Senators Introduce Bill to Streamline Seasonal Worker Visa Progr - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Senators Introduce Bill to Streamline Seasonal Worker Visa Program

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation to help seasonal employees better understand the visa program that allows them to work in the U.S.

The H-2B program is vital to small and seasonal employers across the country who depend on temporary workers to sustain their businesses and supplement their existing American workforce. Maryland’s Eastern Shore, in particular, relies on H-2B visa holders.

“Maryland’s seafood industry is critical for jobs on the Eastern Shore and for our way of life,” said U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), one of the bill’s sponsors. “From harvesting crabs to shucking oysters, temporary and seasonal workers ensure Maryland’s seafood industry continues to prosper.”

The bipartisan legislation would streamline the H-2B program to eliminate ambiguities and establish clear regulations for employers hiring H-2B workers. The bill would also ensure that American workers are not displaced by foreign ones.

“Improving the H-2B program, while still ensuring that Americans get first crack at ‎jobs, not only keeps Virginia’s seafood companies in business, it helps boost the local economies on the Bay and protects American workers,” said U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.).

The introduction of this bipartisan effort comes after several road blocks for employers navigating the H-2B process this year, including a suspension of the program that left many business owners shut out of the process. Earlier this week a group of 26 U.S. senators sent a bipartisan letter to the Department of Labor expressing concern and frustration over the H-2B labor certification process.

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