is one man and can do only so much. I think all the forum members should become active in educating and engaging our friends and employers about this potential disaster.


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  • gapala
    12-18 01:00 PM
    be it Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan Somalia,Darfur,Chechnya, Kashmir, Gujarat... everywhere muslims are killed for being muslims...noone goes to cuba,srilanka,north korea,zimbawe or whereever for watever reason...just imagine God forbid someone comes into your house, occupies it, kills your family, your brothers and sisters in front of you and kicks you out of your home and you are seeing no hope of justice... you wont stand outside your home sending flowers like munna bhai's gandhigiri.. trust me you will become a terrorist.

    How is that they are justified killing innocent public who is not even aware or connected to any of the problems that you have mentioned in your post?

    This is that age old argument and justification for terrorism... Oppressed/suppressed etc... we heard it enough. There is no place on planet earth where muslims enjoy freedom like in India. Reservation in premier education institutions/jobs. subsidized loans for housing etc. They are the only group who even have government (tax payers) funded flights to Macca every year. Still they resort to killing innocent public who are no way connected to the problems that you mentioned in the post. They are not even aware of these problems. (Wrong but easy targets).

    How could you justify these crazy folks?

    They intimidate people everywhere Asia/Europe and revolt against the civic society and institutions, reject the constitution demanding to allow them to follow Sharia and not the constitution. They forget that they are in that country by their own free CHOICE. They are not forced to stay there right?. They were from places where sharia is followed, they moved, due to what ever reason to civic societies and now they would NOT follow the constitution, where is the oppression here? Its their choice. They just create mental barrier for themself in the name of perverted belief system and reject civic society to look different. Its rediculous.

    Again not all the folks in that group support them, but the irony is that folks who are in at the peak of that group have this perverted belief and straight forward folks / good folks keeps mum. Due to fear?

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  • pappu
    04-07 05:35 AM

    There is going to be no difference whether you

    1. Renew your H1 at the same company by filing an extension,
    2. Transfer your H1 to another company by filing a transfer or
    3. File a brand-new cap-subject H1 for someone who has never been on H1.


    For all 3, you have to file the same form I-129 and you get the same 2 forms in return from USCIS : I-797 (and I-94 too unless its an H1 for someone outside USA).

    The first 2 ways are cap exempt, and the last one (brand new) H1 is cap subject.

    But the process is the same. Paperwork is the same. You have to file LCA that shows the address/location of work, nature of work, title, salary etc. So even if you are working at same company, when you file for extension, you have to file a new LCA, that has all information and all that information will DISQUALIFY you if the new law passed and those rules of "consulting is illegal, outplacement at client site is illegal" apply.

    So take this seriously and do not underestimate this.

    And if you work perm-fulltime it will indirectly affect you. Projects are not done in isolation. Most projects have a mix of full-time employees and consultants who are sourced from vendors and H1B recruitors. Projects falter and fail when abruptly some consultants go back to their home countries because their H1s couldnt get extended. And that affects everyone. Job security depends on success of IT or other projects and if you are a part of failed project that was lost half way due to lack of skilled employees, then your job security also diminishes. If you are laid off, then the H1 transfer to a new company would be subject to the new rules under this law.

    Infact, this affects everyone.

    Students looking for new H1B
    Students on OPT
    H1Bs getting extensions
    H4s transferring to H1Bs

    and all H1Bs indirectly and directly

    Because now ALL employers will be hesitant to hire an H1B in ANY field due to such tough laws and lot of paperwork and lot of restrictions.

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  • saveimmigration
    08-05 10:41 PM
    Totally agree. This letter is factually incorrect.
    If you did not like EB3 and felt you are worthy of EB2, they why did you not fight with your HR and Lawyer?
    Why do you want to accuse DOL for the mistakes of your HR and Lawyer. Why don't you write this 'from your heart' letter to your HR and lawyer first? and sue them?

    Agree. Qualifying in a particular category is an individual problem. It cannot be generalized or taken for granted. It is your responsibility to take up the issue individually if you think you are EB2 OR EB1

    01-07 08:21 PM
    Our leaders have no guts to speak to these people.

    You know what is your problem?
    From Ottaman, Genghis khan, Temur, to recently Laden all did terrorism to innocent people. When any person or nation protect this terrorism, you guys calling them terrorist!! Bush senior and Bush junior punish terrorist act, you are calling them terrorist. When Israel give answer, you are calling terrorism. When Narendra Modi react against Muslim terrorism, you calling him Terrorist. You guys only like people who don't give answer like current Indian government.
    Now world has changed attitude. World has decided to compromise on Human right to fight with terrorism. Earlier only Israel has policy but after 911, many countries have policy not to negotiate with Plane Hijackers.

    Now read following Australian PM's statement and call him terrorist. You if don't change your mind set, one day you will find board at every country; "Muslims are not welcome"
    Read this Australian PM's bold statement.

    Prime Minister John Howard - Australia

    Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

    Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.'

    'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom'

    'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society Learn the language!'

    'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'

    'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'

    'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'

    'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'

    12-30 07:20 PM
    In Mumbai, a Place to Showcase an Art Collection ( By AMANA FONTANELLA-KHAN | New York Times

    At Ashiesh Shah’s housewarming party in November, amid clinking champagne flutes, one of his friends joked that his apartment is actually an art gallery in disguise. Looking at the sculpture of a two-foot-long baby made of material from a spinnaker by the Canadian artist Max Streicher suspended above the staircase, any guest to his home might agree.

    Mr. Shah, 32, began collecting art in his 20s when he was still getting his start as an architect. Now he designs interiors for many of the city’s Bollywood actors. But up until last year, he had never had his own space to design. He was living with his parents in an apartment on Mumbai’s scenic Marine Drive.

    It was struggle to find the right space to showcase his art collection in a dense city with soaring real estate prices. “My art is not only two dimensional, it also takes up floor space and in a city like Mumbai, floor space can be just as expensive as art,” Mr. Shah said.

    He looked at more than 40 apartments over seven months, before settling on the one he bought in October 2009, a dark apartment subdivided into several small, boxy rooms in a five-story concrete structure built in the 1960s.

    The 1,075-square-foot apartment was nearly 41 million rupees (about $900,000 at 45 rupees to the dollar) average for an apartment on Peddar Road, a busy arterial in south Mumbai in the affluent Altamount neighborhood. His neighbors include some of his clients, as well as Mukesh Ambani, a business magnate who built a $1 billion 27-story building home, and industrialists like Kumar Mangalam Birla, the chairman of the Aditya Birla Group.

    It took over a year and around 5 million rupees ($110,000) to convert the space from a two-bedroom cramped duplex to an airy one-bedroom studio. Knocking down a total of nine walls, Mr. Sha said, “gave me freedom to place art pieces in a fluid, open space.”

    Still, it wasn’t enough square footage to showcase all of his collection at the same time. As a result, he created a small storage room for pieces not on display, which he rotates into the apartment about every six months. “It means that the art never gets static,” he said.

    But with limited space were opportunities for functional pieces to have artistic elements, as is the case for his staircase. Mr. Shah had initially planned to turn the steps — carved from a solid cube of white Indian marble — into drawers for additional storage, but they were too small. He converted them into what he calls “curious steps” instead. “I am planning to give them out to artists in the future to make commissioned miniature art for them,” he said.

    Other features, such as a partition panel that pulls out from a wall in the living room, have dual functionality, serving as a projection screen for video art and creating a sectioned-off viewing area.

    White epoxy flooring — “Which took three tries to get right,” he says — and white walls on the main floor help create an illusion of greater perceived space, as well as a neutral background for his art collection.

    Mr. Shah also added whimsical elements to “give the flat an element of play,” he said. In the guest bathroom, a light projector positioned above the sink creates pronounced shadows on the walls when people wash their hands. “Guests end up spending those five seconds more in the bathroom and think, ‘That was fun,’ ” Mr. Shah said. He placed a sculpture of obstetric forceps by the Indian artist Anita Dube next to the floating baby that hangs above his stairs.

    Pointing to an antique couch, which he upholstered using a vintage Rajasthani carpet, Mr. Shah said that he made sure the red design motif in the center of the carpet was positioned to resemble a pair of lips.

    “Did you notice that?” he asked. “I did that because this is my gossip couch.”

    Taking on the world ( Times of India Editorial
    Delhi plans Tate Modern-style gallery in old power station
    Ambitious project in Indian capital involves dismantling parts of the Indraprastha power plant beside banks of Yamuna river (
    By Jason Burke
    Delhi to build its own Tate Modern on banks of Yamuna ( By Barney Henderson | Daily Telegraph
    Indian Citibank 'fraudster' arrested ( BBC

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