About Trump's Crazy Green Card Offer to College Grads: Never Mind

AP Photo/Chris Szagola

Former President Donald Trump was a guest on the "All-In Podcast" last week. During his interview, he floated an idea that shocked many supporters. 

Trump's idea was that all foreign college graduates would automatically be given a green card with their diplomas.  This would apply to college graduates and community college graduates, too. It was a surprise announcement


"We need brilliant people," Trump said. "it's so sad when we lose people from the greatest schools -- and lesser schools that are phenomenal also. What I wanted to do... and what I will do is, if you graduate from a college, 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."

"If you graduate or get a doctorate, you should be able to stay in this country," Trump said. "I know stories where people graduated... from a college, and they desperately wanted to stay here, they had a plan for a company, a product, and they can't. They go back to India or China and do the same basic company in those places and become multi-billionaires, employ thousands and thousands of people, and it could have been done here."

"A bigger example is you need people to work, and they need to be smart people, no everybody can be less than smart. And we force the brilliant people... you have to be able to keep these people," Trump said.

Trump supporters reacted. I admit, I was surprised to read about this idea. Why would Trump think this is a good idea? That's not how green cards work. 


The All-In Podcast is a business and technology podcast hosted by four venture capitalists. Three of the four hosts are immigrants. David Sacks, Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis, and David Friedberg are the hosts. Sacks is not an immigrant. These are wealthy, successful Silicon Valley guys. Many in Silicon Valley are moving away from Biden and toward Trump. 

Sacks has been fundraising for Trump. 

Trump didn't offer details but it was approved by the podcasters. Sacks was the one who was interviewing Trump when he made the proposal. The men were clearly surprised.

It was an odd proposal from a border hawk like Trump. What about vetting? Foreign students aren't vetted as green card applicants are. If the proposal was put in place and all graduates automatically received a green card, why are we assuming that they are worthy of green cards, solely because they were educated in America?  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, for example, attended a small two-year Baptist school called Chowan College. 

Trump's spokeswoman tried to clean up the confusion.

"President Trump has made it clear that on day one of his new administration, he’s going to shut down the border and launch the largest mass deportation effort of illegal aliens in history," Trump campaign national press secretary Karoline Leavitt said in a statement last week, according to a New York Post report, noting that the former president would include an "aggressive vetting process" and "exclude all communists, radical Islamists, Hamas supporters, America haters and public charges."


Since Trump didn't give specifics about how the green card process would work for foreign student graduates, you can see why supporters were confused. The problem was made worse by saying it is for all graduates

The proposal received immediate pushback, with Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian telling the New York Post that such a handout was "a cockamamie proposal" that would prompt a "fire hose of foreign cash" by "stapling a green card to the diploma" of a U.S. college graduate.

"If someone earns a Ph.D. at a university in a hard science, I personally will drive to their house and give them a green card," Krikorian said. "The issue is any foreign college graduate, even from a bogus two-year master’s program or gender studies [major], would get a green card."

I think this was a spur-of-the-moment proposal by Trump to appeal to the podcast audience and hosts. 

Leavitt went on to talk about a vetting process

"He believes, only after such vetting has taken place, we ought to keep the most skilled graduates who can make significant contributions to America," Leavitt said. "This would only apply to the most thoroughly vetted college graduates who would never undercut American wages or workers."

Foreign workers can depress wages and take jobs from American citizens. There are limits as to how many are allowed permission to work in the United States. If Trump wants to improve that system, fine. But it wasn't a good idea to just make the proposal during a podcast, seemingly out of the blue. 


Immigration is a top issue in the presidential campaign. Trump is running on securing the border. This proposal landed wrong, except for those who would profit from it. It's good that the walk-back is happening instead of just leaving it out there, unexplained. If Trump wants to expand the number of foreign workers, he should specifically address that, with details, not just an answer to a question on a podcast. 

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Videos