Governor Hogan Welcomes Today’s Finalization of 30,000 H-2B Visas to Support Maryland’s Crab Industry
Discusses Importance of H-2B Workers in Call With Acting Secretary of Homeland Security
ANNAPOLIS, MD— Governor Larry Hogan today applauded the Department of Homeland Security’s finalization of a joint rule providing an additional 30,000 H-2B visas for this summer through the H-2B Nonimmigrant Temporary Worker Program. On Tuesday, the governor reiterated the importance of this issue in a call with Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan.
H-2B workers are critical for Maryland’s seasonal blue crab industry and sweet corn processors. Additionally, loss of these workers will potentially have a devastating impact on iconic family business, as well as jobs in our state. The Departments of Homeland Security and Labor published the final rule today providing for these additional visas.
“I am thrilled that the federal government has responded to our call to action by providing additional H-2B visas for this summer,” said Governor Hogan. “This news could not come at a better time, after we just learned that our blue crab population is booming. As I stressed to Acting Secretary McAleenan, we will continue to urge Congress to reach a permanent solution to ensure our state’s crab houses are productive and successful both now and in the future.”
In March, Governor Hogan called on federal administration officials to reverse the 2018 decision to limit the number of visas available through the H-2B program and released a short film, The Watermen of Hoopers Island, which highlighted the threat that arbitrary federal visa policy changes posed to the crabbing industry. The governor also discussed the issue during a meeting with Maryland’s congressional delegation this past March.