H.C.R. NO.














requesting the united states Customs and Border Protection to establish a crewmember's visa for foreign citizens working in the commercial fishing industry.




     WHEREAS, a major media investigation and report in September 2016 revealed that hundreds of undocumented workers are employed in a peculiar sector of the United States commercial fishing industry, which, due to a loophole in federal law, allows them to work but exempts them from most basic labor protections; and


WHEREAS, many of these workers are men who come from impoverished Southeast Asian and Pacific Island nations, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Kiribati, to take these difficult and dangerous jobs, which can pay as little as 70 cents per hour; and


WHEREAS, with no legal status on United States soil, these workers are at the mercy of their American captains on American-flagged, American-owned vessels, catching prized fish, such as swordfish and ahi tuna, that can sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars; and


WHEREAS, because these workers lack visas, they are technically not allowed even to set foot on shore when the fishing boats on which they toil are docked at American ports; and


WHEREAS, this entire system contradicts other state and federal laws; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-ninth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2017, the Senate concurring, that the United States Customs and Border Protection is requested to establish a crewmember's visa for foreign citizens working in the commercial fishing industry; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Commissioner of the United States Customs and Border Protection, and each member of Hawaii's Congressional delegation.









Report Title:

United States Customs and Border Protection; Crewmember's Visa; Commercial Fishing Industry