Clockwise from top left, Chellie Pingree, Jared Golden, Susan Collins and Angus King. Credit: Composite photo | BDN

Lawmakers from Maine are helping lead a charge for an increase of a cap on work visas this year.

Independent Sen. Angus King and Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree said Tuesday they are leading a bipartisan group in calling for U.S. Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf to make the change. The request concerns H-2B visas, which allow employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs.

Maine’s two other congressional representatives, Democratic Rep. Jared Golden and Republican Sen. Susan Collins, also support the push. The delegation said Wolf has the ability to release more than 64,000 of the visas for the remainder of the fiscal year.

The lawmakers said low unemployment and growing demand for workers have created a need for more of the visas. Maine’s delegation said the visas are especially important in the state because of the role they play in its tourism industry.