WASHINGTON, DC — A new U.S. House bill would allow states to issue their own visas for immigrant workers.
The new legislation introduced by Utah Republican Rep. John Curtis seeks to give states the option to issue three-year visas. The program also incentivizes states with additional visa allotments to encourage neighboring states to enter into interstate contracts.
“While every state is unique, neighboring states share commonalities that don’t end at lines on a map. We see this in the West, particularly in the agriculture and tourism sectors, where some seasonal operations stretch across multiple states,” Curtis said.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert supports the bill that he says would fill the state’s employment gap for high skilled immigrants.
We need high-skilled immigrants working for our tech companies and in our educational institutions, and seasonal workers in our tourism and agriculture industries. We simply don’t have enough workers to fill the jobs. As a governor, I would jump at the opportunity to design a work visa program that would allow Utah to sponsor the migrant workers, investors, and entrepreneurs we need,” he said.
Herbert, a Republican, also recently sent a letter to President Trump asking that more refugees be resettled in Utah because the state has the resources to support them.