Shrimpers face more challenges after not receiving H-2B visas

The cap has been met for H-2B visa distribution this year and this is making shrimping tough in the Gulf of Mexico for those who failed to receive one.

In Palacios, Texas, shrimp boat operator David Aparicio says that 33,000 H-2B visas were issued this year. He was not one of those under the cap, and he could be working year-round.

Jose, Leyva, a shrimping supervisor at the Port of Brownsville in Texas, also says that he did not have the luck he needed and he knows he will suffer this year.

“With no H-2B visas, I don’t think we’re going to have a good year,” he said.

Aparicio says that shrimping is a dangerous job and it is hard to train someone to do it. H-2B workers are almost needed for this role because, in Aparicio’s experience, locals do not last long and the job is not for everyone.

“We’ve been using these same workers year after year, because nobody wants to do this type of work anymore, it’s one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States,” he said, “and there’s not many people around here that want to do it.”

For more information on H-2B visas, click HERE.