Associating great ideas with Republicans on Capitol Hill might seem like an oxymoron these days. But they have actually produced one. Last
week Wisconsin's Sen. Ron Johnson introduced a bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee to give states more authority in recruiting foreign workers. Dubbed the State-Based Guest Worker bill, it would hand each state a 5,000 quota (less in a companion bill sponsored by Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colorado) to sponsor foreigners that best meet their local labor needs. This is a less radical version of Canada's highly successful Provincial Nominee Program that allows provinces to actually sponsor permanent residents, not just temporary guest workers. Even so, it's a giant step in the right direction if for no other reason than that it moves America's immigration conversation away from building walls and creating deportation task forces in the Age of Trump, I noted in my column at The Week.
It'll also sidestep Washington's messy politics that have stymied reform and let states make their own bets about immigrants: Spurn them because they fear a drain on public resources or welcome them because they spur the economy.
Also, I discussed this proposal, which Sen. John McCain also jumped in to co-sponsor at the last minute, at Fox Business' Kennedy Nation: