Loggers Use ‘Unskilled’ Visas to Roll Over Immigration Law; Northwoods Democrats Object
A border skirmish has broken out over foreign truckers employed on H-2A visas. But the battle isn’t being waged by Texas Republicans. This time, Maine Democrats are working to save American jobs. As usual, it’s an uphill fight.
Maine loggers accuse Canadians of violating cabotage laws by using H2-A visas to illegally transport timber within the United States. Cabotage agreements between Mexico, Canada and the U.S. allow each country’s truck drivers to use B-1 visas to participate in international commerce, but not in another nation’s domestic market.
Acting on reports that Canadian truckers were detouring around the B-1 rule via H2-A — a classification for unskilled agricultural workers — Maine’s Democratic Legislature passed, and Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed, a law banning the practice.
The haulers squawked and secured a temporary restraining order in court. Maine’s Democrat Attorney General Aaron Frey argues that his state is simply upholding the letter of federal immigration law.
On that front, Maine ought not to count on help from President Joe Biden’s legal team. The administration reportedly is in the process of granting hundreds of thousands more H-2A work visas to Mexico.
Fact is, the ag visa program – open-ended and poorly regulated — is abused from coast to coast. FAIR reported in 2020 that U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, proposed blocking H-2As for the purposes of transporting logging materials within the U.S. He’s still waiting for Capitol Hill colleagues, of either party, to climb on board.