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Susan Haigh, Associated Press, Dec. 2, 2019
"When no Americans replied to her ads seeking a dance instructor, studio owner Chris Sabourin looked overseas. But she was stymied again by a federal tightening of visa application rules she and others contend is hampering the ballroom dance industry.
Sabourin had to eventually give up after a year and thousands of dollars trying to hire a top ballroom dancer from Greece to teach at her Fred Astaire studio in Orange, Connecticut, only to have the woman detained at New York’s Kennedy Airport and sent back home.
“It would just be nice to know why we’re having such a hard time,” Sabourin said. “It’s affecting our business, definitely.”
With a steady interest in learning iconic dances like the foxtrot and tango, fueled in part by “Dancing with the Stars,” studio owners like Sabourin say their efforts to hire professional instructors are hampered without overseas help.
The owners, national representatives of the Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire dance studio chains, and attorneys describe greater backlogs for visa applications and an overall increase in evidence requests, including for redundant information and unnecessary documents.
Immigration lawyers contend President Donald Trump’s administration has erected an “invisible wall” of hurdles that has made it difficult for all kinds of U.S. industries, from ballroom dance to STEM fields, to hire foreign workers for jobs they’ve had a difficult time filling with qualified Americans."