Northern Border Reopening Transparency act cosponsored by North Country lawmaker

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Signs Hang on the entrance way to Canada via the Rainbow Bridge, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Niagara Falls N.Y., President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have agreed to close the U.S Canada border to non-Essential travel in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but trade will not be affected. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

SARATOGA, N.Y. (WWTI) — Legislation requiring transparency on efforts to reopen the U.S. – Canada border has received support from a North Country lawmaker.

NY-21 Congresswoman Elise Stefanik announced on Wednesday that she has cosponsored the Northern Border Reopening Transparency Act.

This legislation, led by NY-27 Congressman Chris Jacobs, would required the Department of Homeland Security, Department of State and the Centers of Disease Control to produce a report within 30 days of enactment.

According to legislation text, this report would be required to include considerations relating to easing restrictions on or reopening the Northern border to essential and non-essential travel. This would include information relating to any correspondence or communications between the DHS and Department of State or any other Federal department or agency.

Additionally, the report would include information relating to the January 21, 2021, Executive Order on “Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel,” DHS deliberations and input regarding easing restrictions.

These deliberations could include an establishment of a bilateral plan for the restoration of travel between the two countries, consideration of a family travel exemption and “ensuring reasonable transit” for U.S. and Canadian citizens.

Congresswoman Stefanik commented on the new legislation.

“For several months, I have repeatedly called on the United States and Canada to establish a bilateral, metrics-based plan to reopen our northern border,” stated Stefanik. “I have heard from countless community leaders, small businesses, and families who have been increasingly frustrated by the monthly extensions and lack of meaningful signs of collaboration or progress. This bill would require the Biden Administration to be transparent with Northern Border communities regarding their efforts to develop a concrete plan for reopening.”

Non-essential travel between the United States and Canada has been restricted since March 2020. The Northern Border is set to be closed to non-essential travel through June 21, 2021.

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