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Trump makes U-turn on immigration, promises foreign students green cards after graduation

Donald Trump, former US president Donald Trump, former US president

Former US President Donald Trump says he will ensure foreign students get automatic green cards after graduation from universities in the country if he returns to the White House.

Trump, who is eyeing a return to the White House, spoke in a podcast aired on Thursday and hosted by David Sacks, a Silicon Valley investor who backs the former president’s campaign.

Repeating his frequent criticisms of how high levels of immigration are an “invasion of our country,”  Trump made a shocking turn when Jason Calacanis, another investor who hosts the podcast, asked him to promise that his policies would not restrict the country’s ability to attract the brightest minds.

Calacanis based his request on the country’s need for skilled workers, noting that immigrants comprise a higher percentage of talented recruits.

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“I do promise, but I happen to agree, and that is why I promised,” Trump said.

“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, and that includes junior colleges.”
“Anybody who graduates from a college you go in there for two years or four years, if you graduate or you get a doctorate degree from a college —you should be able to stay in this country.”

Hours after Trump’s comments, Karoline Leavitt, his campaign’s press secretary, issued a statement saying there would be an “aggressive vetting process” that would “exclude all communists, radical Islamists, Hamas supporters, America haters, and public charges”.

Leavitt said the policy would apply only to the “most skilled graduates who can make significant contributions to America”.

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NIGERIANS AMONG HIGHEST BENEFICIARIES 

Although China remained the largest source country for international students last year, a Statista report said Nigerian enrolments shot up by 22 percent.

With 17,640 students, Nigeria was the seventh country with the most foreign students in the US.

Last week, a survey showed that the former US president received his highest global confidence rating in Nigeria at 63 percent.

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The US election is set to be held on November 5.

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