Visa Extensions Will Be Issued to Non-Agricultural Workers

Posted: Updated:

BROWNSVILLE – The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor announced 15,000 new visas will be issued for temporary, non-agricultural workers.

Andrea Hance, executive director of the Texas Shrimp Association, said Monday the federal government will issue these visas on a first come, first serve basis.

She explained shrimp boat owners in the Rio Grande Valley region will be competing with business owners from other industries, such as landscaping or the hotel business.

In late June 2016, some local shrimpers said that they won’t be able to fish this season because of the lack of H2B visa workers.

Hance said some boat owners rely on Mexican or Central American workers to bring in the millions of pounds of shrimp collected every season.

The shrimp industry has already started and boat owners need all the labor they can get. Hance said there is a shortage now.

She added that boat owners will have to go through a process to bring on seasonal H2B visa workers.

“There’s still some paperwork that needs to be filed and that whole process takes another good three to four weeks. So, best case scenario, we might be able to receive some workers three to four weeks from now,” said Hance.

Hance told CHANNEL 5 NEWS she estimates waiting a month for the workers to start will cost the industry $1 million a day. The shrimping business will suffer if it does not have enough workers.

Para leer noticias en español, visite nuestra sección Español.
  • Stories

    • Sunday, officers responded to a home on the 1200 block of Calle Milpa on a call that the girl was found unresponsive in an inflatable pool.

    • (Gaston County Sheriff's Office via AP). This Sunday, May 20, 2018, booking photo provided by the Gaston County Sheriff's Office shows Roger Self. Police say that Self intentionally rammed a vehicle into a restaurant shortly after midday Sunday, May 20...

      Man faces murder charges in restaurant crash that killed kin

      Authorities say man intentionally rammed vehicle into a North Carolina restaurant busy with weekend lunch crowd, killing his daughter, another person and injuring several others.
    • Impacts of Artificial Reef on Red Snapper Fishing Season

      Federal Red Snapper fishing season is set to begin June 1st.

      It's projected to be 40 days longer this year than last year.

    • The suspects are considered armed and dangerous.

    • Authorities are investigating the death of a youth in custody at the Evins Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg.