Virginia Farmers and Seafood Houses Navigate a Complex System of Seasonal Worker Visas

Rod Parker at his plant

  Rod Parker tests asparagus. Behind him H-2A workers sort and pack asparagus after spending the morning in the field picking it. (Credit Pamela D’Angelo)

Virginia’s farms and seafood processors rely heavily on foreign workers.

But the federal visa system to get them is complicated and doesn’t always work, even when there’s not a global pandemic underway.

Pamela D’Angelo reports on the difficulty with H-2A visas.

Virginia’s farms and seafood processors rely heavily on foreign workers with thousands of visas issued each year.

But Chesapeake Bay seafood processors that pick crabmeat and shuck oysters are limited by a different federal visa system that has a history of problems and this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it worse.

Pamela D’Angelo reports on H-2B visas.

 

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