SARATOGA, N.Y. (WWTI) — Legislation requiring transparency on efforts to reopen the U.S./Canada border has received support from Rep. Elise Stefanik. She announced last week that she has cosponsored the Northern Border Reopening Transparency Act.
This legislation, led by Rep. Chris Jacobs, would required the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the State Department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to produce a report within 30 days of enactment. That report would include considerations for easing restrictions on or reopening the northern border to essential and non-essential travel.
The report would be required to include any information about correspondence or communications between the federal departments producing the report, as well as any other Federal department or agency. Per the proposed act, it would also include information about the January 21 Executive Order on “Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel,” DHS deliberations, and input regarding easing restrictions.
These deliberations could include an establishment of a bilateral plan for the restoration of travel between the two countries, consideration of a family travel exemption and “ensuring reasonable transit” for U.S. and Canadian citizens.
Congresswoman Stefanik commented on the new legislation in a written statement:
“For several months, I have repeatedly called on the United States and Canada to establish a bilateral, metrics-based plan to reopen our northern border,” stated Stefanik. “I have heard from countless community leaders, small businesses, and families who have been increasingly frustrated by the monthly extensions and lack of meaningful signs of collaboration or progress. This bill would require the Biden Administration to be transparent with Northern Border communities regarding their efforts to develop a concrete plan for reopening.”
Non-essential travel between the two countries has been restricted since March 2020. It’s set to remain closed to non-essential travel through June 21.