OpEd: State Sponsored Visas
New Bill Offers States a Role in U.S. Immigration Policy
The Marron Institute's Brandon Fuller wrote an op-ed with Sean Rust on the potential merits of a state-based visa system in the United States:
With President Trump’s executive orders on immigration stalled out in federal court, Washington could use some fresh thinking on immigration reform. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) provided just that recently, unveiling the State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act of 2017, legislation that would give states the ability to sponsor temporary work visas.
This is a laudable step that should satisfy all sides of the ideological and political spectrum. State governments are in a better position than Washington DC to understand local immigration needs and capacities. Giving them a greater role in shaping guest worker flows will improve the economic performance of America’s immigration system.
In the face of the prolonged federal impasse on comprehensive immigration reform, blue and red states alike have shown interest in creating state-based visa programs. Legislators introduced bills in Arizona, California, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Utah went so far as to pass its own guest worker laws in 2011, with the understanding that enactment would require a federal waiver.
With no such federal waiver forthcoming, the efforts in Utah and other states have so far fallen short. The Johnson-Buck plan would provide welcome relief to such states, allowing them to apply to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for approval of their visa programs.
Read the full text of the op-ed at The Federalist.