Trump: Foreign graduates of US universities should receive automatic green cards

Former US President Donald Trump has spoken out in favor of granting permanent residency in the United States to foreign graduates of US universities. They should “automatically receive a green card to be able to stay in this country,” Trump said in a podcast published on Thursday.

Trump said he knew stories of foreign college graduates who “desperately want to stay here (…) and can’t.” Instead, they went back to India or China. In their homeland, they then set up companies and “become multi-billionaires who employ thousands and thousands of people,” said Trump, who is likely to challenge Biden in the presidential election in November.

The right-wing populist’s proposal deviates from his otherwise tough stance on immigration policy, which is one of the most important issues in the US presidential election campaign. Trump’s opposition Republicans accuse President Joe Biden in particular of being too lax in his approach to irregular migration across the border with Mexico.

Biden had single-handedly tightened the rules for migrants at the border with Mexico two weeks ago with a decree. At the same time, however, he is trying to distance himself from his rival’s hard line by easing the rules for migrants already living in the country. On Tuesday, the US president announced easier access to permanent residency for hundreds of thousands of spouses of US citizens. His presumed election challenger Trump criticized the move.

The new rules will apply to all applicants who have been in the United States for at least ten years and who married a U.S. citizen before June 17, 2024 – according to government estimates, this affects around 500,000 people. In addition, there are 50,000 stepchildren of U.S. citizens to whom the new rules will also apply.