Suburban Sahibs: Three Immigrant Families and Their Passage from India to America

By S. Mitra Kalita | Go to book overview

9
Downturns

By March, that the U.S. economy is faltering is not even a question. Its effects on visa holders such as Sanku and Lipi are disastrous. For the month of February, the INS reports approving 16,000 filings for H-1B visas. In February of the previous year, that number was exactly double at 32,000.

Lipi stays calm but mentally prepares to receive a pink slip. Contractors like herself will be the first to go, she knows. Some of Lipi's friends were among the 16,000 already laid off at Lucent. They scramble to find other jobs before they have to leave the country.

Such is the predicament of an H-1B visa holder;staying in the United States is entirely hinged to one employer, one job. For those who came in sponsored by so-called body shops, as Lipi did, the onus offinding employment rests with the sponsoring company. After all, in the eyes of the INS, the body shop is the employer. In the meantime, “the bench” grows ever more crowded.

-122-

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Suburban Sahibs: Three Immigrant Families and Their Passage from India to America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Suburban Sahibs *
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Prologue: A New Year 15
  • 1 - Deported from Home 32
  • 2 - The Patels Journey 47
  • 3 - A Gold-Paved Entry 65
  • 4 - Exercising Rights 86
  • 5 - Wanting More 92
  • 6 - Shaky Ground 98
  • 7 - Destructive Times 104
  • 8 - Standing Room Only 107
  • 9 - Downturns 122
  • 10 - Under a Mango Tree 128
  • 11 - Meeting Elephants 138
  • 12 - Farewells 147
  • 13 - The Festival Family 151
  • 14 - Classified 155
  • 15 - The Victor 158
  • Epilogue 162
  • Notes 165
  • Selected Bibliography 171
  • About the Author 172
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