Trump says foreigners who graduate from US colleges should get green cards

Trump says foreigners who graduate from US colleges should get green cards
Trump says foreigners who graduate from US colleges should get green cards

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event, in Racine, Wisconsin June 18, 2024. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, June 21 — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in a podcast released on Thursday said that students graduating from US colleges should get a green card to stay in the country, a proposal that runs counter to his hardline immigration stance.

During the All-In podcast hosted by Silicon Valley tech investors, angel investor Jason Calacanis told Trump that the US needs to be able to legally retain more high-skilled workers, a major issue for the tech industry.

“Can you please promise us you will give us more ability to import the best and brightest around the world to America?” Calacanis said.

“I do promise,” Trump said. “But I happen to agree, otherwise I wouldn’t promise... 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.”

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A green card, also known as a permanent resident card, allows individuals the right to live and work permanently in the United States and is a step towards citizenship.

It was not clear if Trump was referring to all foreigners, including those who came to the United States illegally or overstayed their visas, or only those people on student visas.

Asked for comment, the Trump campaign said in a statement that only after “the most aggressive vetting process in US history” would “the most skilled graduates who can make significant contributions to America” be able to stay.

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One immigration advocate was not convinced by Trump’s proposal.

“I almost have to laugh because his administration adopted multiple policies aiming to restrict student visas and make it harder for people to stay in the country after graduating,” said Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director at the American Immigration Council.

During his 2017-2021 presidency, Trump’s administration took steps aimed at curbing US companies’ use of skilled foreign workers on H-1B visas, a key visa option for international students seeking to remain in the United States.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration tried to force tens of thousands of foreign students to leave the country if their schools held all classes online. Faced with lawsuits and strong opposition from colleges and universities, the administration later rescinded the order.

Trump has vowed a wide-ranging crackdown if reelected in the November election against Democrat Joe Biden, and has lambasted Biden’s efforts to curb the record number of migrants crossing into the US illegally.

Two of the All-In hosts, venture capitalists David Sacks and Chamath Palihapitiya, hosted a swanky fundraiser for Trump in San Francisco earlier this month, raising some US$12 million for his campaign.

Ukraine, abortion

During the interview, Trump ruled out committing US troops to Ukraine.

“I would guarantee it,” he said, when asked if he would pledge not to put boots on the ground there. “I wouldn’t do it, no.”

Trump also appeared sceptical of creating a pathway for Nato membership for Ukraine. The Biden administration supports Ukraine’s eventual ascension into the mutual defence alliance.

On abortion rights, Trump said he would not support a federal ban, echoing previous comments. — Reuters

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