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Congressman Harris Co-Leads Bipartisan Letter in Support of Seasonal Workers

April 3, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC: Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01), alongside Congressmen Jack Bergman (MI-01), Steve Chabot (OH-01), and William Keating (MA-09), led a bipartisan letter, signed by 89 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, supporting the release of additional H-2B visas in order to meet the needs of small seasonal businesses in Maryland’s First Congressional District and across the country. The Fiscal Year 2018 cap of 66,000 H-2B visas was filled on January 1, 2018, leaving many businesses unable to obtain the temporary seasonal labor they need. The letter, sent to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, urges the Secretaries to make additional H-2B visas available and to ensure efficient processing of H-2B visa applications. Congressman Andy Harris released the following statement in support of this letter:

“The H-2B visa program is a crucial resource for many seasonal businesses across Maryland’s First Congressional District and supports thousands of related jobs held by American citizens. I support the H-2B program because it requires employers to prove they were not able to hire American workers, and only allows foreign workers to temporarily live in the United States while they are working. These temporary workers must pay American taxes, have a clean criminal record, receive no government benefits, and return to their home countries when their visas expire.

Several industries in the First Congressional District depend on H-2B workers, and failure to provide additional visas for these businesses that simply cannot find American workers could seriously harm the District’s economy. I appreciate Secretary Nielsen’s and Secretary Acosta’s attention to this urgent matter.”

The final signed copy of the letter can be found here.