Visa Woes Have Seasonal Businesses Looking to Puerto Ricans

With visas at a minimum, seasonal businesses are looking elsewhere for summer employees.

News Channel 13
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Frustrated by red tape and visa limits on foreign workers, seasonal businesses from Maine to Missouri are turning to Puerto Ricans who are fleeing a shattered economy and hurricane devastation.

Bob Smith, owner of Sebasco Harbor Resort in Phippsburg, Maine hired a half-dozen Puerto Ricans last summer for housekeeping, landscaping and kitchen work, providing relief to his overworked staff. This summer he is doubling the number, and he would like to hire even more.

Louis Morales, 50, of Comerio, Puerto Rico, is happy to be here making double the salary he would back home, where jobs are scarce.

"A lot of people lost their houses, their jobs, everything. It's not the same now," said Morales, a maintenance worker who worked at Sebasco last year and has recruited more residents from Comerio to join him.

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