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Higgins, Jacobs disappointed with continued US-Canada border shutdown

Submitted + Updated

Thu, May 20th 2021 11:40 am

Homeland Security keeps northern border closed to nonessential travel through June 21

Congressman Brian Higgins on Thursday expressed great disappointment following the announcement the United States and Canada have continued to keep the northern border closed to nonessential travel for another full month.

“It is truly unacceptable at this point to have another 30-day extension with no further exceptions for those vaccinated; no goals or targets outlined to expand crossings; no reciprocal allowances for family reunification; and no plan,” said Higgins, who serves as co-chair of the northern border caucus and the Canada-U.S. interparliamentary group. “We have made great strides in fighting the pandemic and we need to make progress on reopening the border. That is essential to both families that have been separated for way too long and to our binational economies.”

Higgins has been a strong voice in the need to develop a plan to reopen the border, calling for the definition of essential traveler to be expanded by May, followed by a full reopening of the border by July. This week he pushed for the U.S. to allow Canadians to cross into New York state for COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

Congressman Chris Jacobs said, “This indefinite closure of the U.S.-Canada border is unacceptable. To continue to do this for over a year without a plan for heartbroken families and anxious homeowners represents a failure of leadership. Vaccines are rolling out; the United States especially has done the work to tame the pandemic and reopen our nation. There is no excuse to willfully continue this uncertainty that has plagued citizens living on both sides of the border. We know how to reopen safely and have proven we are able to do so – the president, the prime minister, and respective federal officials need to develop and implement a metric-based, binational plan to reopen the U.S.-Canada border as soon as possible.”

The border between the U.S. and Canada first closed to nonessential travel in March of 2020. The existing order, set to expire May 21, is now extended through June 21.

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