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“Consider Us Skeptical This Represents a New Direction for America’s Leading Nativist” – America’s Voice Reacts to Trump Green Card Comments

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Washington, DC — During an appearance airing yesterday on a tech podcast, Donald Trump endorsed providing green cards for all foreign college students, stating: “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 and that includes junior colleges too … people graduated from a top college or from a college, and they desperately wanted to stay here, they had a plan for a company, a concept, and they can’t.”

The following is a statement from Douglas Rivlin, Senior Director of Communication for America’s Voice:

“While Donald Trump’s off the cuff comments on a tech podcast were surprising, they fly in the face of his and his campaign’s continued pledges to conduct unsparing mass deportations and restrict legal immigration pathways. His previous record of seeking to end DACA and make Dreamer college grads deportable, restricting student visas, and slashing legal immigration levels make these comments hard to believe. On the debate stage next week, he should be clear if he stands behind his ‘deport them all’ pledges or this oddly out of place support for immigration. Consider us skeptical that this represents a new direction for America’s leading nativist.”

As predicted, the Trump campaign already is walking back the candidate’s stance in a response tinged with racist dog-whistles. As the New York Times noted, press secretary Karoline Leavitt clarified “there would be an ‘aggressive vetting process’ that would ‘exclude all communists, radical Islamists, Hamas supporters, America haters and public charges’ and that the policy would apply only to the ‘most skilled graduates who can make significant contributions to America.’”

Despite the muddled walk-back, the comments are revealing and an opportunity for follow-up. For example:

  • Given Trump’s outsized influence on Capitol Hill Republicans, the former president’s comments also present an opportunity for Republicans to go on the record if they support Trump’s proposal. 
    • As “documented Dreamer” advocate Dip Patel proposed last night following Trump’s comments, “In light of recent comments from former President Trump, @SenSchumer should put a bill on the floor of the Senate that provides green cards to all U.S. college graduates.”
  • Trump himself should be asked if college graduate foreigners “poison the blood?” 
  • If Trump supports this policy, why did he propose radically restricting student visas in 2020 (see here)?
  • If green cards are good enough for Trump for college graduate foreigners, why aren’t they good enough for the undocumented workers he and the Trump Organization hired and exploited for decades? (see here and video here)