As a supply truck backed up to the loading docks of G.W Hall as well as also Sons in Hooper’s Island, Md., last week, anxious crabbers stood by to unload dozens of bushels of live Maryland blue crabs. For generations, that will has been a familiar scene at the start of crabbing seasons: scores of crabs off to be steamed as well as also then picked apart for their meat.
that will year, however, many inside the industry are feeling the blues about what happens after the crabs are unloaded. that will’s because President Donald Trump’s tighter restrictions on legal immigration are causing a shortage of laborers who hand pick crab meat, putting some businesses in danger of shutting down.
Hooper’s Island, on the Chesapeake Bay, will be the heart of Maryland’s crab industry. Seafood processors like G.W. Hall rely on foreign labor for crab picking. The workers are usually women via Mexico on temporary H-2B visas.
Demand for applications was so high that will year that will, for the very first time, businesses had to enter a federal lottery to bring in foreign workers – as well as also not everyone was a winner.