Feeds

Bill Gates: Tough US immigration stance a 'huge mistake'

More exceptions for 'smart people'

Security for virtualized datacentres

Bill Gates called US immigration restrictions a "huge mistake" while on tour of India today, urging America to open its golden doors for more "smart people."

The Microsoft billionaire spoke out on US immigration at a software CEO forum Monday in New Delhi while visiting the country to receive the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament, and Development.

"I have been speaking about some of the immigration restrictions that the US has got involved in, and they are terrible for the US and also terrible for the world," India's national newspaper The Hindu quotes Gates saying. "The US Congress is very tough on immigration, in general. And my position has been, well, that is unfortunate, but what about making an exception for smart people, people with engineering degrees and letting such people come in."

Adding that Microsoft has always been against tougher immigration laws, Gates said stricter US policy would be a "huge mistake."

Gates also told the audience he is "very excited" about India's new government agency tasked with creating a national identity card for the country's 1.2 billion citizens starting in 2011. Gates said he's booked a meeting with the minister in charge of the project during his visit to discuss Microsoft's possible involvement. At the same time, Gates expressed disappointment in the US government's unwillingness to embrace a similar national ID program because it "got off to a bad start" using computers to keep data on citizens.

"It has always come back to the idea that 'the computer knows too much about you.'" Gates said.

In addition, Gates urged India's IT market to move away from low-cost labour and towards high-end research and development.

"At first some of that [IT boom] was built on low-cost labor. And, of course, as time goes on, you don't want to have that as the only differentiator and it's not a sustainable thing, because others can come along with that as well," he said.

Gates called on the Indian government, businesses, and universities to deepen their commitment to R&D as well as boosting the country's relatively low number of native PhD students.

Gates is visiting India to receive the prestigious Indira Gandhi Prize on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The organization is helming a $258m effort to combat the spread of AIDS. On the eve of his arrival, Gates announced an additional $80m of funding towards the project. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.