Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate mulls changes to .9 trillion coronavirus bill Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Collins urges Biden to revisit order on US-Canada border limits MORE (R-Maine) urged the Biden administration to revisit an order on U.S.-Canadian border restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a Feb. 16 letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasCollins urges Biden to revisit order on US-Canada border limits Politics, not racism or sexism, explain opposition to Biden Cabinet nominees Florida Republicans push Biden to implement Trump order on Venezuela MORE, Collins said she hoped they could work to an “equitable solution” for communities along the U.S.-Canadian border that takes into account localized risk levels.
Collins publicly released the letter on Thursday.
“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, strict travel restrictions at land ports of entry between the United States and Canada have been in effect for nearly one calendar year,” Collins wrote.
“While I appreciate the need to limit nonessential travel into the United States in order to prevent further spread of COVID-19, these restrictions should reflect the localized risk levels along our border, and allow for certain common-sense exceptions, such as visits among close relatives or day-to-day local commerce in low-COVID-19 transmission areas,” she continued.
The letter comes after DHS tweeted on Feb. 19 that the U.S., Canada and Mexico are extending restrictions on nonessential travel at their land borders through March 21, which would keep the restrictions in place for exactly one year.
To protect our citizens and prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the United States, Canada, and Mexico are extending the restrictions on non-essential travel at our land borders through March 21. We are also working to ensure essential trade and travel remain open.
— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) February 19, 2021
The restrictions were first agreed to last March but have been repeatedly extended over the course of 2020 as the pandemic accelerated and persisted.
Under current restrictions, Canadian citizens, Americans with dual citizenship, and family members and partners can cross for nonessential purposes, The Associated Press reported.