Image Source : AP Former US President Donald Trump

Former US President Donald Trump, in the sharpest u-turn on the immigration issue, has promised to provide “automatic” green cards to foreign students who graduate from US colleges. Trump said this in reference to Indian and Chinese students, who he claimed are “superbright” who graduate from top American colleges and become multibillionaires. His statement is considered a sharp departure from the anti-immigrant rhetoric he typically uses on the campaign trail. The Republican candidate for the upcoming US elections statement is also seen as a counter to what his contender Joe Biden had promised citizenships to lakhs of migrants. 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. A Green Card, known officially as a permanent resident card, is an identity document showing a person has permanent residency in the United States. The podcast was hosted by four venture capitalists: Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis, David Sacks, and David Friedberg, three of whom are immigrants.

VIDEO: Podcast where Donald Trump promises green card for students 

“They go back to India, do the same basic company and become multi-billionaires”

Trump’s remarks came as he was pressed by Calacanis to “promise us you will give us more ability to import the best and brightest around the world to America.” 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, about foreign students getting a Green Card after receiving a degree from a higher education institution in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) field.

Any graduate can get a green card: Trump

“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.

(With inputs from agencies)

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