Trump Proposes Automatic Green Cards for Foreign College Graduates in Shift from Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric

In an unexpected shift from his usual campaign rhetoric, former President Donald Trump has proposed granting automatic green cards to foreign students graduating from U.S. colleges. During a podcast interview with venture capitalists and tech investors on “All-In,” Trump suggested that upon graduation, students from both junior colleges and four-year institutions should receive green cards as part of their diploma, ensuring their ability to stay in the country. This plan marks a significant expansion of America’s immigration system and diverges sharply from Trump’s typical messages regarding immigration.

Trump, who has made immigration a key issue in his 2024 presidential campaign, frequently speaks about the dangers he believes illegal immigrants pose to public safety and the job market. He has vowed to conduct the largest deportation operation in U.S. history if re-elected. Although Trump and his allies often differentiate between legal and illegal immigration, his administration proposed reductions in legal immigration, including family-based visas and the visa lottery program.

In 2017, Trump issued the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, seeking to ensure that business visas were awarded only to the highest-paid or most-skilled applicants. He has criticized the H1-B visa program, commonly used by tech companies to hire foreign workers, as detrimental to American workers.

During the podcast, Trump attributed his inability to implement these measures to the coronavirus pandemic. He shared stories of top college graduates from countries like India and China who, unable to secure U.S. visas, returned home and became successful entrepreneurs. Trump emphasized the need for a pool of smart, skilled workers for American companies.

Campaign press secretary Karoline Leavitt later clarified that Trump’s proposal would involve rigorous vetting to exclude individuals with extremist affiliations or those who might undercut American wages. This new policy would apply only to the most thoroughly vetted graduates capable of making significant contributions to the country.

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