Immigration problems impact Louisiana’s crawfish season

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Going into what is supposed to be the biggest sales week of the crawfish season, processor Dexter Guillory says he is nothing but worried.

One month into the peak season, during which the crawfish industry makes most of its money, an immigration kerfuffle has kept Guillory and other processors from hiring enough peelers.

Most of the workers come from Mexico and Central America. Without the peelers, the processors will stop buying as much crawfish from the fishermen.

Congress limits the number of permits, called H-2B visas, to 66,000 a year.

Louisiana hired 5,546 H-2B workers in 2014.

Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain tells The Advocate ( ) the crawfish industry’s losses this year could be as much as $30 million out of the $100 million industry.

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