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Friends just on paper? US denied L-1B visa to more than 50% Indians during 2012-2014

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Data released by the Virginia-based National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), a non-profit and non-partisan public policy research organization focusing on trade, immigration and related issues has shown that 56% of Indians were denied L-1B visa by the US as opposed to the average denial rate of 13% for other countries.

L-1B, a kind of non- immigrant visa with a stay period of up to 5 years, can be used by US employers to transfer employees with specific skills and knowledge from their offices abroad to those in the US. Indian companies with US subsidiaries can also make use of this visa. The biggest users of L-1B visas are Indian IT companies like TCS, Infosys and Wipro.

NFAP’s data shows that the rejection rate for Chinese and Mexican nationals is less than half, 22% and 21% respectively, of that of Indians.

Of the 25,296 Indians who applied for the visa between 2012 and 2014, 14,104 got rejected.

Visa rejection rates which shot up after the 2007-08 global financial crisis have yet not come down though the unemployment rate in the US is dropping sharply.

In early 2012, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials had proposed new guidelines to review and update the definition for L-1B petitions. “The new proposed guidance never materialized and, based on reports from employers and attorneys, inconsistent decision-making, as well as high levels of denials and requests for evidence have continued,” the NFAP report said.

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US Planning For Space Force To Stay Ahead in War

The general says his team is already writing government proposals to make space resupply a certainty for future military mobility

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Space Force
Air Force Gen. Carlton D. Everhart, the Commander of Air Mobility Command, left, holds a binder with a photograph of Air Force One on the cover as he speaks to Navy Adm. Bill Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, second from left, while arriving with other generals and admirals for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 21, 2016. (VOA)

It might sound like science fiction, but the general in charge of the U.S. military’s air transports across the globe says refueling and resupplying the military may soon be a job that’s literally out of this world.

“If I can resupply from space I can go across globe in about 30 minutes,” Air Force General Carlton Everhart, the head of Air Mobility Command, told VOA. “I do truly believe that is the next step. We can really make inroads.”

Everhart says the time gained by using hypersonic craft in space could keep him ahead in “the speed of war,” where competitors China and Russia have been trying to make gains.

The idea of using space deliveries isn’t as far out as it may seem. In fact, industry leaders, companies Everhart hopes to partner with, are already working on this type of technology.

Launch vehicles from companies like SpaceX, Sierra Nevada, and even foreign ventures could “provide tremendous strategic advantage to the U.S. government,” according to Eric Stallmer, the president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

But it’s an advantage that would come with an astronomical price tag of thousands of dollars per kilo.

Experts say the need to transport via space must outweigh these costs, perhaps only being used during the most important of missions.

Todd Harrison, a space and defense expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, points to the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, as a situation where time necessities could overpower cost concerns.

“Imagine if we had been able to launch a SEAL team and put them right down in that compound within 45 minutes of knowing that it was under attack. It could have made the difference,” he said.

The general is not just focused on launching from one point on Earth to another, Everhart also wants to use satellites to preposition cargo in space.

Stallmer said a lot of spaceflight companies are looking at this idea of space refueling depots, including plans to convert those refueling vehicles to habitats within space once they’ve been used.

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The future is full of possibilities, but it is unclear when these technologies will be fully developed. Experts give estimates ranging from a couple of years to more than a decade, but that doesn’t stop Everhart from dreaming.

“The train is leaving the station and we’re going to be on it. And I’m not going to be on the caboose. I want to be in front of, I’m going to be in the front,” he said.

The general says his team is already writing government proposals to make space resupply a certainty for future military mobility. (VOA)

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