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BPC Statement on Johnson State-Based Nonimmigrant Visa Bill

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Washington, D.C.– Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, released the following statement today:

“In its recent report, Still Room for Consensus, BPC’s Immigration Task Force stated that in looking at pathways for future immigration and in particular temporary worker programs, a new ‘federalist’ model for the allocation of nonimmigrant work visas ‘could facilitate each state or region to have its own allocation [of visas] according to their own specific needs.’

The efforts of members of Congress to move forward the discussion on immigration, including some potential means of addressing the status of the unauthorized, is welcome.

“Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) today introduced the State Sponsored Visa Pilot Program Act, which proposes one such type of model. The bill would establish a nonimmigrant visa program to allow states to sponsor nonimmigrants under state legislature designed and approved programs for employment, investment and residence in the state. The program would allow certain unauthorized immigrants to participate in the program and allow sponsorship for permanent residence.

“The efforts of members of Congress to move forward the discussion on immigration, including some potential means of addressing the status of the unauthorized, is welcome, and we hope lawmakers will reach bipartisan agreement on legislation.”

KEYWORDS: 115TH CONGRESS, RON JOHNSON, THERESA BROWN, VISAS