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Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, who serves as co-chair of the congressional northern border caucus, released the following statement in response to Canada’s announcement of the extension of the existing border restrictions:
“Today, as expected, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that restrictions will remain in place at the U.S.-Canada border. The Trump administration has failed in its response to COVID and taken no responsibility for addressing the economic and health needs related to this national emergency. Consequently Americans have suffered.
“Despite our numerous requests to U.S. border agencies, no plan has been developed for the eventual reopening of the border between the United States and Canada. Thankfully, next week a new administration steps in – one that recognizes the strength and value that comes with closer coordination with Canada – one of our closest allies. The Biden-Harris team steps in at a time of national crisis. They will have a great deal of work before them. And while I don’t expect change immediately, I do believe the new administration will work with focus to repair relationships with our allies and put the United States on a healing path.”
The border between the U.S. and Canada first closed due to the pandemic on March 24, 2020, and has been extended multiple times. Higgins has fought for the development of a plan that takes a nuanced approach to reopening the border and has pushed for reciprocal family reunification measures and exemptions for property owners.
The U.S. and Canada share 5,525 miles of border, the longest land boundary between two countries in the world. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reports, “Approximately 400,000 people and over $1.6 billion in goods cross the Northern Border daily through more than 120 POEs (ports of entry).