In a press release issued yesterday Congressman Brian Higgins announced the reopening of the Canadian border in early November. The Niagara USA Chamber would like to thank the Congressman and everyone who worked tirelessly on this issue. Along with the Congressman and other stakeholders like City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino, the Niagara USA Chamber was a strong voice in this cross-border issue. Please see Congressman Higgins’ release below.
CONGRESSMAN BRIAN HIGGINS ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR THE U.S. TO REOPEN ITS NORTHERN BORDER TO VACCINATED CANADIANS
Changes Coming in November
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced that the United States is planning to reopen its land border to Canadians in November.
In response, Congressman Higgins said, “At long last, there is action by the United States to open the doors and welcome back our Canadian neighbors.
“A robust cross-border exchange between the United States and Canada is fundamental to our binational relationship and mutually beneficial to our nations’ citizens, businesses and economies. Strong vaccination rates in Canada made the continued border shutdown absurd and unjustifiable.
“For months now we’ve heard from businesses that are suffering and families distraught over the separation imposed by the continued border shutdown. The sigh of relief coming from Northern Border communities following this announcement is so loud it can practically be heard on either end of the Peace Bridge.
“Border communities await further details from the administration with great expectation, and I will continue to advocate for a more fully and freely open border to both governments, sooner rather than later.”
Changes to allow fully vaccinated Canadians into the United States through Land Ports of Entry will begin in November. Proof of vaccination will be required. Further details will be announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in coordination with U.S. health agencies.
Congressman Higgins, who serves as Co-Chair of both the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group and the Northern Border Caucus, has spent months speaking out about the devastating human and economic impact of the border shutdown and urging the White House to provide guidance that allows for a reopening of the border.
The border between the United States and Canada first closed to non-essential travel due to the pandemic in March of 2020. After 17 months of restrictions, Canada reopened its border to vaccinated Americans on August 9, 2021. However, the U.S. continued its order restricting all Canadians, regardless of vaccination status, from crossing through Land Ports of Entry through October 21, 2021.
The United States and Canada share 5,525 miles of border, the longest land boundary between two countries in the world. When fully operational, more than 400,000 people and over $1.6 billion in goods cross the Northern Border daily through over 120 Ports of Entry.
Higgins is also a member of the House Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, including its Subcommittee on Trade. Higgins’ Western New York district, which encompasses the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, borders Southern Ontario and includes three automobile and two rail crossings between the United States and Canada.