Maryland’s Crab Country: Not Enough Visas, Not Enough Workers

Music blared as 21 Mexican women methodically cracked open steamed crabs piled high inside a cool, bright room. They picked out the meat and packed it into 1-pound containers that their employer, G.W. Hall & Sons, ships to wholesalers in the mid-Atlantic and as far away as Canada. A half-mile down Old House Point Road, the picking room at a competing company, Russell Hall Seafood, was silent, no workers to be seen. Bare metal tables, normally heaped with crabs this time of year, gleamed. The difference: one firm won the visa lottery, and the other lost. “It trickles all the way down the line,” said fisherman Burl Lewis, who normally sells a large amount of menhaden to Russell Hall Seafood but recently laid off a crew member from his 52-foot boat, the Trying Times. “The Mexican labor creates jobs for Americans. It’s creating my job.” >click to read<16:49

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