Trump says he would give green cards to foreign students after graduation

Donald J. Trump said he would push for a program that would automatically give green cards to foreign students in America after they graduate, a reversal of restrictions he enacted as president on immigration of highly skilled workers and students to the United States.

Appearing with host David Sacks, a Silicon Valley investor who supports the former president’s 2024 campaign, on a podcast broadcast Thursday, Mr. Trump reiterated his frequent criticism of high levels of immigration, calling them an “invasion of our country.” He was then pressed by Jason Calacanis, another investor who hosts the podcast, to “promise us that you will give us more ability to import the world’s best and brightest to America.”

“I promise, but I agree,” Mr. Trump said, adding “what I will do is: If you get a college degree, I think you should get automatically, as part of of your degree, a green card to be able to stay in this country, and that includes colleges. »

Mr. Trump suggested that he had wanted to implement such a policy when he was in office, but “then we had to solve the Covid problem.” The Trump administration invoked the pandemic to implement many of the immigration restrictions that officials had wanted to put in place earlier during Mr. Trump’s tenure.

Mr. Trump also lamented “stories where people had graduated from a major college or university, and they desperately wanted to stay here, they had a business plan, a concept, and they can’t — they return to India, they leave. Back in China, they do the same basic business in these places. And they become multi-billionaires.

Mr. Trump’s comments contrasted with the immigration policies he had adopted during his term and were a direct overture to the wealthy business leaders he is courting as donors and supporters to his campaign. Mr. Sacks this month hosted a fundraiser for the former president in San Francisco, the beating heart of the liberal tech industry, that raised about $12 million for Mr. Trump’s campaign.

Mr. Trump had at times sought to reform the country’s immigration system to reduce family-based immigration and prioritize immigrants who were wealthy, had valuable job skills or were highly educated.

But during his tenure as president, Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda included restrictions on green cards, visa programs, refugee resettlement and other forms of legal immigration, significantly reducing the number of permanent residents legal entering the country.

He began his presidency by signing an executive order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, then passed a proposal to cut legal immigration in half. Throughout his presidency, Mr. Trump has called the H-1B visa program, favored by technology companies as a way to hire skilled foreign workers, a “theft of American prosperity.”

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