December 15, 2021 by Isabella Colello
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — A local lawmaker is seeking to end travel requirements that require vaccinations for essential travelers. On Wednesday, a letter led by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) was sent to U.S. President Joe Biden, urging to drop travel requirements at the U.S.-Canada border.
The letter specifically asked the president to abandon COVID vaccination requirements for essential travelers, which is set to begin in January 2022. According to Rep. Stefanik, these requirements could affect the U.S. supply chain and North Country economies.
“The North Country’s economic partnership with Canada plays a major role in our local economy and in supporting our nation’s supply chain, but imposing more requirements on cross-border travel would only make our nation’s current supply chain worse,”Stefanik said in a press release.“Our communities have suffered enough from Joe Biden’s prolonged closure of the Northern Border, and it is unnecessary to impose new restrictions that further disrupt travel.”
The letter sent to Biden also referred to back when nonessential was restricted. The lawmakers said that “The Department of Homeland Security acknowledged that maintaining essential travel throughout the pandemic was necessary so that such restrictions did ‘not interrupt legitimate trade’” between the U.S. and Canada.
Essential travelers are defined at the Northern Border by the Department of Homeland Security includes citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the U.S., individuals engage in official government travel, diplomatic travel, or military-related travel, as well as those traveling for the following reasons:
- Medical purposes
- To attend educations institutions
- To work in the United States
- For emergency response and public health purposes
- Engaged in lawful cross- border trade, including truck drivers
Nonessential travel was also opened on November 6. These travelers remain required to be vaccinated for COVID.
Along with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, this letter was signed by 12 other members of Congress. This included Representatives Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Jack Bergman (R-MI), Pete Stauber (R-MN), Chris Jacobs (R-NY), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Tom Tiffany (R-WI), Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Glenn Grothman (R-WI).
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