WASHINGTON – Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced the release of an additional 35,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for the second half of fiscal year 2022.
These visas are vital to the small businesses that make up Maryland’s crab and seafood industries, and the supplemental release follows efforts from Maryland’s elected officials to press DHS to provide more visas after only one of Maryland’s 10 crab processors was selected to receive them.
“The small businesses that make up Maryland’s crab and seafood industries are vital to our local Shore economy and our communities. Having a reliable workforce is crucial to their success, and the H-2B visa program is essential to building and maintaining that workforce. That is why we’ve fought to deliver additional visas for our Maryland businesses – including by securing language in this year’s funding bill to ensure DHS had the authority to take action,” a statement from Democratic Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin said.
“We’re glad to see them heed our calls to provide these additional visas, and we urge them to get the visas out as quickly as possible to the businesses that need them. Together, we will continue working towards a long-term legislative solution to both uphold worker rights and bring more certainty to this program that Maryland’s seafood small businesses rely on.”