KGMI: Murray takes Point Roberts plight to U.S Senate floor – MORE HERE
KING 5: Sen. Murray Calls for Border Exemption – MORE HERE
ICYMI: Senator Murray Calls on Homeland Security Secretary to Grant Border Exemption for Point Roberts – MORE HERE
***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH HERE***
(Washington, D.C.) – In case you missed it, last week U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) made a forceful case on the Senate floor, calling on the Biden administration to grant the Washington state exclave of Point Roberts a border exemption to allow non-essential travel from Canada at the Point Roberts border crossing. Murray’s speech followed an announcement by the Biden administration to extend the closure of the northern border until October 21.
“I’ve spoken directly with DHS Secretary Mayorkas about this. With Jeff Zients, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator and other top officials at the State Department and White House as well, but no one can explain to me what evidence is being used to support these continued border restrictions,” said Senator Murray. “So I’m here on the Senate floor today to make sure that President Biden and his administration understand me. At the very least, we need an emergency exemption from these restrictions for the Point Roberts community—and that exemption is long overdue.”
The floor speech was only the most recent public push by Senator Murray to restore Northern border travel and specifically to advocate for a border exemption for Point Roberts. Last month, Senator Murray led a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas calling on him to grant a border exemption for Point Roberts as the community faces unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Murray has heard from residents of Point Roberts and other border communities about the need to re-open the border with Canada, and has repeatedly pushed the U.S. State Department, Department of Homeland Security, and other federal officials to come to a resolution with the Canadian government on re-opening, and secure an exemption for Point Roberts as soon as possible. Earlier this year, Senator Murray introduced legislation that would provide forgivable loans to small businesses in exclaves of the contiguous United States near the Canadian border, and using American Rescue Plan funding that Senator Murray helped to secure, Governor Inslee was able to provide emergency financial assistance in June to avoid a food crisis in the community.
See coverage of Senator Murray’s floor speech below.
Senator Patty Murray took the plight of the people of Point Roberts to the floor of the U.S. Senate this week. “Point Roberts must at least have an exemption as we work to safely reopen the Canadian border,” says Murray.
Speaking on the Senate floor today, Senator Murray explained the unique situation Point Roberts faces. “For those of you not familiar with this particular part of Washington state, Point Roberts is right here. It is called an exclave community. People who live in Point Roberts, in order to get to the rest of our state, have to travel through Canada and back down to Washington state,” [said Senator Murray.]
Senator Patty Murray is making a new plea to President Biden to ease border restrictions for Point Roberts…Today Senator Murray took to the floor of our nation’s Capital arguing for an emergency exception for Point Roberts. She says the border restrictions are causing serious harm to businesses there.
Point Roberts, you can’t get there by car without going through Canada, so they essentially rely on Canadians for their entire economy. And Senator Patty Murray right now trying to put pressure on the Biden administration to at least open the border in that spot for our state.
“I’m not going to stay quiet about the completely unnecessary harm this closure is causing to small businesses and workers. Now as I’ve said to everyone who will listen, and some who I’m sure are tired of hearing me, Point Roberts must, at least, have an exemption,” [said Senator Murray.]
Canadians are still not allowed to make nonessential trips into the U.S. for at least another month, imperiling businesses in the northern border community. Senator Patty Murray directed her concerns to President Biden in a floor speech yesterday.
Murray says that an exemption so that Canadians can travel into Point Roberts, “so that they can get their economy back up and running,” is long overdue.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington took to the Senate floor on Thursday to make the case that the border should reopen to vaccinated Canadians who want to reach a small, unique community in her state. Murray, in a five-minute speech, pressed the Biden administration to make an exemption to the border closure at the port of entry for Point Roberts, Wash., an exclave community just off of Vancouver that’s connected to the rest of the U.S. only through Canada.