WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will release 130,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas in fiscal year 2023. This total is comprised of the 66,000 visas that DHS can release annually under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as well as an additional 64,716. This visa program is essential for the staffing of Maryland’s crab and seafood small businesses, which are a core driver of the state’s economy. The Senators also are working to secure a permanent fix to the H-2B program.
“Maryland’s seafood industry is powered by many Eastern Shore small businesses that process the crabs enjoyed across our region. That’s why it’s critical for the administration to work with us to help meet these businesses’ unique employment needs. We are encouraged that DHS is working proactively to make the maximum number of H-2B visas available in the new fiscal year, while ensuring they are distributed in a manner that takes into account our Maryland businesses and their needs. At the same time, we will continue our efforts in Congress to develop a lasting solution that provides clearer, more certain rules of the road for our seafood businesses, while protecting the rights of workers,” said the Senators.