Former President Donald Trump, known for his tough stance on immigration, has made a surprising proposal: he wants to grant automatic green cards to foreign students who graduate from U.S. colleges. This marks a significant shift from his usual rhetoric, reported Bussiness Standard.

In a podcast posted Thursday, Trump discussed this idea on a podcast with venture capitalists and tech investors called “All-In.” He stated, “What I want to do and what I will do is you graduate from a college, I think you should get automatically as part of your diploma a green card to be able to stay in this country. And that includes junior colleges too, anybody graduates from a college. You go there for two years or four years.” Trump emphasized that this would be a priority from his first day in office.

Immigration has been a cornerstone of Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign. His suggestion to offer green cards to foreign graduates could significantly expand the U.S. immigration system, a sharp contrast to his usual messages about immigrants. Typically, Trump has focused on the dangers he claims are posed by illegal immigrants, asserting they take jobs, drain resources, and compromise public safety. He once went as far as to say they are “poisoning the blood of our country.” If re-elected, he has promised to carry out the largest deportation operation in U.S. history.

Trump and his supporters often draw a distinction between legal and illegal immigration. However, his administration also proposed limiting legal immigration, including family-based visas and the visa lottery program. In 2017, shortly after taking office, Trump issued the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order. This directive aimed to ensure business visas were awarded to the highest-paid or most-skilled applicants, in an effort to protect American workers.

Trump has previously criticized the H1-B visa program, which allows companies to temporarily hire foreign workers. Despite using the program himself, he described it as “very bad” and accused tech companies of using it to pay foreign workers lower wages.

During the “All-In” podcast, Trump attributed his inability to implement some of his immigration policies to the COVID-19 pandemic. He shared stories of graduates from top U.S. colleges who are forced to return to their home countries due to visa issues. He specifically mentioned India and China, noting that many of these graduates become successful entrepreneurs and create thousands of jobs.

“You need a pool of people to work for your company,” Trump said. “And they have to be smart people. Not everybody can be less than smart. You need brilliant people.”

In a statement released after the podcast, campaign press secretary Karoline Leavitt reinforced Trump’s position. She said, “President Trump has outlined the most aggressive vetting process in U.S. history, to exclude all communists, radical Islamists, Hamas supporters, America haters and public charges. He believes, only after such vetting has taken place, we ought to keep the most skilled graduates who can make significant contributions to America. This would only apply to the most thoroughly vetted college graduates who would never undercut American wages or workers.”



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