A bipartisan group of governors is pressuring the Biden administration for answers on keeping the US-Canada border closed to non-essential travel.
In a letter to the Secretary of State Antoine BlinkAntony Blinken More than 180 local employees working at the US embassy and consulates in Russia have been sacked Duterte reinstates pact authorizing US war exercises Blinken urges Tunisian president to get the country back on “democratic track as quickly as possible” MORE and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasGraham and Cuellar urge Biden to appoint Border Czar DHS imposes mask warrant on employees The Hill’s Morning Report – Brought to you by Facebook – Officers recount January 6 horror MORE Friday, the governors requested additional information regarding “COVID-19 travel restrictions impacting the US-Canada border.”
“At this point in the country’s work to get the economy back on track, it is imperative that the federal government work more closely and more transparently with us and our Canadian provincial counterparts to quickly define and implement a plan to reopen.” The letter says.
“We have no doubt that such a plan can ensure the safety and well-being of American citizens during this ever-changing pandemic landscape,” he continued.
– NGA (@NatlGovsAssoc) July 30, 2021
The Canada-U.S. Border has been closed to non-essential travel since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
The most recent extension was due to expire on July 21, but Canada announced July 19 that it would accept fully vaccinated Americans and permanent residents for non-essential travel starting August 9.
However, a few days after Canada’s announcement, the Department of Homeland Security announcement that it would extend the closure of the land borders between Canada and Mexico until August 21.
The governors – all of whom are leading states bordering Canada – wrote that the ministry’s decision “worsens the already significant economic impacts of the pandemic on communities and border states to the north.”
They added that their constituents, many of whom work for small businesses, are asking “how and when cross-border economic activity will resume in a safe and sustainable manner”.
The group asked for the information or data the federal government cited for its decision, the metrics it uses to determine when the border can reopen and what obstacles “may exist to the timely implementation of a plan. well-thought-out and clearly defined reopening ”.
In a statement to The Hill, a State Department spokesperson said the agency was not commenting on “private correspondence with Secretary Blinken”, adding that the restrictions had been extended “to reduce the spread of COVID- 19, including the Delta variant ”.
“The Department of State continues to engage with Canada to address the threat of COVID-19, and with our interagency partners to implement appropriate public health measures,” the spokesperson said. “It is essential that all travel measures are implemented in a way that does not disrupt pandemic response efforts or hamper the movement of essential travelers or essential medical supplies. “
The letter was signed by Governor of Alaska Mike Dunleavy (R), Governor of Maine Janet MillsJanet MillsMaine shifting recycling costs to businesses Governors races see flood of pro-Trump candidates Balance / Sustainability – Presented by NextEra Energy – China: Wild pandas no longer in danger MORE (D), Governor of Minnesota. Tim WalzTim Walz Half of states now restrict conversion therapy for LGBTQ children Minnesota state lawmaker faces calls to resign over domestic violence and allegations of indecent exposure Minnesota signs executive order restricting PLUS conversion therapy (D), Montana Gouv. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteOvernight Energy: Haaland and Native American Leaders Lobby for Protection of Native Lands | Biden will return to pre-Obama water protections | Western Governors Call on Biden for Wildfire Help Western Governors Call on Biden for Wildfire Help Overnight Energy: Dakota Access Pipeline Fined for Security Breaches | Electric Cars To Sell Better Than Combustion Vehicles In The United States By 2036 | Montana Governor mobilizes National Guard to fight wildfires MORE (R), Governor of New Hampshire. Chris SununuChris SununuThe Hill’s Morning Report – Brought to you by Facebook – Officers recount the horror of January 6. (R), North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R), Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWine University of Michigan says all students, faculty, and staff must be vaccinated by fall semester Americans’ confidence in institutions drops after slight increase: Gallup DeWine bans Ohio universities and schools to demand COVID-19 PLUS vaccines (R), Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) et Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeOvernight Energy: Haaland, Native American leaders push for protection of native lands | Biden will return to pre-Obama water protections | Western governors ask Biden for help with wildfires Western governors ask Biden for help with wildfires The Hill’s Morning Report – Pelosi plans to add GOP voices to the Jan. 6 panel MORE (D).
Update: 4:53 p.m.