January 24, 2014
WASHINGTON — The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 contains a provision that U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st, said is important for the seafood industry on the Eastern Shore.
The provision would allow Maryland’s seafood industry to continue to stagger its seasonal foreign workers on H-2B temporary work visas to support harvests during peak seasons. The legislation is currently in the House of Representatives, and the Senate is expected to take it up later this week.
H-2B visa workers are temporarily hired from other countries for seasonal industries and then return home once the visa expires. Before being eligible for H-2B visas, a business must first try to find workers who are already in the U.S.
“Maryland’s seafood industry is critical for jobs on the Eastern Shore and our way of life,” Mikulski said. “From harvesting crabs to shucking oysters, temporary and seasonal workers ensure Maryland’s seafood industry continues to prosper.”