‘They Go Back To India’: Donald Trump Promises US Green Card For Foreign Graduates

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Washington D.C., United States of America (USA)

Trump said this should include anybody who graduates from a college, including those who complete two-year programs, known as junior colleges, and doctoral graduates. (Image: REUTERS)

Donald Trump suggests granting green cards to foreign graduates from US colleges, softening his stance on immigration amid key election issues

Former US President Donald Trump has said he wants to grant green cards to foreign graduates from American colleges, in an apparent softening of his stance on immigration, ahead of the November election.

His remarks came in a podcast published Thursday days after President Joe Biden announced a citizenship pathway for immigrants married to US nationals. Trump made the remarks when asked if he would promise to help tech firms hire the brightest minds from countries like India.

“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,” Trump told the All-In podcast. A green card is the commonly used name for a permanent resident card in the United States and a step toward citizenship.

‘I do promise’

The Republican candidate’s current comment contradicts his 2016 promise to end the use of H-1B visas, popular among Indian techies, for hiring cheap labour, pledging instead to prioritise American workers. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Tech firms depend on it to hire scores of employees each year from countries like India.

In the podcast, Trump said this should include “anybody who graduates from a college,” including those who complete two-year programs, known as junior colleges, and doctoral graduates. Asked initially on the podcast if he would promise to help import the “best and the brightest around the world to America,” Trump replied: “I do promise.”

He added: “I know of stories where people graduated from a top college, or from a college, and they desperately want to stay here… and they can’t. “They go back to India, they go back to China. They do the same basic company in those places and they become multi-billionaires employing thousands and thousands of people,” Trump said.

He also said that US companies need “smart people,” adding “they can’t even make a deal with a company because they don’t think they’re going to be able to stay in the country.” “That is going to end on day one,” Trump added. Trump’s 2017-2021 presidency, he ordered construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border and implemented a travel ban on people from mostly Muslim countries.

His comments came after Democrat opponent Biden on Tuesday relaxed visa rules for around half a million spouses of US nationals, making it easier for them to obtain citizenship. He also simplified the process for migrants who came to the United States illegally as children to get work visas if they’ve graduated college and have a “high-skilled job offer.”

(With agency inputs)

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