They were honest and truthful. Sujata didn't add false years on her resume so that she will get a job. Honesty was returned in favor of "no job" and no sponsorships. But she chugs on with life thinking that there will be a day so good that such memories will fade away. On the other hand her partner Satish continued to work and did not negotiate a higher salary or a promotion because the US immigration laws wants him to remain in the same job title from the day that he first applied for a green card (in March 2003).
Though they received an Employment without authorization card in 2007, the gap in Sujata's resume (of not working due to visa reasons) was considered a major block. Satish could not take better job descriptions or even change his field of work because he would have to refile his papers and go back to square one.
Satish's dreams of pursuing a full time school are now adjusted to being a part time student. He says that he cannot do justice to his school work and work on his readings thoroughly as much as he wants to because of the commitments of a full time job and aggressive course load. He cannot take some classes because some of them are held during business hours and work does not permit him to attend them. Nor can he leave his job because one of them has to bring home bread.
In April 2007 when the financial companies were starting to show the fall – starting with Citigroup he was the first to go. Since it was the month of April he had the burden of finding a job in 60 days, take 2 finals, find a good immigration lawyer, and complete all legal formalities. His wife took the share of the legal aspect, contacted her friends and passed on his resume. Friends were very helpful and so were strangers who were in the same boat. Being a good student, some of his professors also put a word for him in certain companies. In this darkening economy he survived another lay off last Friday and will know in a few days weather he will survive another one. His wife Sujata has never stopped to look for jobs. She is still exploring. But amidst all this a sense of gratitude prevails.
From the diary of an immigrant.