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Trump adds 15,000 work visas. But is it too late for shell-shocked crabbers?

Business owners on Hoopers Island, which is known for its crabbing industry, previously told NBC News that the lack of visas was ruining their livelihoods because they had relied on the seasonal work program for decades to bring in temporary foreign hires, mostly Mexican women, to pick crab meat.

“Right now, we’re shut down,” said Morgan Tolley, manager of A.E. Phillips and Sons Seafood. “We’re in self-preservation mode.”

Tolley could not be reached for comment on Friday afternoon. A voice message at the business cited the shortage of H-2B visas as the reason for its limited operations.

Trump adds 15,000 work visas. But is it too late for shell-shocked crabbers?
Trump adds 15,000 work visas. But is it too late for shell-shocked crabbers?

Some business owners on the island had said they were fearful that any additional visas would not help because crabbing season is already underway and because of the long journey for workers from Mexico to Hoopers Island.

Trump won Dorchester County, which includes all of Hoopers Island, in the 2016 election largely based off of his pledge to help small businesses.

“(President Trump’s) vow was to create American jobs, but this is not creating American jobs,” Phillips said earlier this month.

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