Donald Trump promises international students automatic US green card after graduation

Key Points:

  • Automatic Green Cards: Trump suggested that graduates from US colleges, including those from junior colleges and doctoral programmes, should receive green cards upon graduation.
  • Support for High-Skilled Immigrants: Trump emphasised the need for “smart people” in US companies, pointing out that many talented individuals are forced to leave the country due to current immigration policies.
  • Economic Impact: He argued that allowing these graduates to stay would benefit the US economy, as many who return to their home countries become successful entrepreneurs and job creators.


Former United States President and candidate in the forthcoming US presidential election, Donald Trump, has announced his intention to grant US green cards to foreign graduates of US colleges, aiming to retain skilled talent within the country.

This promise, revealed during a podcast released on Thursday, represents a softer stance on immigration from the Republican candidate, who has previously been known for his hard-line views.

Proposal Details

Trump’s remarks come just days after President Joe Biden introduced a pathway to citizenship for immigrants married to US nationals, counterbalancing his recent crackdown on illegal border crossings. The juxtaposition of these policies highlights the continuing debate on immigration, a critical issue in the upcoming election.

“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,” Trump told the All-In podcast.

A green card, formally known as a permanent resident card, is a step towards US citizenship.

Also Read: UK Student Visa Can Now be Switched to Skilled Worker Visas, Before Graduating 

Inclusive of All Graduates

Trump’s plan extends to all college graduates, including those completing two-year programmes at junior colleges and those earning doctoral degrees. When asked if he would help bring the “best and the brightest around the world to America,” Trump affirmed, “I do promise.”

He elaborated on the economic implications, noting, “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 multi-billionaires employing thousands and thousands of people.”

Economic Impact

Trump argued that US companies need access to talented individuals to remain competitive.

“They can’t even make a deal with a company because they don’t think they’re going to be able to stay in the country. That is going to end on day one,” he asserted.

This stance marks a notable departure from Trump’s immigration policies during his presidency from 2017 to 2021, which included constructing a wall on the US-Mexico border and implementing a travel ban on people from several predominantly Muslim countries.

Biden’s Recent Immigration Policies

President Biden, meanwhile, recently relaxed visa rules for around half a million spouses of US nationals, simplifying the process for them to obtain citizenship. He also eased restrictions for “Dreamers”—migrants who came to the United States illegally as children—allowing them to secure work visas if they have graduated college and have a high-skilled job offer.

Also read: Biden immigration policy: US unveils legal route for illegal immigrant spouses of citizens

However, Biden has also faced criticism from Republicans for being too lenient on immigration. Earlier in June, he signed an executive order barring migrants who enter the United States illegally from claiming asylum when daily numbers surge past 2,500.

Election Implications

As the election approaches, Trump’s proposal aims to appeal to voters interested in both economic growth and immigration reform, signalling a strategic shift to address the evolving landscape of voter concerns.

Samuel Bolaji

Samuel Bolaji holds a Master of Letters in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is an experienced researcher, multimedia journalist, writer, and Editor. He is currently the Editor of Arbiterz.

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