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Gates Weighs In On Immigration Reform

Doug Caverly
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-30

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Who should you ask for advice when it comes to matters of national security, human rights, and more specifically, immigration reform? Well, Bill Gates seems to think he has a pretty good understanding of the issues. Gates released a 200-word statement on Thursday expressing his views on the subject.

In regards to the legislation that would make modifications to the H1-B visa and green card caps for highly skilled employees, the Microsoft chairman applauded the Senate "for recognizing that U.S. competitiveness depends on our ability to recruit and retain the world's best minds, no matter where they are from." He also gave special kudos to Arlen Specter "for his critical leadership on this issue."

I'm not saying I support or oppose Gates's views on the subject, but I find it somewhat presumptuous for him to stick his nose into the midst of it. Gates should not believe that his brilliant success as a programmer and businessman in any way qualifies him to give counsel on national affairs. This particular issue is connected to Gates's area of expertise to at least some degree, however - he makes mention of the "scientists and engineers who would like to use their skills to help U.S. companies."

The statement as a whole was especially disquieting because of the massive fortune that Gates has behind him. The Microsoft chairman has more than enough money to affect certain events, should he take an interest in doing so. That's not an allegation that Gates has, is, or is planning to lobby for any changes, but such riches have an undeniable influence.

Gates has every right to express his political views, of course. But given his wealth, and his lack of expertise in this realm, I kind of wish he'd keep his thoughts to himself.

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About the Author:
Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

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