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Members of President Joe Biden’s party are upset about his decision not to allow Canadians into the United States despite Canada’s plan to begin admitting Americans in the coming weeks.
“As Canada prepares to further open the border next month, the United States is failing to reciprocate, jeopardizing an already tenuous recovery for thousands of businesses, families and communities across Upstate New York," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, in a statement. “It is critical for the United States to level the playing field and create a uniform system, following the science and data, to safely — and finally — reopen the border for those vaccinated.”
In Washington state, Democratic Rep. Suzan DelBene said the move would prompt “further suffering in our border communities.” Rep. Brian Higgins, a New York Democrat, agreed, adding the negative impact would be felt across the 5,500-mile border between the continental U.S. and Canada.
Since March 21, 2020, the government has not allowed foreigners on “nonessential” travel to enter the U.S. at a land port of entry as a pandemic measure. However, people from outside the U.S. are often permitted to fly into the country from abroad.
The ban was expected to be lifted this week, with the change taking effect Aug. 21.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the federal agency inspecting all passengers and vehicles entering the country, announced Wednesday it would continue the travel ban for its 16th month despite the Canadian government announcing it would begin allowing vaccinated Americans to cross its border just two days earlier.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended the decision as being based on a “specific threat to human life or national interests” as the COVID-19 delta variant spreads worldwide and cases spike in the U.S. and Mexico.
More than 75 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Biden earlier this month asking him to reinstate international travel fully because the closure cost $125 billion in export profits last year.
While land ports of entry remain closed on the southern and northern borders, hundreds of thousands of migrants have illegally crossed the southern border since February. Tens of thousands of migrants have been allowed to go deeper into the U.S., even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in 2020 all migrants be turned away at the border and not detained or released into the U.S.
Migrants are not given coronavirus vaccines before they're released from federal custody.
Canada will accept visitors who can prove they have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days. Their border will open Aug. 9.
The U.S. will consider reopening its border to Canada in mid-August, with the earliest date it would reopen being Sept. 21.
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Original Author: Anna Giaritelli
Original Location: Biden draws ire of fellow Democrats for opting not to reopen Canadian border