Immigration Voice

Immigration Voice (
-   Sept 18th Rally: Car-pooling, Group Reservations for Air travel, hotel etc. (
-   -   Rally Memories - part 1 : WHO MET WHO ? HOW DID YOU FEEL (

chanduv23 09-19-2007 01:32 PM

We had our fun while driving - we had a new IV member, Naveen's friend a doctor who just came from India a month back and trying for residency. His name is Arun.

Now Mr Arun missed Indian food as he does not get it where he lives and was kinda home sick. We stopped over in the Edison area and packed some junk food.


Green06 09-19-2007 01:35 PM

Thanks to IV Core
I am part of MN Chapter and attended the rally. It was a wonderful experience. I am proud to part of IV family and I am sure that lawmakers will listen to our voice. It was also exciting to see faces behind the IV names.

Keep up the good work IV

Meenal 09-19-2007 01:38 PM

putting face to the ivhandle
Can you PM me your real name. I have a feeling, I know you by your real name.
Meenal (ivhandle : beenwaiting)


Originally Posted by srikondoji (Post 169185)
I and manish flew monday morning sept 17th on a short notice to attend 11:30AM appointment and then again at 3:30 PM with nagaraj.
We had 2 more appointments on 18th with NH senators.
All the meetings were great and one them exceeded 30 minute schedule to 50 minutes.

It was great to meet all the members like aman, jay, paskal, kanika, meenal, nagaraj, pappu, gopal etc.

Paskal: Where is my beer?
Gopal: "Don't shoot the messenger" in the situation room.
jay: Speech pointing fingure to capitol hill behind him. "We are here on offence".
Mike: Step1 to step 5 entertainment

These are some, but not all, of the memorable things in DC.

I really had to mention pappu seperately.
He is a dedicated person to this cause and needs special mention. I really enjoyed his company in the bus on our return journey to NH. We shooted all possible questions and got convincing answers.

Thanks again for the wonderful experience.
It was a true vacation.:eek::eek:

checklaw 09-19-2007 02:37 PM

Excellent life-time experience!
The IV bus journey from NJ was very well planned and executed. All I had to do as a "participant" was indeed to just hop fine print! On the bus and at the rally made some wonderful friends.

singhsa3, mpada and everyone who may have worked on the NJ/NY bus logistics, you have been excellent! Thank you IV core for providing this convenience.

IV handle "laborchic" who was on our NJ bus co-coordinating the minute details of to and fro journey with help from another selfless soul "amit_sp”, superbly handled stopovers, timings, ensuring that we reached rally on time and also more importantly that 'No child (read registered bus member) was left behind' and keeping driver happy etc....

Special thoughts also go to whoever came up and arranged the idea of the Gurudwara stopover during the forward journey. It was simply superb! We were able to catch up some sleep there and were fresh for the rally. The host at the the Gurudwara was most gracious. The facilities were good. We were grateful for the lovely breakfast and tea that was served.

The rally was very well organized, right to the minutest details. It was a wonderful effort from some really tired but focused and determined looking volunteer folks whom I saw scrambling around while we participants had it easy. During the rally got a good view of the Capitol Hill and other spots. The cops on motorbikes, cars and bicycles monitoring our procession looked an awesome sight. But that paled compared to the feeling of camaraderie and friendship that was overwhelming all of us folks in white IV T shirts.

Also saw faces behind IV handles, the core and other ever active ones, and found out that they were just like me, two hands two legs.... no horns or feathers. Realization then struck that what probably differentiated them from a lot of us was simply that they have reacted to the same problems you and I have in a smart, constructive and selfless manner.

This is what I could remember and share with few of you who unfortunately could not make it and a whole lot of you who did not make it. To the latter, the feeling of high I have now from having acted upon my normal demons is something I am not able to describe. I just feel it......

srikondoji 09-19-2007 02:54 PM

sent you a PM.


Originally Posted by beenwaiting (Post 169221)
Can you PM me your real name. I have a feeling, I know you by your real name.
Meenal (ivhandle : beenwaiting)

sbindval 09-19-2007 03:21 PM

Power of Voice
My wife attended the rally yesterday and this is what she wrote her friends who didn't come to the rally!

Yesterday, Shyam, Isha and I spent all day in DC as part of immigrationvoice, a grassroots non-profit organization that acts as an interface between highly skilled immigrants and the legislative and executive branches of the government. It was a wonderful experience. Over thousand people met at the foot of the Washington monument, and walked all the way to the US capitol. The organization had made good arrangements. Its amazing how people from all over the country were there and very few local people. One South African couple had driven on Monday from Indiana and came to the rally to celebrate the husband's birthday!! He wanted to be a part of this rally as a present for his birthday. We had 2 people - Manish and Sri, from New Hampshire staying with us on Monday who came just for the rally. There were some british, some chinese along with we Desis.

The need for the rally brought to light the real issues -

Most of us may have applied for our I-485 Step 3 in the greencard process, in July 2007, but that doesn't mean we will get our green cards soon. The govt accepts only 140000 applications a year and only 9000 are allocated to Indians in all categories.

Lawmakers and congress are confused when they think of immigrants - they club legal and illegal together. Even the Seattle senator who addressed the gathering yesterday made the same mistake. He said its good that you guys are out here so the congress can see its not only the janitors and others who have immigration issues but also highly skilled immigrants! No mention of legal. He used his time to promote the democratic party and we tried to remind him we don't have voting rights even though we pay the same taxes and work like everyone else!

We have to do something to be heard and heard right!

Thats the beauty of this country you can reach out to people in the highest positions and get heard. When the voice is collective its even more powerful. Shyam along with many others met with many congressmen and senators over the span on 2 days to explain our plight to them. One congresswoman mentioned that when a bill comes to vote in congress she polls the number of phone calls and emails she gets from her constituency and submits her votes accordingly. I was surprised to see how much actually our voice means.

We don't realize the power we possess since we are sitting in our own life bubbles of work, home, stress, kids and everything that most often swallows our individuality and ability to think. We need to step up think for ourselves and and help ourselves and everyone else in the process.

Like Sheela murthy, one of the leading immigration lawyers, said that yesterday's rally and the forum may not make an immediate impact. But we are truly paving the way for the future of legal immigrants to the US.

The forum is the only organized and collective way to get out our frustration against the system! So many people don't understand the hardships and seriousness of the greencard issues. Especially the people who got their greencards pre 2001 era! If you are interested in finding out more about the forum and the need for high level lobbying please visit If you were ever stuck in the green card rut or you or you have family who are applying, please spread the word and join the fight!

paskal 09-19-2007 08:03 PM

too much to write
and still too weary, esp after dragging through a full work day...
watch this will come eventually...
meanwhile suffice to say that it was simply awesome to meet the personas behind the handles...sure made everything worthwhile :D

abhijitp 09-19-2007 08:06 PM

Now that makes me curious

Originally Posted by needhelp! (Post 169178)
Oh.. Great to meet you Libra! Thanks!

I am not sure I met you Libra... please PM me a link to your picture from the rally:)

gsc999 09-19-2007 08:06 PM

Guys who attended the rally, you will be in demand for your stories
A note of caution, please just share personal anecdotes. All formal lawmaker meeting minutes need to be forwarded directly to the IV lobby day event coordinators and IV core members only.

Let the people who missed the rally also miss the excellent chance of sharing our strategy and law maker information.

Also be mindful of addressing people by their real names. It is good that you can put names to IV handles but please protect their privacy, unless they themselves are ok sharing their names publically. You can always use PMs.

I hope you all understand.

paskal 09-19-2007 08:10 PM

this is not just a question of depriving those who did not come.
let's please recognise that many people did have genuine compulsions as well.
the more important issue at hand is that sensitive information should not be released on an open forum. state chapters are free to organize live meetings and brief their members on lawmaker meeting experiences. those who attend chapter sessions are welcome to participate and learn- and join in for future meetings which should continue at the district/state level.

gsc999 09-19-2007 08:18 PM

There are thousands of anecdotes that I could share. My best is the look of shock on one of the IV member's face when I asked him to escort one of the lawmakers who attended the Monday evening reception dinner. We couldn't believe that we see him on C-Span and he is standing next to us and supporting our cause.
- Can you imagine the feeling when a lawmakers says I know about you guys. You are doing a good job. This shows we are visible in the Hill.
- I felt great when I saw the confidence on the smiling faces of IV members when they came out of lawmakers meetings. For those who missed this historic opportunity, I can't even begin to explain the change in mindset from the initial apprehension about visiting a lawmaker's office to, "Why do I only have three meetings set up, I want to fill in for others IV members who might not have shown up due to various reasons"

For those demanding immediate results when they themselves might not have showed up at the rally the answer is, we will get our green cards eventually. There is absolutely no doubt about that in my mind but these experiences and memories will be cherished for a long time. This is also important to me. This new "experience capital" which was initially present among just the core members has trickled down to other members, we are growing in strength and reach our goal soon.

I am glad I went for three days. I wish I could stay longer.

guyfromsg 09-19-2007 08:25 PM

Life changing experience..
I arrived on Monday morning and met Paskal as he was going for meeting. Went to situation room and first met ever energetic gcs999. We went out for lunch with logiclife. And then start meeting people and I'll list them separately. Two of the most memorable days in my life. Thank you guys and gals.

Please PM me if you want any specific photos from dinner meet and rally. I took several photos and already shared in one of the threads here.

chanduv23 09-19-2007 08:51 PM

Please do look at guidelines from gsc999 and paskal for posting on this thread. This thread is supposed to be a fun thread - where you share jokes and u share things that made u laugh.

Don't post any sensitive information here - this is a public forum. Do not post any lawmaker meeting information here.

authrd 09-19-2007 09:20 PM

Inspired by IV
I am a new member on IV. Haven't contributed, haven't send flowers or thank you cards, haven't volunteered for anything. In fact, I had not even heard of IV up until a month or so back.

However, as I read about the IV efforts in response to the July fiasco, I realised there are a lot of people out here on IV who are doing a tremendous amount of work, work that affects me as an individual positively.

At the last minute, I decided to drive down from NJ. My wife has never ever been on any immigration forum. But she was all for it. We thought it would be too late to get on the NJ bus and drove down.


For the first time in my life, I have stood up for anything. I am from India and I hate to say it but for far too long, most Indians I know have been shy/meek/lazy about standing up for what we believe in.

Hats off to all the IV volunteers, people who came in and worked over the weekend, people especially who flew into DC, people who came with their kids!!!

PS: Disappointed in my fellow East Coast ppl for no turning up in more numbers

gcsngh 09-19-2007 09:33 PM

Not enough words to thank you!
Wish we could have been part of the Team, we were away to Canada to get our visas renewed, can any one share the kind of impact we made in DC in terms of awareness and any positive reponse from the lawmakers.


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