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Dear Editor:

For several months and years, I have kept silent on the face of increasing acts of wickedness, frustration and unfairness heaped out on H-1B holders. I will attempt to lay out my points clearly without showing any hints of the enormous anger I feel at all these unguarded and wicked bills that seem to get passed one after the other.

Why is the whole country trying to take out all the woes of failed immigration policies out on H-1B holders? We are not the reason for the countries immigration problems. Why are we being made scapegoats?

First and foremost, a great deal of us left lucrative jobs to take the H-1B jobs due to several reasons (some which include higher challenges, better experience base, better remunerations) and promises of a better and more productive life while working in the USA.

It takes a lot of commitment to leave your job and familiar life to come to the USA. Sometimes we had to sell off acquired property because of the unnecessary cost of keeping another home in the home country (everybody even American citizens moving from city to city here in the USA does that out of wisdom).

On reaching the USA, there is hardly a convenient transportation system in place. That means, the working H-1B holder needs a car. Official cars or pool cars are unavailable in the companies here unlike Europe. So how does he get one? He gets it like everyone else, from a car company, covered by a financial institution and usually financed for a 5-year period. He is encouraged and usually required to get credit cards like everyone else (further fueling the economy). He rents an apartment and buys furniture using credit cards like everyone else, usually financed for 2 years or more.

He works hard, updating himself and studying hard to stay ahead of the ever changing technological industry. He is well-paid for it. Please do not forget, that getting paid well also means paying taxes well. Some people (including myself) pay as much as $20,000.00 a year in federal and state income taxes and other deductions, etc.

We are the least likely people to commit any crime at all, due to our educational base, self-sufficiency and hard-working nature of our jobs. We pay taxes like everyone else and are probably the largest group of people that pay a high percentage income tax. We don't take from the economy, WE ADD TO IT. Why are we being persecuted so much? Many people just take buck shot at H-1B holders and blame them for everything, from high cost of gasoline to global warming.

Despite having long-term financial commitments (car notes, etc.), if laid off, we are expected to leave the country within 10 days. What about the car, teh other credit card payments? Can anyone sell a car in 10 days and get a good deal for it? By leaving within 10 days, the H-1B holders credit rating is almost definitely destroyed if he doesn't meet his financial obligations. (adversely affecting American financial institutions).

Many political bigots who flex their muscles on H-1B holders seem content to let other categories of people (asylum seekers, Visa lottery holders, etc.) come here, obtain a green card, etc. A lot of these people actually take more from the system than add to it, but that is the topic of this discussion Every Man deserves to pursue their dreams especially if it doesnít impede otherís dreams.

I hardly hear these political bigots mention a word about the latter category of people. I have nothing against those people. But if these people live here under lenient and relaxed laws, allowing them the opportunity to even live here permanently, why is the H-1B holder persecuted so much? A lot of time spent worrying by H-1B holders about what happens next if the sponsoring company goes under, can be better spent on improving themselves and increasing their productivity.

All the tenets of the American fair system are highly turned against the H-1B holder. Why? With the new propositions in the pipeline, it means he cannot even buy property, buy into 401K or make long time investments since he will not be able to have a green card or stay longer than 3 years if the next set of prepositions pass. He is only allowed to contribute to the economy but reap no significant benefits from it except being able to visit malls, watch movies and eat burgers. Seems to me like the good old days when slaves were allowed to work in sugarcane plantations but had their lips padlocked so they could only work and not taste the fruits of their labor.

But let me further correct the wrong notion these political bigots have. Just because a man gets a green card does not mean he will live here forever or will be a burden on the economy.

Are they just plain selfish that they think the exclusivity of their citizenship is only preserved if others are not allowed to co-habit their country? People have green cards and still relocate back after a few years. If a study is conducted today, I bet over 70% of H-1B holders plan to return home in the next 6-8 years anyway. That way, we have as much experience and contacts, credit and go back home to start a business or head a business. Guess who will get the business of those firms the H-1B holder heads. American Businesses.

If only the INS and the government will look into the future. That will even further guarantee that long after the US markets may get saturated, there will be new frontiers for the American businesses to explore. Everybody wins. All these immigration muscle-flexing against the H-1B holder is at best myopic and ill-conceived. We donít deserve all these treatment. Will it require a class-action suit someday for us to get treated fairly? A 10-day grace period is ludicrous and very mean. A rethink is fair.

H-1B holders never complain, why? I donít know. We just take it in our stride and move on and hope for the best. Thatís why we constantly get harassed and treated shabbily.

Some people left big firms overseas like Citibank, Coca Cola, Chevron, Schlumberger, etc. after many years of service, job stability and promising prospects of career advancements to take these jobs without knowing of the precarious situations that exist with living in the US as a H-1B holder. For many, it has turned to a living hell since they cannot often go back to those jobs in third-world countries where such high-profile jobs are very hard to come by, thereby losing years of hard-work and progress. Caught between a rock and a hard place. The irony is that many had the option of an also sucessful professional life in their home country, had they not left it and come here. It would be a bitter and hard new beginning for them if they went back now just like that having acheived NOTHING here but some more experience. OUCH!!!

With the now slightly changed economic situation, the real victims are the shareholders that lost money in the capital market and the H-1B holder who were laid off as a result. The H-1B holders are left without any protection whatsoever but a 10-day grace period to leave the country and a ruined credit history. A parting gift from the USA government to thank him and reward him having left his home country and dreams, to contributing to the booming US economy.

H-1B Visa Holder


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