Microsoft chairman Bill Gates warned Congress on Wednesday that warned that restrictions on the number of skilled workers allowed to enter the US put the country’s competitiveness at risk. He contended that America’s shortsightedness threatens the nation’s economic future. The recent comments from Gates have definitely marked the latest offensive on restrictive US immigration policies by the technology industry. The US technology industry is at resent facing acute shortage of skilled workers and the demand for skilled labor is constantly rising in America. Gates testifying before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee clearly said, ‘we are failing to live up to our obligation to make the investments needed to make sure that the U.S. remains competitive in the future’. He went on to comment that tougher US immigration policies, governed partly by concerns over terrorism, are preventing the world’s best and brightest talents precisely when the US needs them most. Gates appeared to be particularly critical of H1B visa policies, a non-immigrant classification used by foreigners who are sponsored and employed in specialty fields like technology. Gates further informed that Microsoft has not been able to fill nearly 3,000 technical jobs in the U.S. due to shortage of skilled workers. The US at present limits visas for skilled foreign workers to 65,000 a year, at the same time, the number of green cards, required for gaining permanent resident status is limited to 140,000 a year.
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