Evercore’s CEO Says Give Out Green Cards With U.S. Degrees

(Bloomberg) -- America should extend green cards to every foreign student who earns a college degree in the U.S., said Evercore Inc. Chief Executive Officer Ralph Schlosstein, arguing that immigrants provide a critical competitive advantage for the economy.

Speaking to a private group assembled Monday night in Palm Beach, Florida, Schlosstein, who was also a co-founder of BlackRock Inc., said the U.S. and other governments are misguided in singling out immigration as an economic negative. The remarks were a not-so-subtle rejoinder to Donald Trump’s immigration policies, delivered in the elite bastion of Palm Beach less than three miles from the president’s Mar-a-Lago club.

"Cutting off people who want to come to this country and work really hard is really shooting all of us in the foot," Schlosstein said. "If it were up to me, every single non-U.S. citizen who gets an education at a U.S. college institution would get a green card with their diploma because we want them to stay here."

The immigration debate has focused primarily on less skilled laborers, some of whom come to the U.S. without documentation. But the Trump administration has targeted both legal and undocumented immigrants alike. Similar to Schlosstein, JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon said in a 2017 shareholder letter that advanced degree-earners should get a green card, and he advocated improvements to merit-based immigration.

Schlosstein spoke at the Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach to mark a recent expansion of the company’s wealth management business into the area.

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