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Is Donald Trump’s pledge to issue green cards to all international university graduates just a ploy or a genuine shift in policy? An examination of the facts.

Image Source: hindustantimes.com

While many have expressed gratitude towards Trump for his outreach efforts, his detractors are left pondering the fate of the “Buy American, hire American” policy.

Former President of the United States Donald Trump, who has been a staunch opponent of immigration, has taken a surprising stance by announcing his intention to automatically issue green cards to all graduates of American universities upon his re-election.

“It’s truly disheartening to see talented individuals from top universities, both prestigious and lesser-known, leaving the country,” Trump shared in a podcast.

“My vision is simple: if you complete your college education, you should automatically receive a green card that allows you to stay in the United States. This includes community colleges as well. The idea is that anyone who dedicates two or four years to higher education, or even obtains a doctoral degree, should be granted the opportunity to remain in this country.”

Shortly after the podcast was made available, Trump’s campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt issued a statement emphasizing the stringent background checks that would be implemented. “This initiative will set the most rigorous vetting standards in U.S. history to ensure that only the most qualified and non-threatening individuals are granted green cards.”

“This policy will only apply to those who have been thoroughly vetted and are not likely to take jobs away from American workers or lower wages,” he added.

The Indian-American community has responded positively to Trump’s announcement, celebrating his commitment to reforming the legal immigration system and supporting the admission of highly skilled individuals from India. “For the first time, Trump has addressed the need for improvements in the legal immigration process and the importance of attracting high-skilled talent from India,” Atal Agarwal, a leading advocate for Indian immigration rights, commented. “It’s about time that Indian immigrants rally behind Trump, especially since the Democratic Party has not been supportive of our community.”

“This policy change alone is a significant shift from Trump’s previous immigration stances. He has previously labeled immigrants as ‘poison’ to the nation and vowed to execute the largest deportation operation in U.S. history. However, Trump’s populist approach seems to be working again, with this announcement. It’s a clear win for him,” said Suchit Ahuja, a professor at Concordia University.

Yet, this announcement marks a notable departure from Trump’s usual immigration rhetoric, where he has made controversial statements about immigrants being detrimental to the country and has proposed aggressive deportation measures.

Frank DeScushin, a supporter of the Republican Party in X, argued, “Trump’s proposal to award a green card to all foreign students who graduate from any US college, even those at two-year institutions, will likely increase the influx of immigrants to and within the US, and heighten the competition for university admission, making it harder for American students to secure spots.”

This raises the question of whether Donald Trump can be relied upon regarding his green card comments. He made similar pledges in the past, yet as president, he went against them and took steps to reduce legal immigration. “Trump actually halted H1B renewals and stopped the work permits for H1B spouses. This individual is not to be trusted. He will say whatever it takes to get his way,” said Anshu Sharma, a businessman from California of Indian descent.

In 2016, Trump made comments like these, then changed course as president to decrease legal immigration. He even criticized the H-1B visa program.

During his time as president, Trump has proposed measures to restrict legal immigration, such as limiting family-based visas and the visa lottery system, and issued his “Buy American and Hire American” executive order.

Although these measures could potentially be beneficial for many immigrants, including high-skilled individuals from India, they cast doubts on their practicality and consistency with his past policies. Given Trump’s history of making strong commitments during his campaigns that have not all come to pass, and his aggressive deportation policies and negative comments about immigrants, it indicates a complex and sometimes inconsistent stance on immigration reform. The statement appears more like a strategic maneuver to appeal to immigrant communities before the election rather than a true ideological change.

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