Trump Campaign Backtracks on Trump Promise of More College Migrants

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

President Donald Trump’s campaign team is rewriting his Thursday night promise to grant green cards to any foreign graduates of four-year universities and two-year community colleges.

President Trump believes “we ought to keep the most skilled graduates who can make significant contributions to America … who would never undercut American wages or workers,” said the statement from spokeswoman Katherine Leavitt. 

The clean-up came after Trump spoke to four West Coast investors who could help him win greater support from the nation’s investors and business community.

“Let me just tell you that it’s so sad when we lose people from Harvard, MIT, from the greatest schools — and lesser schools that are phenomenal schools also,” he told the four tech-sector investors, three of whom are immigrants:

What I want to do, and what I will do, [ensure] if you graduate from a college, I think you should get automatically as part of your diploma get a green card to be able to stay [legally] in this country, and that includes junior colleges too.

Anybody graduates from a college — you go in there for two years or four years —  if you graduate or if you get a doctorate degree from a college, you should be able to stay in this country.

In the 2016 campaign and in the White House, Trump periodically veered from his American-first, low-migration campaign. Each time, he and his staffers backpedaled to the center amid protests by his base. 

Companies “want to hire smart [foreign students], and those people are thrown out of the country — we can’t do that,” he told TV host Laura Ingraham in January 2020. She rebuked him, saying, “There’s a never-ending appetite on the part of corporate America to bring in as much cheap labor as possible to drive down wages.”

The zig-zags likely made no difference to Congress’ laws because the Democrats rejected any significant compromises out of hatred for Trump. However, business allies in the White House used those zig-zags to block multiple draft regulations that would have raised American salaries by reducing white-collar migration.

Amid the zig-zags, Trump blocked and deported many blue-collar and white-collar migrants. For example, he stopped the inflow of H-1B and L-1 foreign workers in 2020, and he barred foreign workers from jobs at the Tennessee Valley Authority. “He saved 200 [technology] jobs that would have been outsourced and then eventually offshored,” Kevin Lynn, the founder of US TechWorkers, told Breitbart News. 

Overall, Trump’s curbs on migration forced companies to pay higher wages and also invest in productivity-boosting workplace upgrades, such as slaughterhouses and factories.  

In recent weeks, Trump has negotiated with groups of investors and has refused to give them all they want.  For example, the New York Timereported on January 13 that Trump suggested that foreign graduates should go home to help their own countries and that only “the best and brightest” would be allowed to stay:

Another person who was in the room recalled that Mr. Trump made the point that the high-skilled immigrants who received an American education could either be successful in the U.S. or in their home countries. He said that the best and the brightest were needed to help America, this person said.

Moreover, some investors are actually speaking against Biden-style mass migration, and are calling for more efforts to grow the productivity and income of American workers.

“We always used to think [a] shrinking population is a cause for negative [economic] growth,” BlackRock founder Larry Fink said at a pro-globalist event in April hosted by the World Economic Forum in Saudi Arabia. He continued:

But in my conversations with the leadership of these large, developed countries [such as China, and Japan] that have xenophobic anti-immigration policies, they don’t allow anybody to come in — [so they have] shrinking demographics — these countries will rapidly develop robotics and AI and technology … If a promise of all that transforms productivity, which most of us think it will [emphasis added] — we’ll be able to elevate the standard living in countries, the standard of living for individuals, even with shrinking populations.

But in his June 20 talk with the four investors, Trump ignored Fink’s less-migration proposal and went much further than his prior statements:

I know of stories where [foreign students] 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 [so] 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.

And a bigger example is you that you need a pool of people to work for your companies. You have great companies, and they have to be smart people … You need brilliant people. And we force [home] the brilliant people, the people that graduate from college, the people that are Number One in their class from the best colleges.

You have to be able to recruit these people and keep the people. It was such a big deal — somebody graduates at the top of the class, they can’t even make a deal with the company because they don’t think [the graduate is] going to be able to stay in the country. That is going to end on Day One.

“That’s fantastic, that’s fantastic,” responded Chamath Palihapitiya, who was born in Sri Lanka, and then migrated from Canada to the executive suite of Facebook and to his investment firm in California. 

“Yeah, that’s great,” said David Sacks, who was born in South Africa, grew up in Tennessee, went to Stanford University, and became an investor in start-up technology companies. “think we all wholeheartedly agree with that. Being in the tech industry, we understand the importance of that.”

Trump’s staff quickly responded with a damage-control statement to reporters:

Migration Economics

Any policy that provides green cards to foreign graduates would instantly create a vast pipeline of poor, desperate, mid-skill but hard-working foreign graduates. Their inflow would cause huge damage to ordinary Americans, just as Canada’s mass migration program is wrecking Canadians’ economy

But investors gain enormously from cheap labor because they earn an extra $20 on the stock market each time they cut $1 from their young companies’ payroll costs. 

The cash-strapped investors need many clever young people to quickly develop technology faster than domestic and overseas rivals. U.S. universities produce hundreds of thousands of clever Americans — but those Americans get better job offers from banks, universities, and Fortune 500 companies. 

Since 2021, President Joe Biden has been eager to provide the West Coast investors with cheap workers. For example, he granted the West Coast investors a massive flood of additional white-collar workers via many doorways.

Those routes include the Optional Practical Training work permit for foreign graduates and the L-1 program for foreign employees of international companies. and the H-1B, J-1, and TN programs for foreign graduates. He also allows companies to hire foreign graduates who arrive on B-1/B-2 tourist visas and graduates who overstay their visas. On June 18, Biden promised he would provide work permits to 100,000 illegal migrants who have college degrees.

The result is that investors and CEOs fire American employees, ignore American job seekers, and staff their companies with low-wage Indian migrants.

Biden’s flood of white-collar migrants has helped investors and CEOs to reduce the salaries paid to U.S. graduates:

There is a vast population of Indian migrants eager to take jobs from American graduates.

In 2022 alone, for example, roughly 8 million Indians got undergraduate degrees. In contrast, fewer than 4 million Americans turned 18 in 2022.







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