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Rep John Curtis wants state-sponsored visa programs

FILE -- Rep. John Curtis speaks to reporters at KSL Broadcast house. (Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News File)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah congressman says states should be able to create their own visa programs for immigrant workers.

Representative John Curtis (R-UT) says his bill would be a way to hopefully help fix immigration problems.

Curtis says it would meet local needs while allowing guest workers to move between states.

The bill is supported by Utah’s governor, as well as the Utah Farm Bureau and Salt Lake Chamber. They say there are many farms and tourist businesses in Utah that especially need seasonal help. And they say states have local needs that change over time.

The bill would set up a federal pilot program. The Utah Legislature passed a guest-worker program in 2011, but it needed a federal waiver and never got one.

The US Supreme Court has consistently said immigration is a federal matter.