Trump's Shift on Immigration Policy: Automatic Green Cards for Graduates
Trump's Shift on Immigration Policy: Automatic Green Cards for Graduates

Washington: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has pledged to grant automatic Green Cards to foreign students graduating from U.S. colleges. In a recent podcast, Trump emphasized the need to retain talented students, preventing them from returning to countries like India and China, where they often become multibillionaires.

This proposal marks a significant shift for Trump, known for his previously strict anti-immigration stance, as the November election approaches.

Immigration remains a key issue in the U.S. A Pew Research Centre poll shows that 59% of registered U.S. voters support granting citizenship to immigrants.

Trump stated in the 'All-In' podcast, "What I want to do and what I will do is — you graduate from a college, I think you should get a Green Card automatically as part of your diploma, a Green Card to be able to stay in this country. And that includes junior colleges too.”

Trump, a former U.S. President, recounted stories of graduates from top U.S. colleges who wanted to stay but were forced to return to their home countries, where they established successful companies. "They become multi-billionaires employing thousands and thousands of people, and it could have been done here," he lamented.

The podcast, hosted by venture capitalists Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis, David Sacks, and David Friedberg, all immigrants, highlighted the importance of retaining talented graduates.

Trump expressed regret over the loss of talent from prestigious institutions like Harvard and MIT. He mentioned that his plans were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which took priority during his term.

In 2023, the U.S. issued a record number of over 140,000 visas to Indian students. The U.S. embassy in India is preparing for an increase in student visa applications for 2024, starting interviews earlier than usual to manage the surge.

A Green Card, or Permanent Resident Card, grants permanent resident status in the U.S.

Trump, who has traditionally supported a merit-based citizenship policy, reiterated his stance on granting Green Cards to foreign students in STEM fields upon graduation. "Anybody graduates from a college, you go in there for two years or four years. If you graduate, or you get a doctorate degree from a college, you should be able to stay in this country," he stated.

Trump criticized the current system that forces top graduates to leave the country, preventing them from even negotiating job offers. "That is going to end on day one," he declared.

The Institute of International Education's latest Open Doors report indicates that over a million international students from more than 210 places of origin were studying at U.S. institutions during the 2022-23 academic year.

During his presidency, Trump’s immigration policies included restricting green cards, visa programs, and refugee resettlement, reducing the number of lawful permanent residents. He frequently criticized the H-1B visa program, vital for tech companies hiring foreign skilled workers, as detrimental to American prosperity.

Trump expanded immigration restrictions during the pandemic, proposing to suspend all immigration and deport foreign students not attending in-person classes. He also moved to restrict the H-1B visa program shortly before the 2020 election.

This shift in Trump's stance could significantly benefit thousands of Indian students graduating or planning to graduate from U.S. colleges, offering them new hope for staying in the country.

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