Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, who serves as co-chair of the Congressional Northern Border Caucus and the U.S. Canada Inter-parliamentary Group, released the following statement in response to published reports of a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Canada extending crossing restrictions along the northern border:
“It is disappointing but no surprise to see the northern border remain closed for another 30 days. With no leadership from President Trump to address the pandemic, cases in the United States are spiking and as a result United States citizens are not welcome in several countries around the globe, including many of our allies.
“The president’s failed management, and frankly complete lack of attention to the science and reality before us, is costing the U.S. more than economic and diplomatic losses. It is costing American lives. The United States has just 4.25% of the world’s population, but our citizens, friends, neighbors and family members now represent at 23.6% of the world’s deaths due to COVID.
“While the northern border remains closed, the United States and Canada should be developing a plan that lays out what continued, nuanced management of the border during a prolonged pandemic will look like. But the administration’s failure to develop a national plan for widespread testing, PPE distribution and the rejection of social distancing and mask wearing to slow the spread doesn’t inspire confidence that a such a plan is in the works.”
√ The border first closed on March 24. This would be the fourth time that initial border closing has been extended. The first extension was through May 20, then June 22, then July 21.
√ On May 22, Higgins first asked the U.S. and Canada to expand the definition of essential travel to include individuals traveling to visit family, manage business interests or manage personal property.
√ Higgins and Northern Border Co-Chair Elise Stefanik recently led a bipartisan letter signed by 29 members of Congress calling on the U.S. and Canadian governments to begin to develop a framework for a phased reopening of the border
Current COVID-19 Numbers: