US Needs More Visas, Gates Tells Congress

America's status as tech leader is in jeopardy, he says
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2008 5:14 PM CDT
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 12, 2008, to testify before the House Science and Technology Committee hearing on competitiveness and innovation....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Bill Gates exhorted Congress today to increase the number of available H-1B visas for highly skilled foreigners, and invest more in domestic education in science and technology, cNet reports. "It makes no sense to educate people in our universities, often subsidized by US taxpayers, and then insist they return home," Gates told the House Committee on Science and Technology.

The Microsoft founder warned that US competitiveness was “at risk” due to a domestic job candidate shortage and the government’s restriction on hiring more foreigners. Gates sparred briefly with Dana Rohrabacher, who argued that increasing visa caps would depress American wages: "These top people are going to be hired. It's just a question of where," Gates shot back. (Read more House Committee on Science and Technology stories.)