Buffalo, N.Y.-Area Congressman Urges Action on “Critical” Canada/U.S Border Issues

“The United States must lift its border restrictions to encourage a return to pre-pandemic levels of travel and economic activity.”    – U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins

Congressman also wants two countries to work expeditiously and collaboratively to address the massive backlog of NEXUS application cases

A News Release from the Buffalo,New York Office of Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted October 27th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins

Ahead of bilateral meetings between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Canadian Global Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is asking the leaders to address several key issues especially important to communities and economies positioned on either side of the border.

In a letter to Sec. Blinken<https://higgins.house.gov/sites/higgins.house.gov/files/10-26-22%20Higgins%20Letter%20-%20Sec%20Blinken%20-%2010.26.22.pdf>, Higgins writes, “As you well know, the relationship between the United States and Canada is unique, and discussion of our binational priorities prior to a multilateral meeting serves great purpose in achieving mutual goals. I write to bring Northern Border issues, including current COVID-19 border restrictions, the NEXUS backlog, and their economic impacts, to your attention, so they may be addressed during your upcoming discussions.”

Higgins’ letter further details the economic damage created by the United States’ continuation of COVID-related restrictions at Land Ports of Entry insisting, “The United States must lift its border restrictions to encourage a return to pre-pandemic levels of travel and economic activity.”

The Congressman also wants the two countries to work expeditiously and collaboratively to address the massive backlog of NEXUS application cases.

The Peace Bridge crossing between Niagara, Ontario and Buffalo, New York – Hardly as busy with traffic as it was before the pandemic.

Rep. Higgins’ Western New York District includes the Cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls.  He is Co-Chair of the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group and the Northern Border Caucus, and serves as a member of the House of Representatives Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, including its Subcommittee on Trade.

Canada lifted pandemic-related border restrictions including the ArriveCAN mandate, random testing, and a COVID vaccine requirement effective October 1. The United States has not yet fully removed pandemic-related northern border measures.

Last month Higgins voiced concerns about continuing border restrictions in a letter<https://higgins.house.gov/sites/higgins.house.gov/files/9-21-22%20rep%20higgins%20covid-19-related%20northern%20border%20restrictions%20september%202022.pdf> to the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. Higgins and his counterparts on the Interparliamentary Group met in Washington, DC in September.

(A Note from Niagara AT Large – At present the U.S. border restrictions focus on asking travellers to the country  if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which at this time probably means two earlier shots and two boosters. Apparently (and this is based on anecdotal information) not everyone crossing the border bridges is even asked, let alone made to show a ‘vaxxine passport’ or proof of vaccination.)

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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