H-2b visas delayed, Dorchester County needing employees immediately
MARYLAND – Three weeks ago the Department of Homeland Security announced they would be releasing 35,000 supplemental H-2b visas on or after April 1st. However, that has yet to happen.
Bill Christopher, President of the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce tells 47 ABC, that they’re already several weeks into their fishing season and every day they go without these workers is problematic.
He says, there’s been little to no communication with the department of homeland security regarding when they can get visas. While the business community deals with this the current inflation trends, adding this delay could potentially hurt the business and seafood industry in the long run. “We need the public to help put pressure on our elected officials to help put pressure on the state and homeland security to get these visas released, so we can get these folks in and have them start to work,” says Christopher. He adds, “It’s not like it’s new, it’s not a new process they’re asking to do so it should be fairly straightforward to get done.”
Congressman Andy Harris also released a statement calling for the Department of Homeland Security to either release the visas immediately or to announce when they will be released.
Christopher also says that even after they’re released, there’s still much work to be done to get employees here.