State‐​Based Visas: A Federalism Approach to the Immigration Impasse

Capitol Hill Briefing
May 3, 2017 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT

2226 Rayburn House Office Building

Featuring Ron Johnson (R‑WI), United States Senator; Ken Buck (R‑CO‑4) United States Congressman; David Bier, Immigration Policy Analyst, Cato Institute; Alex Nowrasteh, Immigration Policy Analyst, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute; moderated by Peter Russo, Director of Congressional Affairs, Cato Institute.

The idea of regional or state‐​based visas is not a new one. Indeed, Canada and Australia have each implemented successful variations that provide some valuable lessons and hint at the major economic benefits possible for us in the United States. Adoption of a state‐​based visa program in America would permit our 50‐​state governments to craft rules for work visa programs that are more adaptable to local economic conditions than the present one‐​size‐​fits‐​all system run from Washington, D.C. While state governors and state and federal lawmakers are warming to the idea, all that stands in the way here is congressional approval.

Join us as we discuss the merits of such a plan, the implications for federalism, immigration, and labor markets, and the possibility of it gaining traction in this Congress.