BROWNSVILLE (AP) — The Texas shrimp industry is facing a worker shortage as a result of the federal cap on U.S. visas for immigrant seasonal workers.
Andrea Hance is executive director of the Texas Shrimp Association. She tells the Brownsville Herald that an estimated 70 percent of the Brownsville-Port Isabel shrimp fleet is starting off this season short-handed. The shrimp industry relies heavily on H-2B visa workers, which are limited by a decades-old law to 66,000 for the whole country.
Congress failed to renew a cap exemption this year for returning workers, creating a worker shortage.
Hance says lacking 750 people from Mexico or Central America is crippling the Texas seafood industry. She says the industry will lose $1 million a day because the government won’t allow these workers into the country.