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After Biden’s immigration move, Trump promises Green Card to foreign graduates

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Former president Donald Trump has softened the stance on immigration saying he will be providing ‘Green Card’ to the foreign students graduating from the US colleges to prevent them from returning to their home nations like India and China.
Trump’s departure from the anti-immigrant rhetoric comes ahead of the November presidential election in which immigration and deportation of illegal immigrants are among the key issues for voters. Trump, however, always supported a merit-based legal immigration system.
“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, 78, said in the “All-In” podcast.
Trump, the presumptive candidate from the Republican Party, also lamented “stories where people graduated from a top college or from a college, and they desperately wanted to stay here, they had a plan for a company, a concept, 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, and it could have been done here,” he said.
“Let me just tell you that it’s so sad when we lose people from Harvard, MIT, from the greatest schools. and lesser schools that are phenomenal schools also. And what I wanted to do, and I would have done this, but then we had to solve the COVID problem because that came in and, you know, sort of dominated for a little while, as you perhaps know,” Trump said in response.
Trump reiterated his first-term policy that foreign students should be eligible for a Green Card after earning a degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) field from a higher education institution.
“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,” Trump said.
“We force the brilliant people, the people that graduate from college, the people that are number one in their class from the best colleges, you have to be able to recruit these people and keep the people,” he asserted.
Somebody graduates at the top of the class; they can’t even make a deal with the 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 announced.

According to the latest Open Doors report by the Institute of International Education, over a million international students from more than 210 countries are studying at US colleges during the 2022-23 academic year. China remains the top country, with 289,526 students in the US, though this is a slight 0.2 per cent decrease from the previous year.

India, the second-largest source of international students, hit a record high of 268,923 students in the US for the 2022-23 academic year, a 35 per cent increase from the previous year. Together, students from China and India made up 53 per cent of all international students, similar to the previous year.
However, the market share for each place of origin has shifted, with 27 per cent of students from China and 25 per cent of students from India, in comparison to 33 per cent from China and 18 per cent from India in 2017-18.
Trump’s latest comments stood in contrast to the immigration policy he adopted while in office and were a direct overture to wealthy business leaders whom he is courting as donors and supporters of his campaign. Whereas, Biden has recently introduced the policy for non-citizens.
Trump had at times sought to reform the nation’s immigration system to scale back family-based immigration and to prioritise wealthy immigrants, who had valuable work skills or who were highly educated.
But during his term as president, Trump’s immigration agenda included restrictions on green cards, visa programmes, refugee resettlement and other forms of legal immigration, significantly reducing the number of lawful permanent residents entering the country.
He began his presidency by signing an executive order that banned travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries and later embraced a proposal to cut legal immigration by half.  Throughout his presidency, Trump assailed the H-1B visa programme, favored by tech companies as a way to hire foreign skilled workers, as a “theft of American prosperity.”
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.     Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
Trump expanded restrictions on legal immigration during the pandemic and his last year in office and had proposed suspending all immigration to the United States and deporting foreign students if they did not attend at least some classes in person. A month before the 2020 election, Trump again moved to restrict the H-1B visa programme.

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