The Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA) is struggling to fill its workforce of 10,000 migrant construction workers.
The agency, which oversees the transit system, said it will have to hire at least 1,000 construction workers over the next six months.
Migrant construction workers are typically young and under 30.
The MTA said that it’s been able to fill positions through the use of public and private agencies.
The transit authority said it has had to raise fares in recent months, which has hurt the economy of Maryland.
But the agency said the increased costs have forced it to cut back on workers.
It said it’s also had to hire fewer workers since it closed a plant in Maryland.
Migrants are often the most vulnerable workers, as they face deportation after working long hours for little pay.
According to a recent report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, about a third of migrant construction construction workers in the US have been undocumented.
The US Census Bureau estimated that nearly 7,000 people in Maryland live with relatives in migrant construction jobs.
The MTA said it needs the workers to be on site for up to two months per month, to do construction and repair work and to have the ability to work overtime.
Migratory birds are at risk to be killed and injured by the construction workers, the MTA said.
In January, the state of Maryland issued an executive order requiring migrant construction laborers to be vaccinated against the H1N1 influenza virus.
But, it said, it can’t enforce the order until a judge has issued a preliminary injunction.
The judge has until September to issue a final order on the injunction.