It is no secret that immigrant workers are key to America’s agricultural industries, which makes it unsurprising that various sectors are feeling the effects of the Trump administration’s hardline stance on immigration -- from fields of unharvested produce to the Texas shrimp industry.
The Statesman reports that Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller petitioned the Trump administration Thursday to expand the H-2B visa program and allow more foreign temporary workers to help in the state’s affected industries.
“As Commissioner of Agriculture for the state of Texas, I am encouraging the Trump Administration to take immediate action and open the petition process under the H-2B Nonimmigrant Temporary Worker Program,” Miller said. “This is critical for our agricultural economy, as well as the small and seasonal businesses that rely on the temporary workers provided through the H-2B program in Texas.”
“As I’ve always said, Texas agriculture is on the forefront of the legal immigration issue,” Miller said. “Ag producers want a strong and clear legal immigration system where non-immigrant workers can help American industries survive, especially seasonal ones like shrimping, then leave the U.S. and return home. Stronger border security and cracking down on illegal immigration both serve to strengthen legal immigration, which in turn, helps our economy.”
The plea was addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and indicated federal assistance in the matter would be the difference between failure and success for the companies affected and economies they help support.