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By: Staff Reporter
At a press conference on June 6th, 2021, at the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge, Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) called for transparency on reopening deliberations and a plan to allow families to reunite on June 22nd of this month when the current travel restrictions expire. Jacobs was joined by families who have been separated by the border closures.
“16 months of family separations is simply unacceptable, and this cannot go on any longer. For months, these families have dealt with uncertainty and heartbreak while they wait to hear if they will be able to reunite,” Jacobs said. “Case rates are dropping in both nations and vaccines are rolling out – these continued indefinite extensions are nothing short of a failure of leadership from both nations. Today I am calling for two specific things – answers and action.”
The U.S. – Canada Border has been closed since March of 2020 to non-essential travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In May of 2021, the Canadian government announced that the border would remain closed until at least June 21st, 2021.
On January 21st, 2020, President Biden signed an executive order that, in part, directed members of his cabinet to develop a preliminary plan into opening the border and public health measures.
Jacobs, a member of the House Northern Border Caucus, is calling for two things – answers and action. Firstly, he is seeking transparency from the Biden administration on their efforts and discussions to develop a reopening plan. Secondly, he is calling for a plan that would allow for separated families to reunite on June 22nd, 2020.
“There can be no more inaction or stalling from the American and Canadian governments. I’m proud to stand with these families to call for the border to be reopened, and I will pursue every avenue possible to see that these families get answers,” Jacobs said.