UPDATE: The portion about J-1 Visas no longer appears on Donald Trump’s website.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump once promoted a policy to keep international students and their skills in the U.S. after graduation.
But during the campaign, Trump’s views have shifted the other way.
A Clinton campaign briefing on her plans for technology and innovation in the U.S. states that “Hillary would ‘staple’ a green card to STEM master’s and Ph.D.s from accredited institutions —enabling international students who complete degrees in these fields to move to green card status.”
A Green Card holder becomes a “permanent resident” and is authorized to live and work in the United States permanently, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
This approach was advocated by President Obama in his first term, and Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential campaign, according to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg warns that Clinton’s plan needs to clearly state a limit, or, “The policy could distort the U.S. higher-education system and the labor market.” In other words, Clinton’s approach should ensure that foreign workeres do not take jobs from American citizens.
Trump’s plan was open to international students working in the United States, as well. Trump tweeted in August 2015 his view of international students.
However, as the election has progressed, Trump’s plan has narrowed.
Trump said he plans to scrap the J-1 visa program if he becomes president, the Chicago Tribune reported in March. A J-1 visa is issued to research scholars, professors and exchange visitors who participate in programs that promote cultural exchange, especially medical or business, within the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of State.
Trump said it would be replaced “with a resume bank for inner-city youth provided to all corporate subscribers to the J-1 visa program.” Ending this program would impact over 300,000 people from 200 countries and territories, many of whom are college and university students.
Trump’s proposed “Muslim ban” could also impact international students who want to study in the United States. Originally the ban was a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” Trump said. That has been modified.
Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, said that he and Trump “have been very, very clear about the issue of suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism.” So if an international student is from a country the Trump administration would consider “compromised by terrorism,” they may be barred from entry.
Trump’s immigration plan could impact the H-1B visa program, too. That program permits employers to employ internationals in specialty occupations temporarily. If the worker is dismissed or the job discontinued, the worker must leave the U.S.
“Raising the prevailing wage paid to H-1Bs will force companies to give these coveted entry-level jobs to the existing domestic pool of unemployed native and immigrant workers in the U.S., instead of flying in cheaper workers from overseas,” Trump said.
Inside Higher Ed says that “One of the few routes through which former international students can gain permanent residency” are H-1B visas, and this plan will allow less international students to stay.