The importance of being able to retain and hire these world top engineers is super important. And you know, the fact that there’s this limit, you know, I can’t overstate the impact that has, not only on the decision of the people who are educated here to stay here, but also on their decision to even come to the United States in the first place. You know, if you wanted to say, “OK, how do we compete with Asian countries?” The fact that their smartest people often want to come here has been a huge advantage to us, and in a sense we’re kind of throwing that away.
“You know, to be honest, if there was a way that we could get the freedom to hire these people that set a threshold for the companies involved to be concretely involved in giving back education, you know, I think that would be acceptable, you know, as long it’s concrete and it really solves the problem that we’re all facing here. You know, I think even without that though, it’s a total win-win situation for the economy and job creation to not force these people to be employed outside the United States. We at Microsoft, partly because of the current U.S. immigration policies, we created an office up in Vancouver, Canada, because that government, like virtually every government other than the United States, recognizes that competing for talent and encouraging talent, particularly talent educated in a country, getting them to stay, that that’s very, very important.”
—Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates testifies before the Committee on Science and Technology.