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Bill Gates: Tight Immigration Leads to Outsourcing

Allowing more foreigners to work in the US would not steal jobs away from Americans. Instead, it would create more jobs for Americans. That's what Bill Gates told Congress today, when he urged lawmakers to increase the number of visas available for high-skilled immigrants. The 65,000 H-1B visas granted this year were snatched up in one day, and Gates believes that the tight controls force companies to outsource jobs overseas.

Gates told the panel:

Microsoft has found that for every H-1B hire we make, we add on average four additional employees to support them in various capacities.

Are you surprised by the counterintuitive link between importing high-skilled professionals and creating more jobs for Americans? Why do you think America needs more foreign workers to keep its high-tech industry competitive?


popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
He makes a good point.
Daisie Daisie 9 years
So companies outsource to other countries because we can't let educated people they need to work for them in? Disagree. Perhaps in rare cases, but not the majority. The majority is that it is cheaper and easier to outsource to other countries. You pay less. You get more work hours out of them. You don't have to worry about all the HR crap.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"those foreign workers are coming from educational systems far superior at teaching the knowledge and skillsets requisite to work in those fields than ours is." I agree.
janneth janneth 9 years
It won't stop outsourcing, get serious. Not when companies can pay people in India pennies on the dollar, and no benefits.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
That picture of Gates is hilarious. It looks like he's performing a little song and dance for a Broadway audition.
juju4 juju4 9 years
I feel like the whole immigration debate has been skewed to look at specifically at illegal immigrants that have been crossing our southern border. I hope that when change finally happens, the process is fair to all immigrants including those from Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I'm with megmccoy on this one. I would also add that perhaps one of the reasons that "America needs more foreign workers to keep its high-tech industry competitive," as Liberty put it, is because those foreign workers are coming from educational systems far superior at teaching the knowledge and skillsets requisite to work in those fields than ours is.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
These are international industries, the workers with the skills are internationally available, and if we don't allow them to come here and work the job will go to them elsewhere and the support staff will be hired elsewhere. It actually makes sense, and I like how clear Gates is able to make his point. Businesses are not required to stay here, it isn't like a mom and pop shop in Seattle only hiring people who will come to Seattle. He is selling and providing services globally, and wants the brightest and best people to come and work for him, and if he can't he will have them work from other countries. Restricting immigration has no actual effects on international corporations having to hire our own people, and it seems pretty obvious that we'd be cutting ourselves out of these opportunities. I'm of many minds on immigration (from AZ, lots of impacts seem obvious) - but when it comes to the highly skilled immigrants coming here and having jobs, it seems like we as a nation should welcome them and be happy they are coming here to make and spend their highly skilled salaries.
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