The drumbeat of layoffs which have pummeled the tech sector for the reason that begin of the 12 months despatched tens of hundreds of H1-B Visa holders on a race towards the clock to seek out new work inside 60 days, or face deportation. For these first to the beginning block, that deadline has now handed. The excellent news is, most crossed the end line.

At Revelio Labs, the place we collect the world of publicly out there workforce knowledge to grasp labor traits, we discovered that over 90% of laid-off H1-B visa holders had been capable of safe new work that met this system’s inflexible standards. In reality, in comparison with native staff, immigrants discovered work 10 days quicker, largely as a result of with a lot at stake, they had been extra more likely to transfer states for a brand new job–however that’s the place room to be versatile ends, as visa holders are solely permitted to take roles instantly associated to their specialty coaching.

In reality, we discovered that whereas 67% of non-immigrant staff modified roles after being laid off, solely 49% of visa holders did the identical. With Massive Tech tightening its belt so drastically, how had been so many capable of finding roles of their specialty? The reply has to do with market demand. 

Tech jobs stay extremely prevalent exterior of tech firms. On this means, the celebs aligned for laid-off tech staff on H1-B visas, as one door closed, many others had been sitting open. The H1-B Visa program works greatest when it permits individuals to ebb and move in lockstep with market demand, however it’s not a naturally market-sensitive expertise pipeline. In response to Revelio Labs’ knowledge, 78% of Fortune 500 firms are presently sitting with vital roles going unfilled for six months or extra–which wouldn’t be the case if the H1-B visa program afforded holders extra flexibility, and if there was higher cooperation between private and non-private actors to funnel certified expertise the place it’s most wanted.

At the same time as layoffs proceed, our labor shortages aren’t going wherever. Revelio Labs discovered that over 43.4% of firms had greater than 50 technical roles that they had been unable to fill previously 12 months, which make up 68.8% of authorised H-1B visa holders in 2021.

Because it stands, our system for awarding visas, which might in any other case be a dependable expertise pipeline to each fill open roles and make it attainable to recruit one of the best and the brightest from all corners of the globe, is being hamstrung by stipulations that restrict mobility for visa holders in a market that calls for motion. In a really market-sensitive visa award system, firms would as an alternative get the workers they want. In the long run, it might assist stabilize the workforce, decrease the price of expertise shortages, and bridge expertise gaps, all of which is predicted to complete a lack of as much as $162 billion by 2030.

One of the crucial lamented–and detrimental–facets of the H1-B visa course of is the 65,000 cap on what number of visas will be awarded annually (plus an extra 20,000 for holders of U.S. graduate levels), which has been the identical for the reason that inception of this system over twenty years in the past. In 2023, alone meant that over 483,000 candidates had been turned away regardless of the hundreds of thousands of jobs sitting open.

This isn’t the primary 12 months demand has outstripped this restricted provide. Between 2008 and 2020, the cap was maxed out inside the first 5 enterprise days of opening the applying on a number of events. Final 12 months, the variety of visa registrations climbed by 56.8%.

To make a dent within the hundreds of thousands of roles sitting vacant, we want versatile, market-sensitive visa insurance policies to find out the move of overseas labor–not arbitrary and outdated federal limitations.

Native municipalities are in one of the best place to find out the variety of overseas staff they’ll soak up. Companies spend $5,000 to $10,000 extra to rent H1-B visa holders than U.S. residents. As an alternative of throwing time and assets right into a federal system that will or might not end in addressing an organization or neighborhood’s expertise wants, firms might pay municipalities the place their overseas employee resides and obtain a assured visa in return. Corporations get the employees they want–and municipalities get desperately wanted income in return.

Chicago gives a glimpse of what it would appear to be if municipalities are empowered to take hiring overseas staff into their very own arms. Town just lately launched a coordinated effort between 35 corporations prepared to rent H1-B visa holders and a nonprofit group to construct particular jobs itemizing web site promoting these jobs as being prepared to sponsor H1-B visas. This private-public partnership hopes to fill over 400,000 open roles by tapping into the pool of staff laid off from the tech sector who’re right here on a visa. It’s an incredible place to begin–and a mannequin that might be much more scalable and sustainable if the income from corporations footing the invoice for visa purposes went again to the town as an alternative of the federal authorities.

This could form the way in which we have a look at at present’s headlines about current layoffs in Silicon Valley which have left hundreds of workers employed on the H-1B visa with restricted choices and solely 60 days to seek out new alternatives. The disruption to folks’s lives is unimaginable. If we are able to’t discover higher methods to stabilize and retain overseas staff, it’s doubtless a lot of these laid-off staff will return to their house nations or nations with extra immigrant-friendly insurance policies like Canada, New Zealand or Switzerland – to call only a few that outrank the U.S. The lack of expertise will ripple by means of our communities and America’s place within the world financial system.

We’ve rightly made strides to right hiring practices that discriminate towards folks due to their race, faith or gender, however the way in which our present visa system is about up, we permit geography to wrongly disqualify even essentially the most proficient candidates. If markets and benefit (somewhat than a lottery) have the ultimate say on what labor we welcomed and the place, we’d not solely have far fewer job vacancies but additionally one of the best and brightest from all over the world contributing to our workforce and our communities.

Once we can’t rent and retain the highest non-native expertise, we hand world opponents what was America’s best edge. The tangled net of U.S. immigration coverage is many reforms away from serving our greatest financial curiosity–however there’s an excessive amount of at stake to maintain standing in our personal means. Fixing this difficulty will assist corporations get the expertise they want, assist our cities develop, and create a extra environment friendly and fairer workforce.

Ben Zweig is a labor economist and the CEO of Revelio Labs.

The opinions expressed in Fortune.com commentary items are solely the views of their authors and don’t essentially mirror the opinions and beliefs of Fortune.

Extra must-read commentary printed by Fortune: