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Trump Causes Stir w/ Comments Backing Green Cards for Foreign Grads

(Headline USA) Former President Donald Trump said in an interview posted Thursday he wants to give automatic green cards to foreign students who graduate from U.S. colleges, a sharp departure from the America First rhetoric he typically uses on the campaign trail.

Trump was asked about plans for companies to be able to import the “best and brightest” in a podcast taped Wednesday with venture capitalists and tech investors called the “All-In.”

“What I want to do and 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,” he said, vowing to address this concern on day one. “And that includes junior colleges too, anybody graduates from a college. You go there for two years or four years.”

While Trump was quick during his presidency to denounce illegal immigration, his administration previously supported granting visas to skilled workers, and he has often tried to clarify that he does not inherently oppose the idea of immigration, provided it is adding value to the U.S. economy instead of detracting from or leeching off it.

The announcement, curiously, came shortly after one in which the Biden administration declared that it would seek backdoor amnesty for an estimated half a million illegal immigrants who meet certain provisions for having lived in the country more than 10 years and been married to a U.S. citizen.

Trump, in contrast to the Biden administration’s open-borders policy, has promised to carry out the largest deportation operation in U.S. history if elected.

Still, after Biden conducted the largest importation of illegals into the country’s interior, it remains to be seen how successful he might be in extricating the more than 11 million estimated “newcomers” over the past three years alone.

Trump’s prior promise to build a “big, beautiful border wall” never fully came to fruition due to the red tape that Democrats put up to prevent its implementation.

Trump has previously supported curbs on some types of legal immigration—such as family-based visas (i.e. chain migration) and the visa lottery program—that offered no defined benefit to the U.S., other than the political advantage it may give to Democrats.

He has also said the H1-B program commonly used by companies to hire foreign workers temporarily was “very bad” and exploited by tech companies to get foreign workers for lower pay.

Right after taking office in 2017, Trump issued his “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, directing Cabinet members to suggest reforms to ensure that business visas were only awarded to the highest-paid or most-skilled applicants to protect American workers.

During the conversation with “All-In,” he blamed the coronavirus pandemic for being unable to implement these measures while he was president.

He said he knows of stories of people who graduate from top colleges and want to stay in the U.S. but can’t secure visas to do so, forcing them to return to their native countries, specifically naming India and China. He said they go on and become multibillionaires, employing thousands of workers.

“You need a pool of people to work for your company,” Trump said. “And they have to be smart people. Not everybody can be less than smart. You need brilliant people.”

In a statement released hours after the podcast was posted, campaign press secretary Karoline Leavitt said that Trump’s support for recruiting the highest-quality foreign workers was consistent with his longstanding positions and policies.

“President Trump has outlined the most aggressive vetting process in U.S. history, to exclude all communists, radical Islamists, Hamas supporters, America haters and public charges,” Leavitt said.

“He believes, only after such vetting has taken place, we ought to keep the most skilled graduates who can make significant contributions to America,” she added. “This would only apply to the most thoroughly vetted college graduates who would never undercut American wages or workers.”

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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