HomeAmericasPoliticsTrump Floats Idea Of Green Cards For Students; Campaign Rolls It Back

Trump Floats Idea Of Green Cards For Students; Campaign Rolls It Back

Trump Floats Idea Of Green Cards For Students; Campaign Rolls It Back

Trump Floats Idea Of Green Cards For Students; Campaign Rolls It Back

WASHINGTON, DC (IANS) – Former US President Donald Trump has said if he is re-elected, his administration will pursue a program to grant Green Cards to students automatically upon graduation from American colleges and universities.

Students from India, which is the second largest source country for foreign students, stand to be the largest beneficiaries if Trump is indeed re-elected and delivers on his promise. Together with students from China, which is the top source country, they account for 53 percent of all foreign students enrolled in 2023.

But the big question is if he will indeed deliver on this promise.

When in office from 2017 to 2021, his administration had tried to restrict the intake of immigrants and targeted Indians coming to the US on H-1B short-term non-immigrant work visas. Before taking office, he had supported the H-1B program.

The Trump campaign has already rolled back the former President’s comments, saying shortly after that the program will use an “aggressive vetting process” to keep out “all communists, radical Islamists, Hamas supporters, America haters and public charges (poor foreigners who are unable to fend for themselves and need government)”.

Trump’s remarks came in a podcast with two Silicon Valley investors on June 20. When asked to promise he will bring the best and the brightest from around the world to America, he said: “I do promise, but I happen to agree.”

“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, and that includes junior colleges.”

A Green Card allows the holder to stay and work in the US permanently – Permanent Residency – and it is a step away from full citizenship. The US grants an estimated 1 million Green Cards every year and it also receives 1 million foreign students every year, mostly from China and India.

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  • I have two comments on this proposal. One, if the above program does get implemented, it would motivate a lot of young folks from all over the world, especially, developing as well as underdeveloped countries to apply for admission in American colleges and universities and may make it harder for Indian and Chinese students to get into those colleges because Green Cards are so coveted by foreigners. Two, this program may create an oversupply of professionals seeking employment in their fields, which may cause a salary depression and/or increase in the unemployment rate. Therefore, as well-intentioned as this program is, it needs to be carefully thought out and must be targeted, based on the shortage of professionals in a particular field. I remember Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, mentioning this kind of program a few years ago, therefore, this is not Trump’s original idea. I also think the program may never take off because of the pressure of US citizens on politicians not to implement it for reasons stated earlier.

    June 23, 2024

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