How immigration reform affects artists’ visas

Posted on: May 17, 2013

Friday (5/17) on the American Public Media website Marketplace, David Gura reports, “While the Senate debates comprehensive immigration reform, hordes of lobbyists are vying for attention. The Sunlight Foundation estimates as many as 3,000 lobbyists have worked on immigration issues in the past few years. There are the usual suspects—restaurant owners, farmers, and construction groups—then there are the not-so-usual suspects.You’ll also find lobbyists focused on immigration issues in concert halls. ‘Just like music is everywhere in our lives, it also shows up in all kinds of places in national policy,’ says Heather Noonan, the League of American Orchestras’ vice president for advocacy. Noonan says her group cares the most about what are called O&P visas ‘the non-immigrant, temporary work visas required to bring those artists into the United States to perform.’ It is her job, she says, to make sure visas for those performers are available. ‘When the curtain goes up at 7:00 on Friday, the artist needs to be there, and the audience is expecting that they’ll be there.’ The League of American Orchestras is lobbying to make that visa process as efficient, affordable, and accessible as possible.”

Posted May 17, 2013