Governor Hogan Urges Federal Officials to Make More H-2B Visas Available to Help Seafood Industry and Seasonal Employers
Failure to Act Would Threaten Maryland’s $355 Million Seafood Industry, Supply Chain, Thousands of Jobs
Governor Renews Call for Long-Term, Permanent Solution
ANNAPOLIS, MD (STL.News) With Maryland’s blue crab harvest season underway, Governor Larry Hogan urged federal officials to make more H-2B Nonimmigrant Temporary Worker Program visas available to help protect Maryland’s $355 million seafood industry and supply chain.
In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, the governor also called for a long-term, permanent solution to provide certainty to rural Maryland, particularly the Eastern Shore. Read the governor’s letter here.
“In support of Maryland’s seafood industry and other seasonal employers, I request that you take immediate action to eliminate the unfair lottery system and increase the number of H-2B Nonimmigrant Temporary Worker Program visas—now capped at 66,000—to the maximum allowable under federal law and under the legislative language included in the omnibus bill,” said Governor Hogan. “These essential workers are vital to Maryland’s seafood industry and market, which has grown to include regional, national, and international reach.”
In a typical year, 450 H-2B seasonal workers are needed for Maryland’s 23 licensed crab picking houses.