Subject: INS Petition on Visitor Visas
Dated: Apr 20, 2002
Dear Member,

There is some concern among people of Indian origin regarding the new
US law prohibiting the duration of visitor visas to be over 30 days.
You may be affected if you decide to bring your parents over for a
longer visit, which is typical. You can voice your opinion about this
new law by going to the INS web-site. You may have received several
Emails to this affect already (and we apologize if this news is now
redundant for you), but if you have not responded so far, please do so
as we are trying to increase the volume of responses against this
petition.

In this mail:
   (1) New 30-day tourist visa
   (2) Message from Banga Mela 2002 Organizers (not NABC-2002)
   (3) Prabasi emails for Prabasi Yahoo Groups


NEW 30-DAY TOURIST VISAS
========================

To voice your opinion against the new 30-day tourist visa restriction,
you can

A) Go to this site: http://www.petitiononline.com/INS/petition.html and sign in your name. They have already collected more then 50 K
signatures.

B) There are many other ways you can act:

(1) Write in triplicate (one original and two copies) to the

Director,
Policy Directives and Instructions Branch,
INS,
425 I Street, N.W., Room 4034,
Washington, D.C., 20536
Attention: Public Comment Clerk, and /or

(2) E-mail to insregs@usdoj.gov . You may also want to let the
relevant officials in the Legislative Division of the Visa Services
Section of the State Department know of your concerns by carbon-
copying the following two e-mail addresses: visaregs@state.gov and
harperbj@state.gov

You may also want to write to your House Representative and your two
Senators. You can get contact details of your lawmakers by following
the procedure described below:

Click: http://congress.org 
Type your zip code in the box under 'Elected Officials'. Click:
"GO"

You get the pictures of the President , your two Senators and your
House Rep.

Click each of the photographs and you get the contact details (e-mail
address, fax and phone numbers).


SAMPLE e-mail/ letter:
Respected INS  Commissioner ,

I am writing to register my protest of the new INS proposal to reduce
the duration of stay for B-2 non-immigrant visitors from six months to
one month.

I understand the gravity of events that caused the INS to make such a
proposal.  But is this the best way to prevent terrorist attacks ? The
perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attack did abuse the immigration rules of
the  country but for every law-breaker, there are thousands of honest,
law-abiding visitors who visit the country for legitimate reasons.

I have personally sponsored and plan to sponsor in the future, members
of my immediate family who live outside the United States to visit me.
This is my only way of keeping in touch with my aging parents and
other members of my family.  My job and/or other responsibilities here
do not permit me to vist my parents or siblings as often as I would
like nor can I spend extended time  there with them.  Having my
parents visit me for six months at a time is the best way  for me to
stay in touch with them. To limit their duration of stay would harshly
punish them and us for no fault of ours. While I realize that in the
light of recent events  and for national and personal security
reasons, we are all expected to pay a  price, this unusual proposal by
the INS is unnecessarily harsh and unfairly targets the vast  majority
of law-abiding immigrants.

Sincerely,


Name
Job Title, (optional)
Home Address (optional but strongly advised)

Don't bother composing a great letter. Ultimately, it is the volume of
the opposing e-mails/ letters that matters. On the other hand, don't
just copy the sample letter, it may carry less weight. Briefly state
your own reason.

The following INS website has a feedback service:

http://www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/exec/feedback/feedback.asp?PurpSysID =10&StartURL=/graphics/feedback.htm

MESSAGE FROM BANGA MELA 2002 ORGANIZERS
=======================================

Below is a message sent for circulation by the organizers of Banga
Mela 2002.

"We, the executive committee of Sangam, are inviting everybody  to
participate in the  Bangamela 2002 at Kansas City on July 13 & 14. The
famous performers from Calcutta and Bangladesh such as Suman
Chattopadhyay, Sabina Yasmin (Bangladesh), Purna Das Baul, Dwijen
Mukhopadhyay, Sandhya Mukherjee, Roma Mondal, Indranil Sen, Alkananda
Roy (Odissi Dancer), Barun Pal (Hawiian Guiter and Hansa Veena),
Buddhadeb Guha (Old Bengali Songs and Writer) Famous Group Theater
'Rangakormi', Direction: Usha Ganguli, the Play: Mahasweeta Devi's
"Mukti" and others, will perform in this occasion. The inaugaration
program of Bangamela will include the spetacular "Stage and Laser Show
of Festivals of Bengal" by Manick Sorcer. We need all of your help and
cooperation for the success of this Bangamela.  We are also inviting
you to participate in the cultural program (drama, musical and dance
performances, recitation etc.) from your respective cities. Please
register as soon as possible. We also request you to visit the website
(http://www.bangamela2002.org). The cheap airline tickets will be
available in Vanguard Airlines (http://www.flyvanguard.com) from New
York, Denver, Atlanta, New Orleans, Chicago, Dallas and some other
cities to Kansas City. The venue of this program will be at University
of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and the cheap housing at UMKC will also
be available at UMKC Residence Hall (http://www.bangamela2002.org). This webpage will be updated everyday until July. Please check this
webpage time to time. If you need any further information, please let
us know.

"The Executive Committee of Sangam"

NOTE: This is NOT the North American Bengali Conference, 2002.
To find out details about NABC-2002, visit http://www.nabc2002.org. This is usually referred as Banga Sammelan 2002, and will be held from
July 4-6, Atlanta, Georgia this year. Prabasi has no affiliation with
the organizers of either of the two sammelans.

PRABASI EMAILS FOR PRABASI YAHOO GROUPS MEMBERS
===============================================

Prabasi members get regular Prabasi Emails (like this one) quite
often. However the Prabasi Yahoo interest group which comprises of
members who have voluntarily signed up to exchange Prabasi related
news, has grown quite big now (around 70 members). A mechanism has
been set up by which Prabasi Yahoo group members will also get regular
Prabasi Emails from now on, helping us to spread our message even
further.

As a reminder, if you have missed any Email in the past, you can go to
http://www.prabasi.org/CGI/letterheadings.cgi to get a list of all the
mails that were sent to members since 1998.

Sincerely,

- Anupam Bagchi
Prabasi Webmaster

                                              Dated: 04/20/2002
===================================================================
                      BAY AREA PRABASI INC.
         SERVING THE BENGALI COMMUNITY FOR OVER 25 YEARS ...