WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — North Country lawmakers are continuing to push to reopen the Canadian border. Congressmember Elise Stefanik announced that she and Senator Steve Daines have introduced a bill that could begin restoring travel at the border.
“Our communities have waited over a year for clarity and signs of progress, yet this administration keeps extending the closures without a promising end in sight,” Stefanik said in a written statement. “This bill will allow families to reconnect with their loved ones and property owners to access their own homes, and will begin to restore the prosperous economic partnership that border communities share with our northern neighbors.”
This comes under a week since the restriction on non-essential travel between the two countries was again extended, this time to July 21.
Stefanik says the legislation, the Restoring Northern Border Travel Act, would required the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expand categories of permitted travel across the border. These categories would include individuals traveling with family, property, or business interests currently not labeled “essential.” The bill also requires DHS to submit a plan to Congress that starts preparations to fully restore non-essential travel at the northern border.
Specifically, as written in the legislation, the following could cross into the U.S. at land ports of entry:
- Visitors to an immediate or extended family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Visitors to owned or leased property—including boats—located in the U.S.
- Those traveling to the U.S. to attend business meetings or site-visits
- Those traveling directly to a U.S. airport to board a flight to a U.S. or international destination
These changes would be required to be made within 10 days of passing the bill.