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Immigration Law

Expert: Regional Visa Proposal Echoes Past Efforts

Genevieve Douglas, Bloomberg Law, Feb.  26, 2021

"U.S. lawmakers are exploring potential visa programs that would pair skilled workers with communities in need of economic development in response to a growing gap between local markets and sustainable worker populations. ... The U.S. Citizenship Act’s regional economic development visa proposal echoes a similar initiative that was enacted as part of immigration law in 1990—the Labor Market Information program, which directed the U.S. Labor Department to identify industries with a shortage of workers in the U.S., and industries with a surplus, said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law practice at Cornell Law School. The plan was to make it easier to select immigrants in the shortage occupations, and harder in the surplus occupations, he said. “The proposed regulations were roundly criticized and the whole program died,” Yale-Loehr said. “In concept, this sounds great, but the devil is always in the details.”"