In a new op-ed in The Hill, Hispanic Leadership Fund president Mario H. Lopez argues that “skilled immigration offers a viable solution” to the ongoing nursing shortage.

Lopez writes that “[f]oreign-educated nurses fill critical gaps in care” and come to the U.S. already highly trained.

Lopez also notes that a recently announced delay in visa processing means fewer of these skilled nurses will be able to immigrate to the U.S. and begin caring for American patients in the coming months. However, legislation could mitigate this visa retrogression.

In the last Congress, a bipartisan group of senators and representatives “endorsed legislation to recapture unused visas previously authorized by Congress for healthcare workers to fill critical shortages.”

Lopez argues that “Congress would be wise to revisit this framework and pass bipartisan legislation that expedites the visa process for essential healthcare workers and meets the needs of patients across the country.”

Read the full op-ed in The Hill here.