Friday, July 8, 2011

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  • Macaca
    05-11 05:34 PM
    Catching Scent of Revolution, China Moves to Snip Jasmine ( By ANDREW JACOBS and JONATHAN ANSFIELD | New York Times

    Do not be lulled by its intoxicating fragrance or the dainty, starlike blossoms whose whiteness suggests innocence and purity. Jasmine, a stalwart of Chinese tea and the subject of a celebrated folk song often heard while on hold with provincial bureaucrats, is not what it seems.

    Since Tunisian revolutionaries this year anointed their successful revolt against the country�s dictatorial president the �Jasmine Revolution,� this flowering cousin of the olive tree has been branded a nefarious change-agent by the skittish men who keep the Chinese Communist Party in power.

    Beginning in February, when anonymous calls for a Chinese �Jasmine Revolution� began circulating on the Internet, the Chinese characters for jasmine have been intermittently blocked in text messages while videos of President Hu Jintao singing �Mo Li Hua,� a Qing dynasty paean to the flower, have been plucked from the Web. Local officials, fearful of the flower�s destabilizing potency, canceled this summer�s China International Jasmine Cultural Festival, said Wu Guangyan, manager of the Guangxi Jasmine Development and Investment Company.

    Even if Chinese cities have been free from any whiff of revolutionary turmoil, the war on jasmine has not been without casualties, most notably the ever-expanding list of democracy advocates, bloggers and other would-be troublemakers who have been pre-emptively detained by public security agents. They include the artist provocateur Ai Weiwei, who remains in police custody after being seized at Beijing�s international airport last month.

    Less well known are the tribulations endured by the tawny-skinned men and women who grow ornamental jasmine here in Daxing, a district on the rural fringe of the capital. They say prices have collapsed since March, when the police issued an open-ended jasmine ban at a number of retail and wholesale flower markets around Beijing.

    Zhen Weizhong, 47, who tends 2,000 jasmine plants on about an acre of rented land here, said the knee-high potted variety was wholesaling at about 75 cents, one-third last year�s price. �Even if I could sell them, I would lose money on every plant,� he said, glancing forlornly at a mound of unsold bushes whose blossoms were beginning to fade. Asked if he knew about the so-called Jasmine Revolution and whether it had played a role in collapsing demand, Mr. Zhen shrugged. �I don�t know anything about politics,� he said. �I don�t have time to watch television.�

    Much like the initial calls on the Internet for protesters to �stroll silently holding a jasmine flower,� the floral ban is shrouded in some mystery. The Beijing Public Security Bureau declined to answer questions about jasmine. But a number of cut flower and live-plant business owners said they had been either visited by the police in early March or given directives indicating that it had become contraband.

    Several of those who run stalls in one large plant outlet, the Sunhe Beidong flower market, said the local police had called vendors to a meeting and forced them to sign pledges to not carry jasmine; one said she had been instructed to report to the authorities those even seeking to purchase jasmine and to jot down their license plate numbers. (She said she had yet to detect any subversives seeking to buy jasmine at her stall.)

    Although some vendors were given vague explanations for the jasmine freeze � that the plant was �symbolic� of those people who wanted to sow rebellion � most people involved in the flower trade have been largely left in the dark about why they should behave with such vigilance, and some professed ignorance of the ban altogether. Thanks to a censored Internet, most Chinese have never heard of the protest calls in China, nor are they aware of the ensuing crackdown.

    In the absence of concrete information, fantastic rumors have taken root. One wholesale flower vendor at the Jiuzhou Flower and Plant Trading Center in southern Beijing said he heard the ban had something to do with radiation contamination from Japan. A young woman hawking floral bouquets at Laitai, a large flower market near the United States Embassy, said she was told jasmine blossoms contained some unspecified poison that was killing people. �Perhaps you�d like some white roses instead?� she asked hopefully.

    Wu Chuanzhen, 53, a farmer who tends eight greenhouses of jasmine on the outskirts of the city, said other growers had insisted that adherents of Falun Gong, the banned spiritual movement deemed an �evil cult� by the authorities, might use the flowers in their bid to overthrow the governing Communist Party. �I heard jasmine is the code word for the revolution,� she said. Her laughter suggested she thought such concerns were absurd.

    Many sellers, however, were less than eager to discuss jasmine with a foreigner, particularly at the Sunhe Beidong market, where a policeman could be seen last month nosing around the bouquets. Most quickly steered the conversation to more promising topics. �You don�t want to buy jasmine. It�s just not trendy this year,� said one clerk at the Laitai market, pointing to pots of lavender and rosemary.

    As is often the case in China, controls have a tendency to wilt in the face of mercantile pressures. After two months with little sign of jasmine at the markets, a few vanloads of the plants, their branches thick with blossoms, began to show up at wholesale centers last week. They were priced so low, the buyers could not resist. One retailer, who asked that only her surname, Cui, be printed, acknowledged that the original order had not been officially lifted but that the authorities had yet to interfere.

    Another vendor waved away talk of revolution and broke into a rendition of �Mo Li Hua,� a version of which was played each time medals were presented during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing:

    A beautiful jasmine flower,

    A beautiful jasmine flower,

    Perfumed blossoms fill the branch,

    Fragrant and white for everyone�s delight.

    Let me come and pick a blossom

    To give to someone,

    Jasmine flower, oh jasmine flower.

    US lambasts Chinese repression of dissidents as 'trying to stop history' ( By Clifford Coonan | Independent
    Chinese Crackdown on Domestic Critics Extends to Writer Barred From Traveling ( By KEITH BRADSHER | New York Times
    A Cardinal's Warning on China ( By MARY KISSEL | Wall Street Journal
    China: A sharper focus ( By Jamil Anderlini and Kathrin Hille | Financial Times
    Fire and Ice
    Ai Weiwei�s cutting edge art, blogging, and sacrifice on behalf of freedom in China. (
    By Jed Perl | The New Republic
    The Great Firewall of China ( The Washington Times Editorial
    Anish Kapoor Dedicates Art Work to Ai Weiwei ( By Margherita Stancati and Josh Chin | IndiaRealTime
    A Tale of Nanjing Atrocities That Spares No Brutal Detail ( By MANOHLA DARGIS | New York Times

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  • alterego
    11-21 05:37 PM
    This man is truly delusional and ignorant and a total propaganda machine.
    Tonight he is stating that India is going to transfer sensitive nuclear technology that it will get from the USA through the nuclear deal to China.
    Does he even realise India got its ass kicked in a border war with China in the past, and that India and China share a border so that it rather than the US faces a more imminent danger from an all conquering and enabled nation.
    What a moron. Tonight I realised the extent of his hillbilly journalism. All he is after is ratings, he chats pure S#*&. Harvard ought to be ashamed of him.

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  • RDB
    03-24 03:40 PM
    And because of the huge population (of Indians), that 20% looks like a huge number!

    Isnt that true? If you are in the IT industry for the past 10 years you know it is true.
    We, Indians are the ones who has mastered the art of circumventing the H1B process and screwing up the job market. Fake Resumes, Fake References, not working in the state where you are approved, somebody appearing in the phone interview and somebody else showing up in the Face to Face interview and what not.

    I am not tainting the whole community here, and i am one of you. I agree that atleast 80% of us are Genuine, hardworking candidates. There are few chosen individuals(rest 20%) who did unethical & immoral things for their own good and we are the ones who are paying the price for this whole mess. You can chose to deny this fact and live in a world of denial.

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  • pns27
    07-14 02:22 AM
    Disclaimer: I am an EB3-Indian with a PD of Oct 2003.

    Delax: I agree entirely with what you are saying. Your arguments are 100% valid. The part that I don't get is why are you trying so desperately hard to convince EB3-Indians that their letter campaign lacks merit?

    Remember, a drowning man will clutch on to a straw for hope. You are like a sailor in a boat trying to tell the drowning man that a straw is no good. So, if you cannot get Eb3-Indians to see your point-of-view, just lay off this thread. Do you really expect all EB3-Indians to say "Thanks to delax, we now see the folly of our arguments. Let's stop this irrational effort, and instead just do nothing!"

    I can assure you that despite being an EB3-Indian, I am not participating in this campaign. Because I know that it is a ridiculous argument to expect PD to take preference over skills. And honestly, I cannot come up with a single rational reason to demand a GC for me over any EB1 or EB2 applicant.

    To all you EB3-Indians, chisel this into your brain: The US immigration system wants EB1 first, then EB2 and then EB3. It doesn't matter what your qualifications are or what the profession is...what matters is in which employment-based category was your LC filed. If you think, you are skilled enough, then stop wasting time in arguing with EB2 folks. Use your skills to apply for EB1 (which is current) or EB2 and get your GC fast. Otherwise, get this chiselled into your head as well: You are less skilled than EB2 and EB1 (purely on the basis of the LC category), so it makes 100% sense that US will give you the lowest priority. Period.

    As I wrote earlier, I'm an EB3-Indian as well. Only differences being, I have still maintained my sanity, and I have the patience to wait for IV to deliver the official guidance on proceeding further.

    Hi kutra,

    Good post I can understand what you want to do here, you are diffusing the tensions between EB2 and EB3. I hope many more people write posts like you and I appreciate it. But factually what you said is not correct "The US immigration system wants EB1 first, then EB2 and then EB3".

    What I am posting here I sent the same in private messages to some other members and it helped to diffuse this bad arguments between EB3 and EB2 folks.. I am posting here because I thought with this I can give the right(my?) perspective on this and bring some �sanity� to these arguments.

    Here is my take on this EB1, EB2 and EB3.

    Out of the total 140K each EB group gets equal quota of 33.33%. So if each EB group gets equal quota of 33.33%, then what and where is the priority? EB1, EB2 and EB3 are just groups, it just means that US need these categories of jobs to be filled by immigrant workers.

    By definition always number applications filed in EB3>EB2>EB1 there is no argument there. And the waiting time also will be EB3>EB2>EB1. That is fair, there is no competition here across groups, each have a quota and its own queue, every one competes with in the group.

    If first, all(9K Ind)(140K Total) Visas are given to E1 and any leftover are given to EB2 and then any leftover from EB2 are given to EB3 then you can say the priority is EB1>EB2>EB3. The spillover that to from a particular preference has priority I understand. But at the least every group will get its 33.33% if those many category applications are present in that group.

    Yes, unused ROW EB1 go EB2 and then to EB3. Yes unused ROW EB2 and ROW EB3 and to EB3. That makes sense and it dos not contradict what I am saying. Now EB2 is special case that there are lots of EB2 India applications are pending so they get only the spillover from EB1.

    I agree with you on your statement below, and I feel the same way. Looks like if either Eb2 or EB3 is mentioned in a thread it turning into a bad arguments between EB2 and EB3 hope this ends soon.
    As I wrote earlier, I'm an EB3-Indian as well. Only differences being, I have still maintained my sanity, and I have the patience to wait for IV to deliver the official guidance on proceeding further.


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  • ksvreg
    03-23 02:21 PM
    People who got GC are not facing any waves. That is why we need to get GC asap. If we struck in the GC process though we have a strong profile (careerwise, w2wise, taxwise, educationwise etc), we need to face waves like recession wave, backlog/perm wave, merging wave, economy wave, I140premium/nopremium wave, bipart wave, 2001 eb3stuck wave, magic visa bulletin wave, technology wave, visa stamping wave, uscis reform wave, dol wave, bulletin wave..

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  • Macaca
    03-04 06:04 PM
    Over the next five weeks, The Washington Post will tell Gerald Cassidy's story in a unique way. On Monday, the series will jump to the newspaper's Web site,, to begin a 25-chapter serial narrative that will describe how Cassidy built his business, how he made the deals that earned his millions, how he and his fellow-lobbyists influenced decisions of government and helped create the money-centric culture of modern Washington.


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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 06:00 PM
    Are they poor? I doubt, this is luxury!

    "... at least two of his four wives, as well as several of his children ...

    Mr Rayyan, a professor of Islamic law, .... his five-storey home ... He had been an advocate of men having up to four wives and as many children as possible,...

    He had vowed that Hamas would go on to seize control of the West Bank from Fatah, as it had done with Gaza in a week of street battles in June 2007. He accused the Western-backed Fatah leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, of collaborating with Israel, a charge that normally means execution in Hamas's rough justice

    I am not talking about who is right and who is wrong. What i am saying is "whole world is watching while genocide happens in palestine". thats it.

    See when Georgia attacked its neighboring state, Russia came for its rescue. Every nation, every leader condemn the Russian aggression against Georgia. I don't know who is right and who is wrong. But all the world leaders urged the killer to stop killing.

    Thats not happening in this case. When UN try to bring a resolution on cease-fire, so called peace loving leader veto it. What does it mean? Doesn't it mean its a green signal for killing and murdering?

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  • desi3933
    08-05 04:06 PM
    Of course porting is derived from law!
    As I was pointing out earlier, this debate has become warperd. The question is about porting with BS+5, not porting per se. I believe the BS+5 came from a legacy INS memo after a lawsuit or something. Perhaps we should ask the question on one of the attorney forums.

    This does not apply. As long as BS+5 years progressive post-baccalaureate experience is ok for EB-2, the priority date recapture is as per law.

    US Permanent Resident since 2002


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  • satishku_2000
    05-16 11:28 PM
    The greater danger in life is not that we set our aims too high and fail, but we set them too low and still do � Michelangelo

    Your aim is to not get fired. You want to buy an insurance policy to a secure job as if you are the only one entitled to have a job. This is a lower aim so you are bound to fail i.e. lose your job.

    And how do you define �replacing some American workers�. There is a plant in Yuma, AZ manufacturing aircrafts for Kingfisher airlines in India. Doesn�t this mean that someone in India is being replaced by American worker???? Maybe we should stop all trade and we should have all needs of one country fill within its borders. Maybe we should say � from now on no one is going to do any business, collaboration, partnership and place orders to companies outside of the borders of the country where you live.

    The best argument of restrictionist is either talk about no H-1B or green cards or talk about unlimited H-1Bs and green cards as if the extremes make the only reality in this world. Have you ever seen numbers like 290,000 or maybe 450,000. These are called whole numbers in mathematics and reside somewhere between ZERO and INFINITY/UNLIMITED.

    Stop bickering in the name of American people. More than 99% Americans don�t even know what is H-1B visa or employment based green card. And one more thing, people�s opinion is the most foolish thing to look at when making a decision. Do you remember the % of people in favor of Iraq war in 2002? - More than 70%
    Do you know how many people are in favor of pulling out of Iraq now, putting all the blame on the Administration? � around 70%
    Do you know the % of �American people� saying that they screwed up by supporting the war in 2002? � 0%
    No one would come out to say the nations and millions of people got screwed up due to "MY" twisted ideology in 2002. So let�s keep this argument of �American People� out of this debate.

    In free market and capitalist economy, the measure of productivity doesn�t come from some lawmaker who is out of sink with reality or from the ideology of orgs like IEEE-USA or from posters like you. The measure of productivity comes from the employers and the companies. And if that is how it works best for the economy, society and the nation, then so be it. That is the reason why this society is more advanced. You may be afraid of such a situation but I am not scared of a scenario where someone who can perform a better job, either a citizen or on H-1B, takes my job. But that is ok, your way of thinking is all based on the premises that every one out there is after you and some how you have to eliminate this competition at the soonest.

    You have used the argument of abuse, productivity, economy, outsourcing, country of origin and the color of Dick Morris� underwear - to argue against H-1B and to come extent green card number increase. Time and again I have said that this is not about H-1B. We, the people on this forum, want to discuss about GREEN CARD BACKLOGS. But you want to keep the discussion away from green card backlog and want the discussion be in the arena of H-1B. I must share with you that I have received atleast 7 different private messages telling me to �not waste my time with idiot like yourself�.
    Like you ass, you keep your views and your opinions with yourself. Don�t poke your ass and your views into a place where they don�t belong. And please stop worrying about being displaced by someone else on H-1B. You have not even gotten green card and you have already turned into a restrictionist. Please wait for sometime and there will be enough time and opportunity for you to join the ranks of IEEE-USA. This makes me to think that there are 2 possibilities:
    1.) You have very low self esteem and you think very lowly about yourself. Thus you are scared of the competition
    2.) You are not capable enough or technically sound to compete with other around you. And just like IEEE-USA you are looking for ways to eliminate your future probable competition using words/phrases like �displacement of US workers�.

    I tried to explain this guy Senthil that I already proved in form of permanent labor certificate and I 140 petition that I am not displacing any american worker and why I have to prove the same fact for every renewal and he comes with a logic that GC is for future job and H1b is for current job. But you know what my GC application was filed very well in the past ...:) , I mean more than 3 years ago ...

    Somehow some people think they are better than every one else in the crowd and things dont go wrong for them because they have either a particular degree or work in a so called permanent Job .

    These guys are in more alignment with view of ALIPAC and Numbers USA where people think some elses loss is my gain. Having said that reasonable people disagree these guys are totally unreasonable or they are totally out of touch with reality .

    These guys love Mr Durbin so much who dont see any problem with illegal immigration at all ....I would call this height of hypocrosy.

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  • Macaca
    02-27 08:12 AM
    Thank You, Mr. Chairman (

    If it's good to be a Democrat on K Street these days, it's even better to be a Democrat who once worked for a current chairman of a congressional tax-writing committee. That's clearly where the money is.

    Timothy E. Punke, a former trade aide to Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) of the Senate Finance Committee, was named a partner of Monument Policy Group, a lobbying firm. His new clients include heavyweights such as Microsoft and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

    Former Baucus chief of staff Jeffrey A. Forbes of Cauthen Forbes & Williams also has a slew of new clients. They include Merck, Genentech, Ford and Intuit.

    William A. Signer, a former staffer to Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) of the House Ways and Means Committee, has a new job -- managing director of health-care and tax practices at Carmen Group. "His experience in understanding Chairman Rangel's goals and motivations are invaluable to clients," said David M. Carmen, president of the firm. Signer's ties to Rangel, Carmen added, were "definitely a factor" in his hiring.


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  • willwin
    07-13 04:48 PM
    I agree! Guys, can some one who is good in drafting letter like this one come forward and volunteer?

    The person, can either take inputs and then draft a letter or come up his/her own and then look for suggestions.


    Aadimanav, mirage and pani_6, do you guys wanna run with this?

    Or any other volunteers?

    Come up with a draft and then share with rest of us.

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  • bkarnik
    08-11 01:59 PM
    A man met a beautiful blonde lady and decided he wanted to marry her right away.

    She said, 'But we don't know anything about each other.'

    He said, 'That's all right, we'll learn about each other as we go along.'
    So she consented, they were married, and off they went on a honeymoon at a very nice resort.

    One morning they were lying by the pool, when he got up off of his towel, climbed up to the 10 meter board and did a two and a half tuck, followed by three rotations in the pike position, at which point he straightened out and cut the water like a knife.

    After a few more demonstrations, he came back and lay down on the towel.
    She said, 'That was incredible!'

    He said, 'I used to be an Olympic diving champion. You see, I told you we'd learn more about each other as we went along.'

    So she got up, jumped in the pool and started doing lengths.

    After seventy -five lengths she climbed out of the pool, lay down on her towel, and was hardly out of breath.

    He said, 'That was incredible! Were you an Olympic endurance swimmer?'

    'No,' she said, 'I was a prostitute in Memphis but I worked both sides of the Mississippi .


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  • puddonhead
    06-26 04:43 PM
    All your calculations are meaningless if the house price keeps going down 20% like the past few years. We will reach a point where the house price crash stops and starts to stabilize. That point is couple of years away. Until then, we can ignore the rent vs mortgage calculations.

    Well - your approach smells of speculation, which is pretty dangerous!!

    I take the following approach

    Left Side: Add my rent

    Right Side: Add all my expenses (mortgage + maintenance + tax)

    As soon as Left > right - it is a time to buy.

    If you get to the nitti-gritties - it can get very complicated. e.g. you usually put 20% down. Plus the principal payment is technically not "expenditure" - it is "investment in your home equity". Owning means you lose flexibility. It is impossible to put numbers against all these.

    However, my personal "estimate"/"Tipping point" (taking into account the loss of flexibility etc) is when I have positive cash flow from owning (i.e. rent > mortgage + tax + maintenance). Some very successful RE investors I know take the same approach and are very successful.

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  • trueguy
    07-13 03:04 AM
    Sorry .. I don't understand ... You are complaining to DOS for USCIS and DOL discrepancies ? They don't care ..different departments really..

    Had they cared July fiasco wouldn't have happened...

    This is the first time, EB3-I is speaking up. Please don't stop us.

    DOS and USCIS both are tied together. I think we should send this letter to both DOS and USCIS and request them to distribute spillover numbers equally between EB3 and EB2 category or similar.



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  • gc28262
    03-24 04:07 PM
    No, they figured out that it is consulting companies that are exploiting loopholes.

    1) Tell me what proof you have that ALL consulting companies are complying with H-1B requriements.

    2) Is benching that happens in consulting legal? Is paying salary according to prevailing wages in Maine and sending the contractor to work in Manhattan legal? Please tell me how these practises by desi consulting firms are legal.

    And you're telling me I am ignorant! You're funny :D

    1. Why don't you give me the proof that ALL consulting companies are not complying. You are the one who is making the argument. Do you have any statistics to prove that ? Do you know all the consulting companies in US ? Do you know all the companies that directly hire H1 ? Do you know their compliance statistics ?

    2. Did I say any of these are legal ? If a company applies for H1B, the company has to comply with the requirements of the law. It is that simple. It doesn't matter whether it is a consulting company or a direct placement.

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  • srkamath
    07-13 02:04 PM
    First off, we are here to get our GC faster so the effort is commendable. ...........

    The old interpretation was too complex to be correct..... between 2000 and 2007 it resulted in EB-2 getting shortchanged. EB3 approvals were more than DOUBLE of EB2 during those years.

    2000 - 2007 Average
    33,000 EB2 / year
    83,000 EB3 / year

    There are simply too many EB3 cases compared to the visas available.

    EB2 may have been less retrogressed the last 3 years if the DOS had interpreted the law correctly. Visa numbers were mean to - SPREAD OUT, THEN SPILLED OVER downwards.

    Prior to April-08, i don't ever EB2 applicants complaining about getting shortchanged - they understand the pain of someone having to wait for a decade to get a GC and probably didn't mind getting shortchanged.

    Again - this is not about fairness, justice, merits of the applicants. It is about giving US employers the ability to fill posts when & where Americans are not available or willing.


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  • gccovet
    01-07 10:53 AM
    I know I am beating dead horse, awakening this thread again. I am going to get lots of RED but I don't care.

    Paksitan govt. says the provided proof are not solid enough. lol!!!

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  • mallu
    01-28 02:46 PM
    Why should anybody listen to this guy? This guy doesnt really represent the facts.

    The fact is that he is against IMMIGRATION of any form. I am sure he denies the fact that fore-fathers were immigrants and came from a distant land.

    That is surely amnesia. What to say, one of my desi coworker who who got his citizenship recently has started "Why we need more people" . When asked about his case, "mine was different, because of y2k etc there were great demand around 1999-2000".

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  • Macaca
    05-01 06:10 PM
    Integrating immigrants ( By Urvashi Butalia | The Express Tribune

    A few days ago, quite by chance, I happened to find myself at lunch with a member of the British political establishment. For a while, the conversation remained desultory and ranged over the usual subjects � India, economic growth, food, Indian business in Britain and so on. And then, suddenly, things began to heat up. We found ourselves talking about immigrant communities in the West. What began as a general discussion on whether and how immigrant communities �integrate� into the culture of the adopted country, turned specifically to discussing Indians and Pakistanis in Britain.

    Why was it, our host asked, that there was such a strong attachment to the home culture and, in many cases, such a resistance to integrating. In many places, he pointed out, immigrants even refused to learn the language of their adoptive country, in this case English, and this then meant that they could not move into the mainstream economic sphere, and they thus remained economically backward. He pointed to many stories he had heard, especially of Pakistanis, who could go through 16 years of schooling in Britain without learning English, or even showing a desire to learn it. And what mystified him even more was that these were not first generation immigrants who still carried the memory of the homeland with them, these were children born and raised in Britain, and for them there was no such memory to hold on to.

    The politician�s concern was quite genuine. How do you deal with your political constituencies if one set of them always elects to stay �outside�? But I�m not sure the reasons he gave � he pinpointed only the reluctance to learn the language � are adequate to explain what is increasingly becoming a problem in diasporic communities. For too long, migration, � or rather voluntary migration, when people go out in search of jobs or better lives � has been looked upon somewhat askance, especially if it is people from the erstwhile Third World countries moving to the so-called developed world. It�s almost as if, in seeking to improve their lives by going elsewhere, these people are doing something not quite right.

    This attitude towards immigrants holds both for the home country and the adoptive one � in one you are seen as a deserter and in the other as, at best, an unwelcome guest. So the onus of making yourself feel at home, of acquiring a new identity, of �integrating�, is put upon the immigrant. Whatever services the state provides seem almost to be given reluctantly, and are often accompanied by a discourse � not a state discourse but an independent one, which makes it that much more difficult to address � of resentment, anger, prejudice and, sometimes, just sheer envy. None of this encourages immigrants to try and integrate, rather it pushes them in the opposite direction.

    And then, if there�s already a community in existence, as there is virtually everywhere in England and America, you tend to remain within it, not seeking to enter a world that you feel is hostile to you. And you have to be driven to the wall to protest because protest means mobilisation, it means numbers, it means making yourself vulnerable, it means tackling the strength of an increasingly coercive state. Small wonder then, that most immigrant communities duck their heads and carry on doing their own thing.

    It isn�t only their relationship with the adoptive country that is problematic, but, especially for first generation immigrants, it�s very important to keep the connection with home, and to ensure that subsequent generations keep it too. This, as has often been seen, results in a somewhat static idea of what things are like at �home� and has also often led to a more dangerous phenomenon; the tacit support and the very real funding provided by diasporic communities to right-wing movements at home � there�s plenty of evidence of this and I don�t need to go into it here.

    But let me come back to our politician and his concerns. Why should South Asian immigrant communities in Britain be reluctant to learn English? There�s little doubt today that the world over, English has become the language of social mobility, and there�s a widespread desire to learn it. At home, in both our countries, as we know, institutes offering to teach English have sprung up everywhere and they are always fully subscribed. So what is it that holds Indians and Pakistanis in Britain back from this?

    My own sense is that we�re asking the wrong questions here. The question isn�t about whether people wish to learn English or not. Rather, it is much more about how immigrant communities are made to feel at home, about their rights and privileges, about their sense of self. One might just as well ask: What has the state done to help such communities integrate? Have Diwali and Eid for example, become part of the national calendar? Are there community centres and pubs and coffee places that are self-consciously and deliberately multicultural and that encourage people to sit together and talk? Have governments thought of new and innovative ways of ensuring that their �other� citizens have the same rights and privileges as their mainstream citizens, and that they know these rights belong to them?

    Dealing with difference isn�t always easy. Where do you draw the line? How far do you encourage and sustain difference and how far do you try to homogenise things? As the French move to ban the veil has shown, coercion is no answer. People have to be convinced of the logic and reason for change, they have to feel it works for them. How would it be if we insisted that foreign men in our countries had to wear either the dhoti or the awami suit? Much better, perhaps, to engage people in dialogue, to sit down and talk, and to find a solution that works for everyone. I�m not sure what message our politician took back to England with him, but it certainly wasn�t one that blamed communities for not integrating, instead it was one that looked at the question of integration as one from which both sides, if one can say that, gained.

    04-06 02:08 AM
    Excellent analysis Jung.lee

    Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti

    I couldn't control my laughter. You have a good sense of humor too people wear lungi at home in winter !! May be in the temperate climates of bay area and further down in So Cal :)

    But up here in North Cal (Roseville), where quite a few times the lawns freeze during early winter mornings, I feel cold even with full length fleece pants inside my home!! :D . But anyway, that might just be my excuse to not wear a lungi :) ....Never liked wearing it when I was growing up as well...preferred pajamas !

    06-07 04:56 PM
    The above story should not come as a shock to anyone. This is just economics laws coming to to play. This keep going until the market finds it equilibrium point, where there are enough people that can afford the supply. This can happen in 2 ways. either income rises for people to afford the prices or prices fall low enough for people to buy. High skilled immigration can provide answers in scenario 1, low skilled immigration may be an answer in scenario 2.

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