Stefanik Calls for Unilateral Action to Reopen US-Canada Border

June 3, 2021
Press Release

Saratoga, New York – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik sent a letter to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging the Department of Homeland Security to unilaterally ease restrictions for non-essential travel across the northern border if a bilateral reopening plan is not established before restrictions expire on June 21, 2021. “Our communities cannot afford any further delay or acquiescence – unilateral action to begin reopening the border appears necessary,” she wrote.

In the letter, Congresswoman Stefanik also pointed out the numerous inconsistencies of the current restrictions: “A coordinated, bilateral approach to reopening the border remains preferable, but we should be under no illusion that the current restrictions are either fully synchronized or equitable for U.S. citizens. Canadians have been permitted to fly into the U.S. throughout the pandemic, while Americans remain unable to fly into to Canada for non-essential travel. Canadians have been able to receive a vaccine when in the U.S., while fully vaccinated Americans are unable even to quarantine on their own properties in Canada, many of which have gone unattended for well over a year. Canada is more permissive in allowing family members to reunite, while the U.S. has not instituted a similar policy, inexplicably requiring families a short drive apart to board an airplane if they wish to reconnect. And American recreational boaters with no intention of docking, thus no risk of transmission, are being prevented from transiting through Canadian boundary waters, while Canadian boaters remain able to enter U.S. boundary waters.”

In addition to the letter, Congresswoman Stefanik issued this statement: “As Co-Chair of the Northern Border Caucus, I have worked with my colleagues across the aisle, our Canadian counterparts, the North Country Chamber of Commerce, and essentially anyone who will listen over the past several months to establish a bilateral, metrics-based plan to reopen the northern border, but the Canadian Government continues to lack the urgency this situation demands. Enough is enough – the United States needs to do what’s best for the American people and small businesses and reopen the northern border.”

The letter comes following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments reaffirming that Canada will “make our decisions based on the interests of Canadians and not based on what other countries want.”

Read Congresswoman Stefanik’s full letter to Secretary Mayorkas PDF iconhere.