Ocean City Today

Position clarification

Sep 14, 2017



Printed 09/15/2017



Ocean City’s economy depends heavily on summer tourism and seasonal workers. I have always supported efforts to ensure Maryland’s businesses can find the employees they need to succeed.

A recent story misstated my position on the J-1 visa program, which allows foreign students to come to America temporarily to work and experience our culture. Since the inability to find American summertime workers has been an ongoing challenge for small businesses in Ocean City, I have consistently supported the J-1 visa program.

One of the other federal temporary worker visa programs, the H-2B program (which supplies seasonal workers to the seafood processing and tourism industries on the Eastern Shore), already requires businesses to seek American citizens to fill job openings before seeking visa workers.

If the Trump Administration decides to implement a similar requirement for the J-1 visa program, that requirement could be workable, and I would work to reduce the burden on Ocean City’s small businesses as much as possible in fulfilling that requirement.

I am proud of our local businesses and will continue to do everything in my power to support them and our economy.  That’s why I’m so pleased that our president is also pursuing real tax reform that will help small businesses and middle-class workers.

Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (R-1st)

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