Gates criticizes U.S. immigration policies

June 15, 2009                                                                                            Win a green card Subscribe in a reader

Bill Gates in India

Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates traveled to India this week and delivered a message to Washington: Don’t clamp down on immigration. “The U.S. Congress is very tough on immigration,” Gates said today at the Transforming India through Technology forum in New Delhi, according to compilation of press reports on Microsoft’s MSN India portal. “But why not make an exception for smart people?”

Gates’ comments to the Indian forum were mostly boilerplate remarks that he has consistently delivered on both sides of the Pacific. Gates is a longstanding opponent of a cap on H-1B visas and has testified before congressional committees on numerous occasions on that topic.

In separate U.S. speech, the Microsoft Chairman touts education reform

Earlier this week in the U.S., Gates continued to push for improvements to the educational system. In a speech Tuesday at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Philadelphia, Gates contended that the U.S. education system is in need of reform, citing poor college graduation rates in the country.

“America is a land of staggering opportunity,” Gates said. “But if you want to make the most of this opportunity, high school is not enough, and some post secondary education is no longer enough. If you want to have the skills to build a career, or to earn the resources to raise a family, you need a two-year or four-year college degree.”

An American Enterprise Institute report released last month showed that less than 60% of students entering four-year colleges graduate within six years. The percentage varied widely among the long list of institutions. For instance, 44% of freshmen students entering the University of Louisville graduate within six years. while 34% graduate in that time from the University of Memphis and 25% from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

“As a country, our performance at every level -- primary and secondary school achievement, high school graduation, college entry, college completion -- is dropping against the rest of the world,” Gates said.

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