Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Representative Andy Harris of the 1st District are reacting after the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Labor granted 30,000 temporary migrant work visas for Maryland’s crab industry.
In the final rule issued today, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta said they decided that 30,000 H2B non-agricultural worker visas would be provided through the end of the 2019 Fiscal Year, ending on September 30. Last year, federal administration officials decided to only allow a limited number of the visas, which many in Maryland’s seafood industry said was harmful.
The state’s robust crab industry typically using the H2B visas to hire temporary migrant workers from South and Central America to pick and package crab meat.
In reacting to the government’s decision, Governor Hogan said “I am thrilled that the federal government has responded to our call to action by providing additional H2-B visas for this summer.” He continued “we will continue to urge Congress to reach a permanent solution to ensure our state’s crab houses are productive and successful both now and in the future.”
Representative Harris said “I applaud the Department of Homeland Security for finalizing the rule providing for the release of 30,000 supplemental H2-B visas in time for the upcoming summer season.” Harris echoed the Governor’s sentiments saying “it is Congress who ultimately bears the responsibility to pass a permanent solution to the H-2B visa shortage.”