MISSOULA — Montana's two senators are blasting the Biden Administration, with the latest announcement that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the closure of the Canadian border now until Sept. 21.
While vaccinated Americans have been able to enter Canada since Aug. 9, the same isn't true for southbound traffic.
The DHS order keeps the gates up for non-essential travel, not only Canadians but from other countries trying to enter the US from the north. And as with every extension since March 2020, the reason given is to control the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) noted the continued economic and emotional impact, especially for families who've been separated for more than a year. He's calling on the Administration to "reverse this disappointing decision and re-open the northern border as quickly as possible."
“I disagree with the Biden Administration’s decision to keep the northern border closed. Montanans depend on cross-border trade and travel to meet their bottom lines and keep their businesses afloat as well as to stay in contact with family and friends in both countries who haven’t seen each other in person for more than a year. I urge the Biden Administration to reverse this disappointing decision and re-open the northern border as quickly as possible to vaccinated Canadian travelers so that both of our economies can continue to fully rebound.” - US Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)
Republican Senator Steve Daines was more direct, noting different policies with the Mexican border and saying, "this hypocrisy has gone on far too long at the expense of Montanans."
“President Biden has once again let down Montana families and businesses. His refusal to open the northern border is hurting our economy, jobs and border communities. At the same time Biden is keeping the northern border closed, the southern border has remained wide open to illegal drugs and illegal immigrants, many potentially with COVID-19—it makes no sense,” Daines said. “This hypocrisy has gone on for far too long at the expense of Montanans. Since President Biden won’t do what’s right for Montana, it’s time Congress pass my bill to reopen the northern border immediately.” - US Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)