Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft and the world’s richest man, gave warning yesterday that restrictions on the number of skilled workers allowed to enter the US put the country’s competitiveness at risk.
此番言论是科技行业对美国限制性移民政策的最新抨击。美国科技行业正面临熟练工人短缺的问题，而目前科技业对这些人技能的需求不断上升。盖茨在美国参议院卫生、教育、劳工及退休金委员会Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labour and Pensions发表演讲时表示，美国移民政策的严格程度有所上升--部分原因是出于对恐怖主义的担忧，这"恰好在我们最有需要时，把全球最优秀、最聪明的人赶走了"。
The comments marked the latest attack on restrictive US immigration policies by the technology industry, which is facing a shortage of skilled workers even as demand for their skills is increasing. Speaking before the Senate committee on health, education, labour and pensions, Mr Gates said that tighter US immigration policies - governed partly by concerns over terrorism - were "driving away the world’s best and brightest precisely when we need them most".
"It makes no sense to tell well-trained, highly skilled inpiduals, many of whom are educated at our top colleges and universities, that the United States does not welcome or value them," Mr Gates said. "America will find it infinitely more difficult to maintain its technological leadership if it shuts out the very people who are most able to help us compete."
Mr Gates said that other countries were taking advantage of restrictive US policies by catering to highly skilled workers who would otherwise choose to study, live and work in the US.
"Our lost opportunities are their gains," he said. "I personally witness the ill effects of these policies on an almost daily basis at Microsoft."
Mr Gates’s comments on immigration were part of a broader warning by the Microsoft chairman over the state of US competitiveness.
Mr Gates said he felt "deep anxiety" about America’s ability to remain competitive if it did not act quickly to improve education, invest in basic science research, and reform its immigration policies.
Mr Gates called on Congress to loosen rules that prevent many foreign students from settling once their studies at US universities are complete. He also suggested that Congress speed the process of obtaining permanent resident status for highly skilled workers.
The US currently limits visas for skilled foreign workers to 65,000 a year, while the number of green cards, required for permanent resident status is limited to 140,000 a year.