March 05, 2020

Van Hollen Statement on Release of H-2B Visas

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding the Administration’s release of an additional 35,000 H-2B visas.

“Maryland crabs are a central part of our state’s economy and culture – from the watermen who harvest them, to the crab houses that process them, to restaurants across the state who sell the iconic blue crabs to locals and visitors alike. To maintain this thriving industry, our crab houses have been in desperate need for the Administration to release more H-2B worker visas. I’m glad the Administration has heeded our calls to support our local seafood industry by releasing these much-needed visas. I will keep fighting to protect this important industry and to develop a long-term solution.”

Senator Van Hollen has visited Maryland crab houses and witnessed first-hand the need for these visas. He has pressed the Administration to release more visas to support Maryland’s local seafood industry on numerous occasions, including on a phone call with Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Wolf, and letters sent in March 2019, January 2020, and February 2020. In his role on the Appropriations Committee the Senator also fought for language to encourage DHS to release these visas, which was included in the omnibus bills passed in December 2019.