BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The hits just keep on coming for a number of Eastern Short crab picking houses as they were once again denied seasonal immigrant workers.

For more than two decades, the eight picking houses have depended on temporary seasonal workers from Mexico.

Every year, the government issues 66,000 seasonal workers visas. They used to be awarded when a business proved American workers would not do the needed jobs. But in a switch, the Trump Administration used a lottery to award businesses.

RELATED: Maryland Seafood Trade Workforce Decimated By Seasonal Worker Lottery

The trickle down effect is already hitting American workers who drive trucks, do office work, supply packing materials, and especially watermen. With half the picking houses closed, that eliminates half of the businesses that buy their crabs.

In another lottery held this month, visas for workers were approved for just one crab picking house on Hoopers Island.

In all, it was approved for about 30 job.

This could result in higher prices for crab meat.

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  1. This also means the price of steamed crabs will be lower.

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