After Months of Pressure, Senator Murray Hails Opening of Northern Border

ICYMI: Senator Murray Calls for Border Exemption for Point Roberts on Senate Floor – MORE HERE

ICYMI: Senator Murray Calls on Homeland Security Secretary to Grant Border Exemption for Point Roberts – MORE HERE

Senator Murray: “After pushing for movement on this front for months, I’m glad to finally see the safe reopening of the US-Canada border.”

(Seattle, WA) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) issued the following statement in response to news that the Biden administration will soon announce non-essential travelers who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate paperwork will be able to enter the United States via land and ferry ports of entry across the U.S. border from Canada in November.

“This is great news for our border communities here in Washington state, especially for the people of Point Roberts who are almost entirely dependent on cross-border travel to sustain their local economy. After pushing for movement on this front for months, I’m glad to finally see the safe reopening of the US-Canada border.

“However, I am still frustrated that—in all this time—a border exemption was not provided for Point Roberts. In fact, the next few weeks leading up to the reopening of the northern border will continue to be a challenge for this community. While there is light at the end of the tunnel, it’s clear that after months of economic calamity more must be done to make this community whole—and I will do everything in my power to support Point Roberts.”

Senator Murray has been a forceful advocate for border communities, especially Point Roberts. In September, Senator Murray delivered an impassioned speech on the Senate floor to restore Northern border travel and specifically to advocate for a border exemption for Point Roberts.  In August, 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.