UPDATE: Here’s What Clinton, Trump Say About Student Visas to the U.S.


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.

Brittney Welch


  1. Talented /skilled people / smart brains with research mind etc belong to the whole universe irrespective of which country they were born and belong to by ancestary .
    They cannot be pinned down narrow boundaries of religion race or country .
    That America has hugely benefitted been by them cant be denied .
    However one needs to acknowledge with an open mind that thatAmericas own citizens should be the beneficiaries first rather than outsiders .
    Much has been said regarding unskilled american labourers losing their jobs to outsiders
    .This would probably be dealt with strongly by trumps government
    .Another set is skilled professionals . .
    .In recent times it seems that americans are also catching up in skilled professions but still there seems to be a big shortage of skilled labour .
    .Local talents lacking in key areas and shortage of skilled labour needs to be addressed by the new forthcoming president .
    The new forthcoming president of USA Donald trump should promote more higher education of american citizens by giving easy educations loans to them and improve their skill a lot in large numbers .
    They need to be motivated to not to be complacent to take up any job and ignore higher education and research etc
    There needs to be constant monitoring and more upgradation of their skills .
    America should not be over dependant for a long time of outside sources for skilled labour .
    Anyways international higher education is multi million dollar business in USA and they wont probably give it up so easily .They would need those students more than the students would need them.
    Ther is no doubt that the quality of education is good there and they would continue to try and attract international students based on that and also for the sake of their own economic upliftment
    But students would probably be more choosy and would observe and weigh the options especially job prospects after higher studies .
    Also the fact remains that the American companies might still prefer to hire other country people and not americans for some jobs because the other country people would probably be willing to take lesser salaries than an american possessing the same skill or even if he is a unskilled labourer
    .Most of the businesses would probably care for their profits primarily and they would perhaps be happy to have *less pay with more work *concept .
    This is where perhaps the upcoming American government by Trump would perhaps be stricter
    That is in enforcing that an american skilled or unskilled labour should be preferred primarily even if it means paying a slightly higher wage to them ..
    But there are still some key areas where america is in shortage of skills and talents .
    Such people who posess these skills and international students who pursue higher education inorder to acquire those skills stay and work in america along with doing research etc should always be welcome to america.

  2. As an American citizen and recent PhD recipient, this is the one good thing I think of coming out of a Trump presidency. There are simply too many foreign guestworkers soaking up good American jobs, in American labs, supported by American taxpayers through funds distributed by the NIH. Tell them to gtfo and send them back to where they came from.

    1. USA has the money and most of the times foreigners have the best brains, so if you want to go on being the leading world power you’ll have to continue hiring the best, regardless of whether they’re American or not.

    2. You sound more like a clown than a PhD. America was made great not by your mutated and self declared PhD but actual people who came from outside especially scientific minds. But if being as arrogant as trump makes you feel good, go ahead try that approach too then most of current and future talent will revert to other countries in competition to US and you will be left with a baker applying for a programmer job, which is all but useless. And after the dust settles and you realize you need that talent back, it might just be too late for people willing to risk going back to US again.

      Such bigot trumpters.

    3. +Thats Right: I’m sorry to hear that you’re upset, but please know that even if you’re an American citizen with a PhD, you may not necessarily be the best person for the job that you want. Assuming that you’re competing for a postdoc or tenure-track position at a university, if someone from China who works in your field can publish ten times as many papers as you within a certain period of time, then he/she clearly deserves that position more than you do. Know your limitations and where your place is in the grand scheme of things.

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