US Presidential Hopeful Andrew Yang Promises Every International Student Will Receive a Green Card
The Democrats have promised to open the door much wider following the tighter controls on Visas for Chinese citizens and foreign students imposed by President Trump’s administration.
The man who aspires to become the first ever Asian-American president of the United States has promised to welcome immigrants with open arms if he was to win the race against an incumbent Donald Trump, who ran on a platform of tougher immigration policies two years ago.
Andrew Yang, the American son of Taiwanese immigrants, has announced he intends to run as a Democrat candidate in the 2020 presidential race. He has called the current immigration system in the US “ridiculous”, and says he wants to see more immigrants given the chance to enter the country.
Yang spoke to the South China Morning Post on Monday, saying “I would staple a green card to the diploma of any international student who graduates from an American university. It makes no sense to have people come, learn at our universities, and then go back to their own countries to work and eventually compete against us.”
When tensions over trading began to escalate between Washington and Beijing, the Trump administration responded by making it more difficult for Chinese students to renew their visas.
Since the 11th of June, Chinese postgraduates studying in the United States in fields like robotics, hi-tech manufacturing, and aviation have been restricted to one-year visas. The Associated Press reported Chinese citizens trying to acquire visas require special clearance from a range of US agencies if they work as managers or researchers for companies on a list of business entities requiring high security put together by the US Commerce Department.
A third of the foreign students currently enrolled in US universities come from China. Trump considers a tighter visa policy on those students as a way to keep American intellectual property protected, as well as counter the “Made in China 2025” plan Beijing plans to implement to control the technology and science fields.
On top of all of this, the US is facing one of the most complex immigration challenges in the world, as an estimated 11 million+ undocumented immigrants and over 4 million foreign nationals are waiting to receive their green card that allows them to become permanent residents as of last November.
Trump has tightened immigration policies in the US since taking office in January 2017, citing security concerns as the main reason. Even so, Yang – who is definitely a long shot for the presidency with no political experience and a lack of backing from the big names – has decided that he will be an advocate for the opposite and go against the current climate.
Yang says that as a child of immigrants who came to the country in the 60s, he has first-hand experience of the energy, innovation, and dynamism immigrants can bring to the country.
“A majority of the entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are either immigrants or children of immigrants, so we need to compete for talent at the highest levels in the world. We need to say that the United States is where you should come if you want to build a business and a career, and eventually a future, and a family for yourself.” Yang said.
Yang has also said that he plans to overhaul the H-1B and F-! visa programmes together with issuing more Green Cards. These visas allow immigrants to work and study in the United States on a temporary basis. Trump has been particularly derisive of the H-1B visa, which provides a capped number of visas through a lottery system, but many companies – particularly the ones in Silicon Valley – argue that reform is required to expand, rather than contract, the current system.
Yang plans torun his campaign on taking a softer approach to China compared to Trump, who claimed that China was a “currency manipulator” during his campaign, and has continued to suggest China engages in unfair trade practices during his presidency.
The Asian-American community accounts for around 5.6% of the 325.7 million population of the United States, and Yang is confident that he can win support.