In India, Gates criticizes U.S. immigration policies

24. Juli 2009
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 . "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 on numerous occasions on that topic.

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, 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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