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Trump Proposes Automatic Green Cards for International Students Graduating from US Colleges

Trump Proposes Automatic Green Cards for International Students Graduating from US Colleges

Former United States President Donald Trump recently proposed a significant change to the US immigration system, suggesting that Green Cards should be automatically granted to international students who graduate from US colleges.

This proposal, if implemented, would mark a substantial shift in how the US handles immigration, particularly in retaining international talent.

Presently, the US grants 1.1 million permanent legal resident visas, also known as Green Cards, each year. The majority of these visas are allocated to individuals with family ties to US citizens rather than based on skills or employment.

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The Green Card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, allows foreign nationals to live and work permanently in the United States. However, obtaining a Green Card is a lengthy and complex process involving various visa categories and often long waiting periods.

Trump’s proposal aims to provide a direct pathway to residency for hundreds of thousands of international students, aligning with efforts to attract and retain top global talent. This could significantly increase the number of skilled immigrants contributing to the US economy and innovation.

Under his new immigration plan, Trump aims to cut the number of family-sponsored visas, increase those he calls merit-based, reduce humanitarian-based visas (such as for asylum seekers and refugees) by half, and stop the diversity visa program, also known as the Green Card lottery.

Trump refers to the new proposal as the “Build America visa,” which would be determined by points including age, English proficiency, education, offer of employment or promise of investment, and passing a test on American history and government.

Regarding the Diversity Visa program, Trump argued that the random selection system used to pick successful applicants is contrary to American values.

“What I would like is a new legal immigration system that protects American wages, promotes American values, and attracts the best and brightest from all around the world,” Trump stated.

He added, “What I will do is you graduate from college, I think you should get automatically as part of your diploma a Green Card to be able to stay in this country.” He emphasized that this policy would apply to graduates from all types of US colleges, including junior colleges and those with doctorate degrees.

A shift from his anti-immigrant stance

This proposal represents a stark contrast to Trump’s previous stances on immigration, which were often marked by strict regulations and anti-immigrant sentiments. So far during his 2024 presidential campaign, Trump has focused heavily on issues related to border security and illegal immigration.

Deportation Plans

One of Trump’s most controversial immigration policies was his approach to deportation. His administration sought to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, prioritizing those with criminal records but also targeting those without.

This policy led to widespread fear and uncertainty among immigrant communities. Trump’s administration increased Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids and expanded the categories of deportable offenses.

Travel Ban

Another notable policy was the travel ban, often referred to as the “Muslim Ban.” Initially introduced in January 2017, the executive order banned entry to the US for citizens from several predominantly Muslim countries.

After multiple revisions and legal challenges, the Supreme Court upheld a version of the ban in June 2018. This policy was highly controversial and faced criticism for being discriminatory and for separating families.

Border Wall

Trump also prioritized building a wall along the US-Mexico border to prevent illegal immigration. Although a complete wall was never built, his administration constructed or replaced several hundred miles of barriers. The wall was a central symbol of his immigration policy, aimed at reducing illegal border crossings.

His new proposal suggests a dramatic shift, aiming to streamline the process for skilled immigrants to remain in the US.

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