Reaction to release of H-2B visas, some still looking for a more permanent solution

MARYLAND – Following Congressman Andy Harris’s announcement of the release of 35,000 supplemental H-2B visas, counties that benefit from the workers have a response.

H-2B visas allow employers to temporarily hire non-citizens for non-agriculture labor, and here on the Eastern Shore, the seafood industry benefits greatly from these workers.

The Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce President, Bill Christopher says the industry, like many others, has been hit hard with worker shortages. He says these visas help alleviate some of those issues, but that 35,000 isn’t near the amount needed to boost the industry but he thinks it’s certainly a start. “The good news is, this is much earlier than it’s ever happened in terms of it’s actually potentially in time to help the crabbers more than what’s happened in the past,” says Christopher. He adds, “We’ve got other challenges on top of this already so even with the visa relief coming, there’s still challenges and headwinds that are facing the industry.”

Christopher also says it’ll be a few weeks before they know many workers they’ll be able to take in.

Congressman Andy Harris also asks homeland security to work on providing permanent solutions to address the H-2B visa shortages.

Categories: Local News, Maryland