Washington: At a time when the US Congress is to re-examine immigration issues, President George W Bush has made a strong case for increasing the H1-B visa quota, emphasising that it makes "no sense" for America to not allow an Indian scientist to come to the country and develop new technologies.
Speaking in Delaware at a Dupont facility, Bush said, "It makes no sense to say to a young scientist from India, you can't come to America to help this company develop technologies that help us deal with our problems. So we've got to change that .. change that mindset in Washington DC."
Bush asserted it was in American interest to let skilled manpower work in the US and increase the number of visas.
"... I also want you to know I understand that we need to make sure that when a smart person from overseas wants to come and work in Dupont, it's in our interests to allow him or her to do so. We've got to expand what's called H1-B visas. I know the senator and the congressman understand that," Bush said.
"I know we can work together on that," Bush told workers, referring to the Congress.
Currently the H1-B caps are fixed at 65,000 on an annual basis -- along with an additional 20,000 H1-Bs for foreign nationals who graduate with an American university or college degree.
Proposals to the effect to raise this to 115,000 annually and with flexibility in the permanent residency quotas as it pertains to dependants were in a senate immigration bill that fell by the wayside in 2006.
However, there are indications these will be resurrected in a comprehensive bill that will be debated by the 110th Congress.
Bush also pointed to the growing importance of the economies of countries like China and India.
"We're in a global economy. And so when the Chinese economy grows, or the Indian economy grows -- which we want it to do, by the way -- when their economy grows, it provides markets for your products. So it's in our interests that we trade."
The US President also correlated the price of oil to the international economy.
"But we've got to understand that when the globe becomes interconnected economically, the demand increases in other countries can cause the price of oil to go up here, and it has an economic effect on our own economy."
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