Archive for the ‘USA’ Category

US Visa Availability April 2009

March 15, 2009

Each month, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issue the visa availability of those who wish to immigrate (family-based application) or work (employment based application) in America. For the month of April 2009 here are the abridged priority dates:

FAMILY CATEGORIES

Categories——Worldwide—China (PRC)—-India——–Mexico———Philippines
1st————-08-15-02—-08-15-02——-08-15-02—–10-08-92——-08-01-93
2A————–08-15-04—-08-15-04——-08-15-04—–01-01-02——-08-15-04
2B————–09-01-00—-09-01-00——-09-01-00—–05-01-92——-01-15-98
3rd————-08-22-00—-08-22-00——-08-22-00—–10-22-92——-06-15-91
4th————-04-15-98—-01-08-98——-04-15-98—–04-22-95——-06-22-86

EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES

Categories——Worldwide—China (PRC)—-India——–Mexico———-Philippines
1st————–Current——-Current——–Current——Current———Current
2nd————-Current——-02-15-05——-02-15-04—Current———Current
3rd————-03-01-03—-03-01-03——-11-01-01—–03-01-03——–03-01-03
Unskilled——-03-01-01—-03-01-01——-03-01-01—–03-01-01——–03-01-01
4th————-Current——–Current——–Current——–Current———Current
Religious—–Unavailable—Unavailable—Unavailable–Unavailable—–Unavailable
5th————-Current——–Current——–Current——Current———Current

For detailed information I suggest the websites: State Department Visa Bulletin—http://travel.state.gov/; http://shusterman.com/vb.html (Photo Credit: Yuhuru1701)

==========================================================

US Visa Availability March 2009

March 2, 2009

Each month, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issue the visa availability of those who wish to immigrate (family-based application) or work (employment based application) in America. For the month of March 2009 here are the abridged priority dates:

FAMILY CATEGORIES March

Categories—-Worldwide—-China (PRC)—-India——-Mexico—–Philippines
1st————07-22-02—–07-22-02——-07-22-02—-10-08-92—07-15-93
2A————07-01-04—–07-01-04——-07-01-04—-10-15-01—07-01-04
2B————06-22-00—–06-22-00——-06-22-00—-05-01-92—12-01-97
3rd———–08-08-00—–08-08-00——-08-08-00—-10-15-02—06-08-91
4th———–03-01-98——11-15-97——–03-01-98—-04-08-95—05-15-86

EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES

Categories— Worldwide—-China (PRC)—-India—–Mexico—–Philippines
1st————–Current——Current———Current—Current—-Current
2nd————Current——02-15-05——–02-15-04—Current—-Current
3rd————05-01-05—–10-22-02——–10-15-01—08-15-03—05-01-05
Unskilled—–03-15-03—–10-22-02———10-15-01–03-15-03—03-15-03
4th————Current——Current———-Current—Current—-Current
Religious—–Current——Current———-Current—Current—-Current
5th————-Current——Current———-Current—Current—-Current

For detailed information I suggest the websites: State Department Visa Bulletin—http://travel.state.gov/; http://shusterman.com/vb.html (Photo Credit: Yuhuru1701)

==========================================================

Tardy war compensation comes at the sunset of WWII Philippine heroes

February 19, 2009

The $787 billion spending package signed by US Pres. Barack Obama on February 17, 2009 has a special goody for the Filipino World War II veterans. After a long-drawn campaign to get compensation for fighting in the American-Japanese war, an estimated 15,000 war heroes will have a part of the $198 million earmarked by the US government.

“Only 15,000 surviving Filipino and Filipino-American WWII veterans whose names are in the Revised Reconstructed Guerrilla Roster (RRGR) of 1948 are qualified to receive the tax-free lump sum payment. The RRGR is kept in the state of Missouri although certified true copies are available in other official sites.”—Malaya (02/16/09, Ilustre, J)

The US Embassy in Manila is preparing to process applications next week that will give $15,000 for each elderly survivor (average age: 85 years) who is a US citizen and $9,000 for the non-US citizen. The cash reward doesn’t include the widows, children and dependents of veterans.

Of the 250,000 who fought with the US forces, about 6% (15,000) lived long enough be eligible for benefits. This opens the heart-breaking memories of the suffering Filipinos went through during the war and the injustice caused by the delay in the granting of compensation for the veterans.

Though the tardy award seems a victory of justice, one can sadly recall the thousands who valiantly fought, offered their lives, and died without seeing the liberation of the country. The horror of Bataan March must be an indelible reminder for all Filipinos. Let us pause and remember the heroism of those who died without seeing the fruits of the war effort. For them, we must pay respects and be eternally grateful. (Photo Credit: wtop) =0=

==========================================================

The promise and uncertainty of the $787 billion stimulus package for the US economy

February 15, 2009

The economic stimulus package of the Obama administration has finally passed the scrutiny of the US senate. It only needs the signature of the president on Tuesday, February 17, 2008, to make it into law. Lacking bipartisan support, the Democrats in the senate and congress overwhelmingly voted for the $787 billion package touted to bring back the US economy on track. The Republicans and their conservative supporters disagree.

The astronomical dollar tag on US recovery doesn’t assure that it will succeed. Amidst a crisis of confidence, there are Americans who are alarmed. Critics of the legislation doubt whether the plan will deliver on its promises. Without much basis to back their trust, majority of Americans rest their hope on Pres. Barack Obama to fix the economy. Supporters are optimistic, in fact, overly optimistic.

“The legislation, among the costliest ever considered in Congress, provides billions of dollars to aid victims of the recession through unemployment benefits, food stamps, medical care, job retraining and more. Tens of billions are ticketed for the states to offset cuts they might otherwise have to make in aid to schools and local governments, and there is more than $48 billion for transportation projects such as road and bridge construction, mass transit and high-speed rail.”— Yahoo.News/AP (02/14/09, Espo, D)

There is a growing belief that no one buys its way from a recession. It is scary to pump in such huge money which puts taxpayers’ money on line. More borrowing and spending won’t easily bring back the trust on Wall Street which reneged on its fiduciary duty. There is doubt on those who warn of worse consequences if the public doesn’t rally behind the stimulus plan that nobody fully understands. Many don’t know why the American people are asked to spend for social services of illegal aliens, bail out banks, auto industry, and every ailing business in the country.

Obviously rushed to approve the bill, almost all congressmen (246 vs. 183) and senators (60 vs. 38) didn’t have time to read the legislation which is about a thousand pages long. It is expected the more the public comes to understand the details of the bill, the more people will disapprove. Many are dissatisfied with government officials (the spoiled and extravagant leaders,) from both the Republican and Democratic parties, who negligently brought the people into this economic mess. Those who are hurting wait for the day that the guilty must be held accountable.

There is a cautionary voice out there saying the economic downturn is unlikely to be reversed by this ambitious government rescue plan. Neither will prosperity come by giving away dole-outs to the poor, jacking-up government spending, giving perks to illegal aliens, distributing wealth, and raising the tax burden of workers and entrepreneurs. This seems to be affirmed by Pres. Obama who welcomes the bill’s passage but cautions the whole world that it’s just the start of an economic remedy whose success isn’t assured. There is a big chance that if this money splurge doesn’t work, additional funding will be asked for more massive spending.

Instead of the bloated stimulus spending with a budgeted cost of $787 billion to revitalize the US economy, conservatives have proposed a leaner spending. Unlike the democrats who dominate the Capitol Hill, Republicans assert that the recovery rests on tax cuts, smaller government, less interference with private money, and a return to traditional entrepreneurship and business ethics.

Though it’s early to tell what will be the outcome of the changes promised by Obama, there those who are silently angry and fearful. There are tell-tale signs that one can see with trepidation. Americans are used to live in gilded cocoons on productive fields that they can control. Now they are forced to face uncertainty. The big depression that they haven’t experienced with the rest of the world looms real in the horizon. (Photo Credit: Londa Elle; almostnomad; worsebrain)=0=

==========================================================

The promise and uncertainty of the $787 billion stimulus package for the US economy

February 15, 2009

The economic stimulus package of the Obama administration has finally passed the scrutiny of the US senate. It only needs the signature of the president on Tuesday, February 17, 2008, to make it into law. Lacking bipartisan support, the Democrats in the senate and congress overwhelmingly voted for the $787 billion package touted to bring back the US economy on track. The Republicans and their conservative supporters disagree.

The astronomical dollar tag on US recovery doesn’t assure that it will succeed. Amidst a crisis of confidence, there are Americans who are alarmed. Critics of the legislation doubt whether the plan will deliver on its promises. Without much basis to back their trust, majority of Americans rest their hope on Pres. Barack Obama to fix the economy. Supporters are optimistic, in fact, overly optimistic.

“The legislation, among the costliest ever considered in Congress, provides billions of dollars to aid victims of the recession through unemployment benefits, food stamps, medical care, job retraining and more. Tens of billions are ticketed for the states to offset cuts they might otherwise have to make in aid to schools and local governments, and there is more than $48 billion for transportation projects such as road and bridge construction, mass transit and high-speed rail.”— Yahoo.News/AP (02/14/09, Espo, D)

There is a growing belief that no one buys its way from a recession. It is scary to pump in such huge money which puts taxpayers’ money on line. More borrowing and spending won’t easily bring back the trust on Wall Street which reneged on its fiduciary duty. There is doubt on those who warn of worse consequences if the public doesn’t rally behind the stimulus plan that nobody fully understands. Many don’t know why the American people are asked to spend for social services of illegal aliens, bail out banks, auto industry, and every ailing business in the country.

Obviously rushed to approve the bill, almost all congressmen (246 vs. 183) and senators (60 vs. 38) didn’t have time to read the legislation which is about a thousand pages long. It is expected the more the public comes to understand the details of the bill, the more people will disapprove. Many are dissatisfied with government officials (the spoiled and extravagant leaders,) from both the Republican and Democratic parties, who negligently brought the people into this economic mess. Those who are hurting wait for the day that the guilty must be held accountable.

There is a cautionary voice out there saying the economic downturn is unlikely to be reversed by this ambitious government rescue plan. Neither will prosperity come by giving away dole-outs to the poor, jacking-up government spending, giving perks to illegal aliens, distributing wealth, and raising the tax burden of workers and entrepreneurs. This seems to be affirmed by Pres. Obama who welcomes the bill’s passage but cautions the whole world that it’s just the start of an economic remedy whose success isn’t assured. There is a big chance that if this money splurge doesn’t work, additional funding will be asked for more massive spending.

Instead of the bloated stimulus spending with a budgeted cost of $787 billion to revitalize the US economy, conservatives have proposed a leaner spending. Unlike the democrats who dominate the Capitol Hill, Republicans assert that the recovery rests on tax cuts, smaller government, less interference with private money, and a return to traditional entrepreneurship and business ethics.

Though it’s early to tell what will be the outcome of the changes promised by Obama, there those who are silently angry and fearful. There are tell-tale signs that one can see with trepidation. Americans are used to live in gilded cocoons on productive fields that they can control. Now they are forced to face uncertainty. The big depression that they haven’t experienced with the rest of the world looms real in the horizon. (Photo Credit: Londa Elle; almostnomad; worsebrain)=0=

==========================================================

Job Outlook 2009: Nurses in USA still in demand, but not in the Philippines

February 4, 2009

Unemployment is rampant as the economic meltdown continues in America. The joblessness in the world’s largest economy is in all time high and still rising. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) January 20, 2009 issue reports the discouraging job loss of 2.6 million last year. Yet, in spite of the alarming unemployment sweeping America today, healthcare sticks out as among the few bright spots in work opportunities. The US healthcare sector posted gains of 419,000 jobs, mostly for nurses in 2008.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the trend is expected to continue till 2016 as Americans grow older and need more medical services. Last year, registered nurses posted 168,000 job placements to cope with the nationwide shortage. The availability of health care jobs including those in home care and nursing homes proves that employment in this sector is relatively recession-proof. Expansion of work opportunities is expected in less intensive training courses like pharmacy and medical assistantships.

This could have been welcoming news for Filipino nurses who seek work opportunities abroad. But with current US visa restrictions and slowing of recruitment of foreign applicants, the need for local healthcare workers in USA doesn’t translate into more foreign nurses getting jobs at this time. There is an emerging nativist US sentiments sparked by the economic downturn which further dampens the interest in hiring nurses from abroad.

There are about 88,750 nurses who took the Philippine board exam in November last year. The 50% (more or less) who will pass and get licensed will add to the nurse unemployment problem which is currently estimated to number about 400,000. The high joblessness rate in the country opens more opportunities for exploitation among these professionals and the government seems inutile in solving it. (Photo Credit: AllwaysNY; Uberdoog)=0=

RELATED BLOGS: “As nursing jobs become scarce, 88,750 brace for the next board examination” Posted by mesiamd at 11/12/2008; “Job prospects for nurses decline” Posted by mesiamd at 6/02/2008

US Visa Availability February 2009

February 2, 2009

Each month, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issue the visa availability of those who wish to immigrate (family-based application) or work (employment based application) in America. For the month of January 2009 here are the abridged priority dates:

FAMILY CATEGORIES

Categories–Worldwide—China (PRC)—-India———-Mexico———Philippines
1st———07-08-02—-07-08-02——07-08-02——–10-08-92——–07-15-93
2A———-06-01-04—-06-01-04——06-01-04——–09-22-01——–06-01-04
2B———-05-08-00—-05-08-00——05-08-00——–05-01-92——–10-15-97
3rd———08-01-00—-08-01-00——08-01-00——–10-08-92——–06-01-91
4th———02-15-98—-09-22-97——01-15-98——–03-22-95——–05-01-86

EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES

Categories—-Worldwide——–China (PRC)——India—–Mexico—–Philippines
1st————-Current———-Current————Current—Current—–Current
2nd————-Current———01-01-05———01-01-04—Current—–Current
3rd————-05-01-05——–10-01-02——–10-15-01–04-01-03—-05-01-05
Unskilled——-03-15-03——–10-01-02——–10-15-01–10-15-01—-03-15-03
4th————-Current———–Current———Current—Current——Current
Religious——-Current———-Current———Current—-Current—–Current
5th————-Current———–Current———Current—Current——Current

For detailed information I suggest the websites: State Department Visa Bulletin—http://travel.state.gov/; http://shusterman.com/vb.html (Photo Credit: Yuhuru1701 PD)

==========================================================

Labels: employment, family, immigration, OFW, overseas worker, petition, State Department, Totie Mesia, USA, USCIS, Visa

Abortion issue in Obama’s administration, the pro-life vs. pro-choice controversy, & the 50 million unborn babies killed

January 23, 2009

January 22, 2009 is the 36th anniversary of the controversial Roe vs. Wade when the Supreme Court ruled against all state and federal abortion laws, making termination of pregnancy legal and leading to the indiscriminate killing of about 50 million unborn babies. Since 1973, pro-life groups have relentlessly campaigned in defense of the unborn with some success:

“Laws have been passed in 46 states that protect the right of conscience for individual health care providers. Laws in 27 states protect the right of conscience for institutions such as Catholic hospitals. The Hyde Amendment restricts federal funding of abortion. The partial birth abortion ban was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2007. “Mexico City Policy” has barred the use of federal tax money to pay for abortions in other countries.” —St. Gianna Respect for Life Committee, Immaculate Conception Church, Astoria, NY (01/09 Tabone, P)

Yet, with the Obama administration, the fight between pro-lifer and pro-choice may change in favor of abortion supporters. Obama expresses his approval for the pro-choice advocates saying that government need not intrude on private family matters.

“In consultation with a coalition of pro-abortion groups, which submitted a 55-page outline of pro-abortion policies to the Obama transition team, the Obama Administration has an agenda designed to repeal many, if not all, of the pro-life policies in place at the state and federal level.

Through their extreme agenda, the Administration wants to fund organizations that perform and promote abortion; force employer health insurance plans to cover abortion; force hospitals and health care professionals to provide abortions; and enact the so-called “Freedom of Choice Act” – a bill that would invalidate virtually all state and federal laws restricting abortion, including parental notification laws, and which would make partial-birth abortion legal again.” —www.nrlc.org

With few media outfit willing to cover, a huge crowd of anti-abortion advocates, numbering about 250,000 trooped to Washington DC two days after Obama’s inauguration to oppose the proposed Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) in congress. Obama is a supporter of abortion rights pushed by many liberals in the media and the Democratic party. Pro-lifers have mobilized themselves to fight the new administration’s abortion plan which when implemented is expected to increase terminations of unwanted pregnancy and the killing of more innocent unborn babies.

With the loss of 50 million babies since the “Roes” decided they could ignore moral considerations and rule on abortion, society must ponder on how many Albert Einsteins had been expended in clinics around the country. The sheer number had made people thinking what might have been God’s plan for America’s hapless victims of abortion. =0=

============================================================

Obama psyches the Americans of grim economic times

January 8, 2009

I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been affected by the financial crisis caused by the meltdown of business in America. The most pitiful are the people who honestly saved and invested only to find out their portfolio has failed. They don’t have the luxury of youth and time to recoup the loss.

Those who rely on fixed income may find themselves without money if retirement and pension don’t pay. The jobless and hungry are easily agitated. Economic hardship is a perfect recipe for social unrest. With the public’s high expectations on the new administration, it’s dangerous if Barack Obama fails.

Barely two weeks before Obama is to be inaugurated as president, his campaign promises don’t jibe well with the gloomy realities of the times. His dire warnings prepare the spooked public of the bumpy road ahead. Spending is needed more than what the government originally told the people.

Obama can only say in grim and gray terms on how he’ll solve the economic problem, but he doesn’t give specifics. The cost of the stimulus package he asks the congress on Thursday, January 8, 2009 hasn’t been determined, but experts say it should not be more than $1 trillion dollars. The federal budget deficit is huge and critics warn of deeper pain if the government shoulder the money woes of private entrepreneurs.

There’s no guarantee that the bail-out of the banking system, the auto manufacturers, and housing industry will work. The economy is rife with dreary predictions of worsening unemployment, bankruptcies,and unrelenting housing slump. Americans are confused and want transparency in the transactions which put their life savings and taxes in line.

At a Glance, January 8, 2009:

540,000 unemployed projected for Jan. ’09 (up from 492,000 in Dec. ’08)
4.5 million workers on unemployment aid
2.4 million jobs lost in 2008
1.2 trillion dollars Federal Budget deficit
1 trillion dollars—estimated stimulus package needed

As of January 8, 2009, the joblessness is expected to have risen from 492,000 to 540,000 based on the number of newly-laid off people seeking state unemployment aid. The approximate number of workers taking unemployment benefits is at 4.5 million, many of whom are finding hard to get jobs.

Assuming that 500,000 additional jobs have been lost last month, it is estimated that at least 2.4 million jobs disappeared in 2008. Business downsizing and closures continue. The trend will be more elucidated on Friday, January 9, 2009 when the Department of Labor releases the most current employment report. The federal budget deficit is expected to reach $1.2 trillion this year, about 3X bigger than the previous year.

Like most Americans, I want Obama to succeed. Casting away politics, I feel it’s in our interest that the economy bounces back on its track. Yet, the public is suspicious and worried; their confidence is at its deepest low. In spite of bipartisan support, many aren’t optimistic that a quick recovery will come. Obama is asking for more government infusion of money, a stage for a possible run-away spending that isn’t in his “change” and “yes, we can” campaign plan.

The uncertainty which fuels this lack of confidence is magnified by the ugly economic picture. Even if the public keeps quiet, the cultural and social environment which made the people endure and outlast the Great Depression in the 1930’s might be slipping away— at worst, it might be nonexistent. Today’s Americans belong to a different generation of innovators. Whether the values of trust, honesty, and fair play have been eroded to impair recovery, nobody seems confident to answer.

There’s real fear as there’s hope. But many are shocked that the rules of governance and citizenship are quickly being changed to suit a social agenda whose end they don’t know. They aren’t used to live in poverty or be dictated upon on how they will use their money. Even if they pride themselves of resiliency, industry, and independence, the overall picture isn’t good. (Photo Credit: bscott2007)=0=

RELATED BLOG: “Dr. Doom’s economic crystal ball & the need to say the truth”
Posted by mesiamd at 10/30/2008

==============================================================

US Visa Availability January 2009

January 6, 2009

Each month, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issue the visa availability of those who wish to immigrate (family-based application) or work (employment based application) in America. For the month of January 2009 here are the abridged priority dates:

FAMILY CATEGORIES

Categories—-Worldwide—-China (PRC)—-India——-Mexico—–Philippines
1st————06-15-02—–06-15-02——-06-15-02—-10-01-92—07-15-93
2A————05-15-04—–05-15-04——-05-15-04—-08-15-01—05-15-04
2B————03-22-00—–03-22-00——-03-22-00—-05-01-92—09-01-97
3rd———–08-01-00—–08-01-00——-08-01-00—-10-01-92—05-22-91
4th———–02-08-98—–08-22-97——-11-01-97—-03-08-95—05-01-86

EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES

Categories— Worldwide—-China (PRC)—-India—–Mexico—–Philippines
1st————–Current——Current———Current—Current—-Current
2nd————Current——07-08-04——–07-01-03–Current—-Current
3rd———–05-01-05—–06-01-02——–10-15-01–11-15-02—05-01-05
Unskilled—–03-15-03—–03-15-03———03-15-03–03-15-03—03-15-03
4th————Current——Current———-Current—Current—-Current
Religious—–Current——Current———-Current—Current—-Current
5th————Current——Current———-Current—Current—-Current

For detailed information I suggesgt the websites: State Department Visa Bulletin—http://travel.state.gov/; http://shusterman.com/vb.html (Photo Credit: Yuhuru1701)

==========================================================