Seafood processor / crab picker

Fernanda has worked in Maryland as a crab-picker with an H2-B visa for at least six seasons. She, like many others, decided to look for employment outside of her home community so that she could provide financial support to her parents, her son, and her daughter. Fernanda never considered taking her children with her to the United States in the course of her work because she simply did not earn enough to be able to support them in Maryland. Instead, she sent her sister a little over $100 USD every two weeks to adequately provide for their needs in Mexico. Like all of her other co-workers, Fernanda depends on transportation provided by her employer, for which she pays, to do all of her errands like sending money transfers, visiting the doctor, or buying food.

Fernanda has worked for the same company each season and has noted certain inequalities at her worksite. For example, she observes that men have greater opportunities to advance because they are taught more skills than the women.

Drawing on her many years of experience, Fernanda recommends that employers do everything in their power to follow the rules in place for the visa programs. She would like to see fellow workers be provided information about their contract at the moment of recruitment so that they know their rights and what to expect. She is further troubled that she has never received medical insurance, which she feels is important. Finally, she recommends that fellow migrant workers continue to support each other through the free exchange of advice garnered from experience.