On June 26, Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) sent a bipartisan letter, signed by 82 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, to Secretary of Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen in support of the H-2B visa program. The letter urges the Department of Homeland Security to issue additional H-2B nonimmigrant temporary workers visas, in response to historically high demand for H-2B visas this year. These visas are used by seasonal industries, including the Eastern Shore's seafood processing industry, when businesses are unable to find American workers. Congressman Harris released the following statement regarding this letter:
"Seasonal industries across Maryland's First District and across the United States rely on the H-2B visa program for temporary guest workers when they cannot find American workers. H-2B guest workers pay American taxes, collect no government benefits, support American jobs, and return to their home countries when their visas expire. Every H-2B worker is estimated to create and sustain almost 5 American jobs. When seasonal businesses cannot hire the temporary workers they need, American businesses and jobs are jeopardized. I urge Secretary Nielsen to heed the call of seasonal small businesses nationwide, and release additional H-2B visas."
The final signed copy of the letter is available PDF here.