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Federal move could bring more crab pickers to Maryland's Eastern Shore

April 18, 2019
In The News

The Maryland crabbing industry may see some relief as blue crab season heads into full swing.

Each fiscal year, the H-2B visa program brings more than 60,000 temporary foreign workers into the United States to fill non-agricultural jobs. In Maryland, those visas have provided the Eastern Shore crab pickers on which the state's seafood industry depends.

In the days before then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned from her Trump administration post on April 7, it was announced that 30,000 more H-2B visas would be awarded for the remainder of fiscal year 2019.

Visas are allocated based on fiscal years, with a total 66,000 available each year and split down the middle, with 33,000 awarded during the first half of the year and another 33,000 during the second...