North Country Rep. Stefanik urges Biden not to extend Canadian border restrictions
North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has joined Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (MN-07) in sending a letter to President Joseph Biden urging him not to extend the current travel restrictions along the U.S.–Canada border.
The Canadian border could be reopen to St. Lawrence County travelers this summer. Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated that fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents could gain access to entry in mid-August for nonessential travel.Border restrictions on nonessential travel between the U.S. and Canada went into effect March 2020, and were extended last month until July 21.
Rep. Stefanik and some of her colleagues are pushing for the border to reopen.
In part, the letter reads: “Given the progress in vaccination rates and continually low infection rates in the U.S.,” the letter reads, “we urge you not to extend the current restrictions. If a phased reopening of the border to non-essential travel cannot be established, we urge you to allow the restrictions to expire in order to restore travel between one of our closest trading partners.”
The letter goes on to read: “The Canadian government’s indication that they will allow vaccinated Americans to enter Canada beginning in mid-August is a welcome step forward, though also a reminder that each nation has set their own criteria for entry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and will chart their own reopening. The U.S. has an opportunity to provide leadership in safely resuming travel across the northern border for the benefit of both nations.”
“After over a year of extensions and uncertainty, we are finally seeing forward movement from the Canadian government towards restoring travel into Canada,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “I have been a vocal advocate for safely reopening the border and have called on President Biden to swiftly restore non-essential travel into the U.S. Our border communities need immediate progress, and another extension would be devastating to our families, businesses, and property owners.”
Congresswoman Stefanik has recently met with several Members of Parliament to discuss strategies to reopen the U.S. – Canada border and sent letters to each of Canada’s provincial and territorial Premiers requesting their partnership and assistance. She also recently introduced the Restoring Northern Border Travel Act, which requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expand the categories of permitted travel into the U.S. across the U.S. – Canada border to include individuals traveling to visit family members or property in the U.S., attend business meetings or site-visits, or access U.S. airports.