Maryland Senator wants unused visas to be made available to eligible businesses.

4.28.2015.h2b.letterWASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), vice chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, at a hearing of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, hand-delivered a letter and urged Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), to conduct an immediate and expedited audit on the number of non-immigrant H-2B visas that have been both requested and used in 2015.

The senator requested that any unused visas uncovered as a part of this audit be promptly made available to eligible businesses that have been unable to secure workers due to the cap being reached. The letter also requested that any unused visas should be promptly made available to eligible businesses that have been unable to secure workers. More than 40 percent of Maryland’s seafood processors have been unable to get the workers they need for the 2015 crab season. Businesses that did have visas approved were still unable to cross workers due to the uncertainty that has plagued the H-2B program this year. Mikulski’s full letter can be found here.

Seasonal workers returning to the United States under H-2B visas are critical to ensuring Maryland’s seafood businesses have the labor force they need during peak harvest season. For every one H-2B visa granted, four American jobs are created.