Bill Gates Right on Immigration

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates combines mastery of details and persuasive logic to argue in favor of increased skilled immigration to the United States.  Pay attention to the bit about the current calendar for transitioning from a student (F-1 OPT) to a skilled work (H-1B) visa:

Gates to Congress: Microsoft needs more H-1B visas
Disputing claims that skilled immigrants would cost American jobs, Gates argued that Microsoft hires four Americans for supporting roles for every high-skilled H-1B visa holder it hires. He also cited a study by a Virginia-based group that found a similar pattern held in other American high-tech companies.

Gates singled out the timing of the H-1B process for particular criticism. Visas for the coming year become available each April, and immigrants are permitted to begin work in October. Because a college degree is required before a worker can apply for an H-1B visa, foreign students who graduate from an American university in May are forced to wait until October of the following year to begin work at an American company. Not surprisingly, many highly skilled workers choose to take jobs outside of the US rather than wait for 18 months for the opportunity to take a job in the US.

Finally, Gates urged changes that would dramatically increase the number of skilled workers who could achieve permanent residency status in the US. In addition to the H-1B visa increase, he advocated an easier process for highly skilled immigrant workers to become permanent residents, and the elimination of country-based quotas for the issuance of green cards.

Let’s hope Congress listens to Bill Gates, and a pro-immigration candidate is elected this November.

6 thoughts on “Bill Gates Right on Immigration”

  1. I often wonder how the richest country on earth cannot produce its own high skilled talent?

    Why is it that 300 million people + a $12 trillion dollar economy, cannot produce enough engineers, mathematicians, scientists, doctors, and other high IQ professionals?

    This, in my opinion is the ultimate national security issue and indicates a failure in the American educational establishment. It wasn’t always this way. It seems like after the late 60’s, that the American education system went down hill. I’ve talked about this with some old-timers who told me about the standards that existed in American high schools. One guy told me that he was required to take Latin plus another language. Every student was required to be at the trigonometry level of math and was required to take Biology and Chemistry. When I was in high school I took “Business math” and “Environmental Studies” for my highest levels of math and science.

    Of course I was a student athlete, so courses like these were useful to keep me around so I could pull down rebounds and hit my jump-hook. After high school, I went on to major in one of three student athlete majors (Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Business Management. Business Management was for the student athlete who wanted a little more challenge as calculus is required in most management programs across the country. Eventually someone came up with the idea of “Sports management” which if you’re lucky, may land you a job running some athletic facility. If you’re really lucky, you may get job where you can wear your schools’ track suit to work everyday). Since playing basketball was my only purpose for being in college, it didn’t take long for my sociological education to end.

    Now some people will say “hey, you’re a Nazi, you’re against immigration!” Which then I will say “no, I am not a Nazi, I happen to be 2nd generation myself.” It just seems to make more sense to maximize the people we have first, and then fill in the leftover holes with immigrants.

    A very wise man once said that you can’t have open borders with a welfare state. You can have one or the other but not both. If there is to be total open borders, than no benefits should be given besides emergency room care.

    Immigrants will come here in the spirit of “rugged individualism.” Or if we have a more intelligent immigration policy, one that selects on the basis of skill-sets like Australia or Canada has, these people would be eligible for benefits. These “chosen” immigrants will be expected to learn English and conform to the Anglo-Saxon virtues in which the country was founded. (Contrary to what the Evangelicals or Sean Hannity might think, America was not founded as a “Christian” country. The majority of the founding fathers were Free Masons, which does not support any theory of America being “Christian.” But, if you want your nativity scene at the court house at Christmas time I support you).

    If we have total open borders, then there can be no benefits at the National or State level. People will need to have the ability to rent or sell property to whom they wish, and local communities will need to be given the greatest amount of power.

    This is very unlikely which is why we need a “smart” immigration policy. But first we need to square away the education system. What the education system cannot produce we can export in the form of people. BUT WE MUST AT LEAST TRY TO MAXIMIZE THE SKILLS OF OUR OWN PEOPLE BEFORE IMPORTING OTHERS. We must also give incentives to low skill industries to increase capital investments that decrease the need for more labor. In the 21st century, I see no reason why robots should not picking crops or cutting the grass. Last, when we do have a squared-away education system, and it comes time to fill in the holes that our system cannot fill, we need to import people from high IQ nations over not so high IQ nations[1].

    [1] http://www.amazon.com/IQ-Wealth-Nations-Richard-Lynn/dp/027597510X

  2. Seerov,

    “I often wonder how the richest country on earth cannot produce its own high skilled talent?

    Why is it that 300 million people + a $12 trillion dollar economy, cannot produce enough engineers, mathematicians, scientists, doctors, and other high IQ professionals?”

    American public schools are quite good at making Americans — at melting down cultural differences into a broad American soup. It isn’t that good at producing high-functioning graduates, however, which is why for generations we’ve imported talent. Three generations ago we were taking the best Germans, then expanded to the best English, then expanded to the best Japanese, and now we’re vacuuming from India, China, Iran, etc.

    While in the initial stages of educatoin working memory is the most important factor, as one goes deeper into a field long term memory (what one has already known) becomes more critical. Hence the need for intensive instruction of all students, especially those with less-than-exceptional working memory, in order to create a highly productive work force.

    “Contrary to what the Evangelicals or Sean Hannity might think, America was not founded as a “Christian” country. The majority of the founding fathers were Free Masons, which does not support any theory of America being “Christian.” But, if you want your nativity scene at the court house at Christmas time I support you”

    gnxp has a good post on this [1]

    This is very unlikely which is why we need a “smart” immigration policy. But first we need to square away the education system. What the education system cannot produce we can export in the form of people. BUT WE MUST AT LEAST TRY TO MAXIMIZE THE SKILLS OF OUR OWN PEOPLE BEFORE IMPORTING OTHERS. “

    Why? Both are good ideas, and neither precludes the other.

    “Last, when we do have a squared-away education system, and it comes time to fill in the holes that our system cannot fill, we need to import people from high IQ nations over not so high IQ nations[1].”

    Perhaps a better approach, if we wanted to maximize intelligence of immigrants, was to subject applicants to fluid or crystalized intelligence tests on an individual level, which produces less error, perhaps, than state-wide categorization.

    [1] http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2008/03/the_founding_fathers_as_nonchr.php

  3. “Why? Both are good ideas, and neither precludes the other.” (-Dan Tdaxp)

    Because there’s always the threat that people will bring their old allegiances and love of country with them. We see this with many Hispanics coming from Mexico today. About 60% of Mexicans believe that the Southwest belongs to Mexico and this may cause problems in the future.

    By “growing our own” we can ovoid “offending” people with American customs and history. I see stories all the time on how such and such group is offended by some aspect of American history or cultural icons thereby forcing their removal from universities or other public buildings. See link:

    http://www.vdare.com/buchanan/070905_imperialism.htm

  4. Australia restricts immigration quite successfully because we have a natural ‘moat’ patrolled by the navy…combined with harsh illegal immigrant camps in remote places where we put people we catch either in those waters or here.

    To live and work here as a migrant with access to our social support networks (free medical, public housing, free education) you need to be under 50yo, have competent english language skills and have skills that meet a list of categories we need…

    http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/_pdf/sol-schedule1.pdf

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