Special to The Laredo Sun
LAREDO, Texas –U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Laredo Field Office this week held a briefing aimed at providing transportation industry representatives employing drivers with B1/B2 laser visas with a better understanding of cabotage to help ensure compliance with federal immigration laws and regulations.
“We interact with our partners in the transportation industry on a daily basis and we held this first of many briefings and seminars aimed at ensuring that our industry partners are informed and well acquainted with U.S. immigration laws relative to the domestic and international transport of merchandise so that we can curb instances of cabotage and ensure compliance with federal law,” said Director, Field Operations David P. Higgerson, Laredo Field Office.
Led by the Office of Assistant Chief Counsel and the Admissibility Unit from Laredo Field Office, the briefing, which drew an audience of more than 100 transportation industry representatives and a staffer from U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar’s office, focused on defining what cabotage is, reviewing permissible B1 truck driver activities, and discussing activities that require DHS employment authorization.
Cabotage, in layman’s terms, is the domestic point to point U.S. carriage or hauling of goods in the U.S. by a B1 truck driver. Such domestic movement of merchandise by a driver holding a B1/B2 laser visa is a violation of the terms of that visa and can result in the cancelation of that document.
Laredo Field Office officials explained that B-1 visa commercial truck drivers should refrain from the domestic U.S. transport of goods, even if those goods were foreign in origin.
Admissibility Unit officials explained that obtaining an H-2B visa may be a better alternative for transportation industry companies to consider for their drivers. CBP Laredo Field Office indicated they would provide additional guidance at subsequent meetings and provide subject matter experts from various federal agencies who will explain the labor certification process, H-2B visa requirements and the petition process.
After the meeting concluded, Laredo Field Office staff remained on hand to answer questions from transportation industry representatives on a one-on-one basis.