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U.S. Department of State
Daily Press Briefing
Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 23, 2004

[ ... ]

QUESTION: Adam, a question on U.S. Commerce is proposing over 20,000 more high-tech visas, which will go to the foreign-born students or -- from overseas. Does the State Department support this policy of bringing more 25 -- more foreign-born high-tech visas?

MR. ERELI: I'm not sure what specific visas you're talking about. I'd have to check into that. I would note that if you look at our student visa numbers for 2004 over 2003, we've begun to see an upward trend in number of visas issued, which we take as a positive sign that perhaps we've turned the corner and are beginning to inch back towards levels that are indicative of greater ease of coming to the United States and increased interest and involvement of students in coming here.

QUESTION: I'm talking about, actually, many of U.S. companies, hi-tech companies like, you know, Microsoft or Texas Instrument or Hewlett-Packard and all, that they are short of hi-tech workers, and they need more and more workers --

MR. ERELI: Yeah, right.

QUESTION: That's why they're taking their -- outsourcing their business.

MR. ERELI: Right. Again, I don't have any comment on that issue, and that's domestic policy.

QUESTION: Thank you, thank you.

[ ... ]