Buttigieg Calls for New “Fast-Track” Visa Program to Drive Up Small Town Populations With Immigration

Pete Buttigieg is touting a plan that could drastically change the culture of many small towns in America.

Per Breitbart, during a campaign stop in Merrimack, New Hampshire, Buttigieg touted his investor-friendly plan to inundate small American towns and rural communities with legal immigration for the sole purpose of driving up population growth.

Buttigieg said:

I’m proposing what we call “Community Renewal Visas” that when a community that is very much in need of growing its population, recognizes that, and makes a choice to welcome more than its share of new Americans that we create a fast-track, if they apply for an allotment of visas, that goes to those who are willing to be in those areas that maybe are hurting for population but have great potential.

Vox wrote of the genesis of “community renewal plans” in August:

Many struggling American communities are, among other things, losing people. Meanwhile, many millions more people would like to move to the United States of America than the country is prepared to allow in.

Three economists have called for leveraging the latter into a solution for the former, allowing both communities and immigrants to opt into a special program that would allow communities experiencing population loss to issue temporary visas to skilled foreigners that would allow them to live and work in places that want more workers.

The economists, John Lettieri, Kenan Fikri, and Adam Ozimek, call them “heartland visas” or “place-based visas” in their original policy proposal for the Economic Innovation Group think tank.

The idea has spread: South Bend, Indiana, mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s larger plan for rural America included them under the name Community Renewal Visas, and the US Conference of Mayors endorsed the concept in a resolution passed on a bipartisan basis earlier this summer.

This proposal is a significant departure from the way the American immigration system has traditionally operated. And there are a lot of questions about exactly how it would work.