(AUSTIN) In a letter addressed to federal officials, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller today asked for an opening of the program that affects the availability of temporary workers like those needed by the Texas shrimp and other agriculture 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,” Commissioner 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.”
In the letter, addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Miller reiterated that this program is vital to several agriculture sectors here in Texas, including our Gulf shrimp industry.
“Currently, many agricultural and related entities are making final decisions on this season’s production efforts,” Commissioner Miller said. “Your action on this matter will determine the economic success of many of these businesses and the jobs they create.”
The Texas shrimp industry is particularly dependent on the federal program allowing non-immigrant temporary workers and risks a severe financial impact if the program is not fully implemented.
“As I’ve always said, Texas agriculture is on the forefront of the legal immigration issue,” Commissioner 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.”