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Could regional visas be in the United States' future?

Some parts of the country have had a tougher time recovering from the great recession than others. Perhaps the area most representative of what can go wrong when the bottom falls out of the economy is Detroit. Blocks upon blocks of the city have been abandoned, turning a once-proud metropolis into something practically post-apocalyptic.

As a result, several ambitious plans have been brought forward in order to snap the city out of its malaise and back to productivity. One of these proposals comes from the governor of Michigan, who is advocating what would amount to regional visas that could bring skilled immigrants from places such as India and China to live and work.

It is certainly possible that such a program could lead to permanent residency for some of these immigrants and their families. But would people abide by the terms of this proposed regional program and actually stay in the areas that they were meant to rejuvenate?

In Canada, a version of this program already exists. People are admitted to a particular province if they promise to continue living in that province. The program is loosely enforced, if at all, but it appears that most of the people abide by the terms of their agreement.

This concept is still on the drawing board in the U.S., but it's conceivable that the plan could find additional powerful backers in the coming months and years. If so, a similar program might end up in other parts of the country too. Even if it doesn't, there are plenty of immigrants in the country already, many of whom would like to remain here. In many cases, an experienced immigration attorney can be a valuable asset for people who wish to do this.

Source: Forbes, "Would Letting More Immigrants Into Detroit Mean Building A Giant Fence Around It?" Adam Ozimek, Feb. 7, 2014

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