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Boost for Indian students: Donald Trump promises US green card for foreign graduates – Times of India

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Boost for Indian students: Donald Trump promises US green card for foreign graduates – Times of India

In a surprising shift from his usual hardline stance on immigration, former President Donald Trump expressed his desire to grant automatic green cards to foreign students who graduate from US colleges. During an interview on the “All-In” podcast, Trump said, “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.” He extended this proposal to include graduates from two-year junior colleges and doctoral programs.
Trump’s changed stance is a boost for Indian students studying in US colleges. The number of Indian students opting for higher education in the United States reached an unprecedented level during the 2022-23 academic year, according to a report. This surge represents a remarkable 35% increase from the previous year.
Data from the Institute of International Education (IIE) revealed that over 200,000 Indian students enrolled in various US institutions, setting a new record. This significant rise underscores the growing trend of Indian students seeking educational opportunities abroad, particularly in the United States.
The report highlighted several factors contributing to this growth, including the high quality of education, extensive research facilities, and the global reputation of American universities. Additionally, the opportunity to gain international exposure and enhance career prospects has made the US a preferred destination for Indian students.
‘Departure from anti-immigrant rhetoric’
Trump’s comments come as a departure from his typical anti-immigrant rhetoric, which often portrays immigrants as a threat to public safety, job security, and government resources. When asked about plans to import the “best and brightest” from around the world, Trump replied, “I do promise.”
He cited stories of highly skilled graduates from top colleges who are forced to return to their home countries, such as India and China, due to visa restrictions, only to become successful entrepreneurs employing thousands of people.
“I know of stories where people graduated from a top college, or from a college, and they desperately want to stay here… and they can’t. They go back to India, they go back to China,” Trump said.
A green card, or permanent resident card, is a crucial step towards US citizenship. Trump’s plan aims to retain talented individuals who have received their education in the United States, countering current policies that often see these graduates returning to their home countries.
The Republican candidate’s remarks came shortly after President Joe Biden announced a new pathway to citizenship for immigrants married to US nationals, balancing his recent strict measures on illegal border crossings.
Trump highlighted the loss of talent due to current visa policies, saying, “I know of stories where people graduated from a top college, or from a college, and they desperately want to stay here… 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 multibillionaires employing thousands and thousands of people.”
The former president’s campaign press secretary, Karoline Leavitt, later clarified that Trump’s proposal would only apply to thoroughly vetted college graduates who can make significant contributions to America, and would not undercut American wages or workers. She emphasized that Trump has outlined the most aggressive vetting process in US history to exclude “all communists, radical Islamists, Hamas supporters, America haters and public charges.”
(With inputs from agencies)

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