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Executive order calling for departments to develop a plan was issued 5 months ago
Congressman Brian Higgins’ camp released the following:
On Jan. 22, 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order calling for U.S. departments to work with Canadian agencies to develop a plan within 14 days. Nearly five months have passed, and Higgins says the American people deserve action.
Higgins, who serves as co-chair of the Canada-U.S. interparliamentary group, said, “We have gone too long without action. We need this administration to stand up for Americans.”
On June 17, Higgins wrote to Biden urging the U.S. to reciprocate family reunifications measures already allowed by the Canadian government.
Higgins said he is also concerned that Canada is in violation of the Boundary Waters Treaty by preventing Americans from traveling through shared waterways. He recently wrote to Ambassador Kristen Hillman about the issue.
Higgins Comments on Canadian Border Reopening Interview
During a Sunday interview, Bill Blair, Canada’s minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, discussed the extension of existing travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada.
“We haven’t reached the finish line, and the finish line is when a significant majority of Canadians, approximately 75%, are fully vaccinated,” Blair said.
Higgins released the following statement in response:
“First the public was told vaccinations were the key to reponing the border. Yet the vaccinated continue to be shut out. Then it was said, 75% partially vaccinated and 20% fully vaccinated was the threshold Canada needed to meet to loosen restrictions. That goal has been reached and still the border restrictions were extended for another month.
“It is difficult to have a successful game plan when the goalposts continue to be moved. The lack of transparency, clear communication and a failure to layout expectations on the U.S.-Canada border reopening plan has been maddening for the public who simply want to know what’s it going to take to get this border open.”
The border between the U.S. and Canada first closed to nonessential travel in March of 2020. Both countries recently extended the restrictions through at least July 21, 2021.
In a letter to the secretary of Homeland Security and follow-up telephone conversation in May, Higgins pressed for the U.S. government to act independently to at a minimum allow families to reunite.