29 members of the US Congress that are pushing to get the United States-Canada border back open are demanding an immediate reopening plan.
Rep. Brian Higgins serves as one of the co-chairs of the Northern Border Caucus and is leading the charge to form an immediate reopening plan.
A letter signed by Higgins and other representatives was sent to Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair.
“We are asking that the United States and Canada immediately craft a comprehensive framework for phased reopening of the border based on objective metrics and accounting for the varied circumstances across border regions. Additionally, we request consideration of any interim measures that may be appropriate to bilaterally ease restrictions on family members and property owners – including those with property on U.S. soil accessible only through cross-border transit – in order to restore the social bond that unites our two nations.”
“The continual 30-day extensions without a plan for how restrictions will be modified prolongs uncertainty for both communities and creates unnecessary tension as we approach each new expiration,” the letter said.
It later read “Continuing to extend border restrictions at 30-day intervals is untenable for the communities that have been separated from family and unable to tend to their property for over three months.”
The letter comes as the ban on most travel between the U.S. and Canada is halfway through its fourth month.
One U.S news outlet wrote “The ban has been an inconvenience for thousands of people who live along the border and who are used to crossing back and forth between Canada and the U.S. relatively easily; it has shut down cross-border tourism and has had an unknown effect on trade between the two countries.
The below map shows the stark contrast of Covid-19 infection between the two countries.
The border was first closed on March 24th, and is to remain closed until July 21st unless a further extension is put into place.
Under the current closure only “essential” travel over the land borders is permitted.
Essential travel includes:
– US citizens returning to the US
– Individuals traveling for medical purposes
– Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions or work
– Individuals traveling for emergency or government response
– Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g. cargo drivers)
– Members of the military
Here are the current travel restrictions between the US and Canada.
U.S citizens can NOT travel to Canada by land or air for non-essential purposes.
Canadian citizens CAN travel to the U.S by AIR for non essential travel
Canadian citizens can NOT travel to the U.S by land for non-essential travel.