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Trump Revises Plan to Give Green Cards to Foreign College Graduates

 June 23, 2024

President Donald Trump has recently suggested a policy change that would grant green cards automatically to foreign graduates from U.S. colleges, sparking significant reaction and prompting his campaign team to mitigate concerns about potential economic impacts.

The policy proposal included graduates from various institutions, including four-year universities, two-year community colleges, and holders of doctorate degrees, marking a shift from Trump's previous stance on immigration, but the campaign is now rethinking its stance, as Breitbart reports.

Trump communicated this idea during a discussion with four investors on the West Coast, three of whom are immigrants. He emphasized the importance of retaining highly skilled graduates in the United States to prevent them from contributing to the economies of other countries.

A Shift in Immigration Stance

Unlike his earlier American-first, low-migration views, this new proposal by Trump advocates giving green cards to top college graduates. Trump argued that skilled graduates could greatly benefit the U.S. without impacting wages or displacing workers, as conveyed by campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt.

During his conversation with investors, Trump lamented the loss of graduates from prestigious institutions like Harvard and MIT. He added that graduates from exceptional but lesser-known schools also deserve opportunities to stay in the country.

Details of the Proposal and Support

Trump outlined that any graduate, whether from a two-year or four-year program or a doctorate, should automatically receive a green card. The goal is to ensure they remain in the U.S. rather than returning to countries like India or China, where they might become billionaires by establishing large companies.

This approach received support from influential investors such as Chamath Palihapitiya and David Sacks, who acknowledged the importance of retaining highly skilled talent within the country.

Trump’s Historical Immigration Policies

Historically, Trump took measures to limit immigration, including blocking H-1B and L-1 visa workers and halting job outsourcing at the Tennessee Valley Authority. These actions led to increased wages and productivity-fueled investments within the U.S. economy.

Kevin Lynn, founder of US TechWorkers, highlighted Trump's past efforts to save American technology jobs from outsourcing, underscoring his commitment to protecting American workers' interests.

Concerns About Economic Impacts

Despite the positive feedback from some investors, concerns about the broader economic impacts remain. Laura Ingraham, a prominent conservative pundit, criticized the potential influx of foreign workers, arguing that it would satisfy corporate America's demand for cheap labor, thereby driving down wages.

In light of the feedback, Trump's campaign staff released a statement emphasizing the importance of considering the policy's potential adverse effects on the American workforce and economy.

Comparisons with Biden Administration Policies

The Biden administration, contrasting Trump's past approach, has opened multiple visa pathways for white-collar migrants. These policies have reportedly led to lower wages for American graduates, particularly noting an influx of degree-holding individuals from countries like India.

On June 18, President Joe Biden promised more work permits for degree-holding illegal migrants, further fueling the debate over the impacts of such immigration policies on the U.S. job market.

Investors' Perspectives on the Policy

Investor Larry Fink shared his view on the potential benefits of the policy, suggesting that maintaining the best and brightest could boost productivity and elevate living standards even amid population shrinkage.

During his discussions with investors, Trump reiterated the need to keep top graduates, framing it as a means to prevent talent from bolstering foreign competitors.

Looking Ahead

With his revised stance, Trump is seeking a balanced approach that leverages the skills of highly educated immigrants without undermining the domestic workforce.

As the debate continues, both Trump and his campaign will need to navigate the complexities of immigration policy and its economic implications.


The proposal to grant green cards to foreign graduates from U.S. colleges, including community colleges, represents a significant shift from Trump’s earlier immigration policies. While the idea aims to retain top talent and prevent them from boosting foreign economies, it has led to mixed reactions.

Investors like Chamath Palihapitiya and David Sacks support the move, though concerns about its impact on American wages persist.

The Biden administration's contrasting policies further complicate the landscape, contributing to ongoing debates about the best path forward for U.S. immigration and economic policies.