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Higgins on extension of northern border shutdown: 'completely unnecessary & unexplained'


Mon, Sep 20th 2021 12:10 pm

Border to remain closed to Canadians through Oct. 21

Congressman Brian Higgins, who serves as chair of the northern border caucus and the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary group, released the following statement in response to the news the U.S. is extending border restrictions for Canadians through Oct. 21.

“Continued closure of the U.S. border to vaccinated Canadians is completely unnecessary and unexplained.

“It is welcome news that the White House is making progress on reciprocating international public health measures to protect air travelers. Yet it is inexplicable that no announcement on easing travel restrictions at land ports of entry is being made today since the livelihoods of communities across the northern border depend on cross-border commerce.

“Canada’s unilateral action to allow Americans to cross the border beginning in August demonstrated what we already knew: Vaccines were the turning point that make reopening the border possible. This was substantial progress in our fight to reconnect with our Canadian neighbors, but we need action on the U.S. side. Canada opened its land crossings successfully and the United States should be acting today to do the same.”

The U.S.-Canada border first closed to nonessential travel in March of 2020 and has remained closed for 18 months. Canada reopened its border to vaccinated Americans on Aug. 9, 2021.

Higgins has been one of the most vocal advocates pushing for the U.S. government to outline and implement a plan to safely reopen the border. Higgins’ district includes the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, and borders Southern Ontario.

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