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Gates Calls for End To Foreign Worker Visa Limits ! - 4/28/2005 11:46:22 AM   
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Microsoft chair voices views at U.S. technology innovation hearing.

WASHINGTON--Congress should do away with limits on how many foreign workers technology companies can bring into the United States, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said today.


Asked what he would do if he were king for a day and could make any changes to U.S. policy, Gates said that he'd eliminate the H1-B program, which limits the number of visas businesses can grant to highly skilled foreign workers. Gates participated in a Microsoft-sponsored panel discussion in Washington, D.C., about ways to spur U.S. innovation and help the country compete with other nations.

"The whole idea behind the H1-B thing is, 'Don't let too many smart people come into the country,'" Gates said. "The thing basically doesn't make sense. That's just wounding ourselves in this global competition."

Gates and Richard Rashid, senior vice president for Microsoft research, both complained that the company cannot find enough qualified computer science applicants, and that the H1-B visa limit, which now stands at 65,000 workers per year, has restricted Microsoft's ability to attract top IT workers.

The U.S. education system produces fewer math and science graduates than countries such as India and China, and top IT workers in those and other countries often opt to stay home rather than join the queue to work at a U.S. company, Gates said.

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Source : PC World
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