See Bill … See Bill Flipping His Government the Bird

I am too close to this to blog objectively. One TN visa, two H1-Bs and six years later, we are still playing the Green Card waiting game.

And trust me, more than most I know that this is a complex issue. But this news is so big and feels so very surreal for folks like us (especially seeing that we moved here from British Columbia) that I couldn’t not touch on it.

From their press release yesterday:

“Microsoft Corp. today announced that it intends to expand its presence in Canada by opening a new software development center in the greater Vancouver, British Columbia, area. The Microsoft Canada Development Centre will open in the fall of 2007 and will be home to software developers from around the world.”

Bill Gates and Co. have long been lobbying government to make things more viable for the thousands of technical professionals working and living in the US on H1-B visas or standing in that ever-so-long line for a Green Card. I guess they know nothing’s going to change soon.

More in the National Post today:

“The company has long been pressuring U.S. immigration officials to increase the number of foreign workers it can employ in the United States. The U.S. government typically issues about 85,000 visas annually to foreign workers with specialized skills and warned in April there would be a shortage this year. Canada, meanwhile, does not impose similar quotas.

Microsoft and other companies have been saying for a long time, ‘If you make it so difficult for U.S. companies to bring in talented foreign nationals that they need, companies are going to fill those positions abroad’ said Ted Ruthizer of U.S. law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis and Frankel.

‘This is just the fulfillment of this promise,’ said Mr. Ruthizer, who runs [Microsoft’s] business-immigration practice.”

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