“Microsoft Wants No Limit On Hiring Foreigners,” Associated Press, 27 April 2005, http://www.thekcrachannel.com/technology/4423402/detail.html (from Democratic Underground).
“Canada is wooing Mexican immigrants,” by Chris Hawley, Arizona Republic, 3 May 2005, http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0503canada03.html.
While Microsoft founder Bill Gates is asking for more open immigration rules in the United States
Bill Gates is urging an end to federal limits on foreign engineers who can be hired by U.S. companies.
In some rare personal lobbying of the Bush administration and Congress, the Microsoft mogul said it doesn’t make sense to put limits on the number of “smart people” who can come into the country.
Currently, no more than 65,000 overseas engineers, scientists, architects and doctors are allowed to take such jobs in the U.S.
U.S. labor groups and out-of-work computer engineers argue otherwise, but Gates and other technology executives say they need a larger labor pool.
It’s a sensitive issue with Americans watching jobs moving overseas.
Canada is already doing just that
Canada’s Immigration Policies Hasten the Harmonizatoin of North America
As the United States fortifies its border with Mexico, Canadian companies are reaching out to immigrants who are frustrated by U.S. restrictions and tempted by dreams of a better life in Canada.
The Canadian government has been relaxing its immigration rules in an effort to attract students and skilled workers from all over the world. That, and the push by companies promising jobs and visas, is attracting Mexican professionals turned off by the Minuteman Project, new border walls, tougher U.S. entry requirements and laws like Proposition 200 in Arizona.
“Live in Canada!” says a Mexico City newspaper ad placed by a Canadian labor recruiter, as a photo of the Toronto skyline beckons. “Voted the No. 1 country in the world for living four years in a row,” an immigration counseling company boasts on its Web site.
“Canada has its arms open to immigrants, and the United States has its arms closed. It’s as simple as that,” accountant Marcos RamÃrez Posadas said as he stood in line with other visa applicants outside the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City.
I like competitive liberalization. While Canada’s unilateral policies often cause trouble, I hope the US and Canada compete to attract foreign workers. Gates’ words are signs that similar openness may soon be coming to the United States.
My only criticism of these immigration plans such as H1-B is that they rarely provide a pathway to citizenship. My friends at USD’s CompSci program have a lot of hassles to go through because of American immigration rules, and they are not guaranteed citizenship at the end of their work. This is wrong. My friends Ilknur, Preaad, Tenuun, Ramana, Shujin, Xingming, &c work hard in America. My friends should be able to become Americans.
Post Script: A DU poster notes the “coincidence” of Gates’ personal lobbying and this. Hmmm…