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H-1B limits is 'stupidest policy in the entire American political system,' says Google's Schmidt

  • Eric Schmidt said limits on the H-1B visa program will make it more difficult for U.S. companies to remain competitive.
  • The tech executive also said he isn't worried about artificial intelligence taking jobs.

If there was any doubt that Silicon Valley hates limitations on hiring skilled immigrants to work in the U.S., Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt made it clear.

"The stupidest policy in the entire American political system was the limit on H-1B visas," Schmidt said while speaking at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab on Wednesday. Alphabet is the parent company of Google.

"We want the best people in the world, regardless of any form of sex, race, country, what-have-you. We want them to work for us and not our competitors," he said.

Policy restrictions like that make it more difficult for U.S. companies to remain competitive, he said. "We should organize our country to be the most attractive place for those people. Stupid government policies that restrict us from [having] a fair chance of getting those people are antithetical to our mission [and] the things we serve," said Schmidt.

Schmidt also said that despite the rapid pace of technological advancement he isn't worried about artificial intelligence taking jobs. "I've taken the position of 'job elimination denier.' I've just decided I'm going to be contrarian, because the data supports me, and it's more fun to be in opposition anyway," he said.

Still, "there's no question that there's job dislocation. But there [are] always new solutions," he said. "The economic folks would say that you can see the job that's lost, but you very seldom can see the job that's created."