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Donald Trump proposes automatic Green Card for foreign graduates in US, shifts from previous hardline stance – What it means for Indian students

For the students from India, it could provide a more secure and stable future in the US. It would encourage students to pursue higher education in American institutions and further strengthen the cultural and educational ties between India and the US.

Former United States President Donald Trump surprised everyone on 21st June when the Republican presidential candidate proposed granting automatic Green Card to foreign students who graduate from US colleges. The proposal was shared during the “All-In” podcast. The aim of the question about immigration posed to Trump was to get his views on retaining high-skilled workers in the country which has become a major issue for the tech industry in the US.

What Donald Trump has proposed

During the podcast, angel investor Jason Calacanis asked Trump about the support measures he would provide to retain more high-skilled workers in the US, specifically in the tech industry. Responding affirmatively to his query, Trump stated, “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. And that includes junior colleges too, anybody graduates from a college. You go there for two years or four years.” The proposal by the presidential candidate aims to allow graduates to live and work permanently in the US which would offer a pathway to them to get citizenship eventually.

Donald Trump shifted from anti-immigrant stance

The proposal from Trump marks a significant shift from previous anti-immigrant policies by the Trump administration during his presidency from 2017 to 2021. Several measures were taken aimed to curb the US companies’ use of skilled foreign workers on H-1B visas which is a key visa option for international students who want to stay in the US after completing their studies.

Furthermore, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration attempted to force tens of thousands of foreign students to leave the US in case their colleges were offering online classes. However, the steps taken by the Trump administration faced lawsuits and strong opposition from colleges and universities leading to the administration rescinding the order.

How will it affect Indian students

Indian students constitute one of the largest groups of international students in the US. The proposal, if it comes into effect in case Trump becomes President for the second time, will be proven highly beneficial for the Indian students. If we look at the stats, the Institute of International Education (IIE) says that in the 2022-23 academic year, over 200,000 Indian students enrolled in US Institutes. It was a 35% jump from the previous fiscal year. The quality of education, extensive research facilities and reputation of American Universities often attract many Indian students.

If implemented, Trump’s proposal will make it easier for Indian students to stay in the US after completing their studies. It will provide them opportunities to become a significant contributor to the economy and culture of the US. There are a lot of visa restrictions that Indian students face at this time, including forced departure back to India when studies are completed, which would be removed significantly.

Skepticism and criticism of Trump’s proposal

Though there are potential benefits of Trump’s proposal, immigration advocates and political opponents are not buying what Trump suggested. The Biden campaign has questioned the sincerity of his proposal as he has opposed immigration in the past. Biden campaign spokesperson Kevin Munoz said, “Every chance Donald Trump got in office, he made it his mission to rip apart immigrant families for his political gain. Trump’s empty promise is both a lie and an insult, especially to the countless people that have been permanently damaged by his first term in office.”

Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director at the American Immigration Council, said, “I almost have to laugh because his administration adopted multiple policies aiming to restrict student visas and make it harder for people to stay in the country after graduating.” He also highlighted the contradictions between his current proposal and previous efforts.

Clarification from Donald Trump’s campaign

Notably, Trump’s campaign responded to the scepticism his proposal was facing and clarified that it would only apply to the graduates who undergo the “most aggressive vetting process in U.S. history”. The students who can make significant contributions to the US would get the benefit of the proposal. Karoline Leavitt, Trump’s campaign press secretary, emphasised that the proposal would not affect American wages or workers. She said it would exclude “all communists, radical Islamists, Hamas supporters, America haters, and public charges.”

Economic and social impact

If the proposal gets implemented, it has the potential to significantly impact the economy and social structure of the US. By retaining highly skilled graduates, the US could benefit from their expertise and contributions to various industries, especially the tech industry. This could enhance innovation, drive economic growth, and maintain the country’s competitive edge globally.

For the students from India, it could provide a more secure and stable future in the US. It would encourage students to pursue higher education in American institutions and further strengthen the cultural and educational ties between India and the US.

As the 2024 presidential election approaches, this issue will likely be a critical point of discussion, with implications for the future of US immigration policy and its global standing.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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