Collins urges Biden to revisit order on US-Canada border limits

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: CDC advises vaccinated to wear masks in high-risk areas | Biden admin considering vaccine mandate for federal workers Eight Republicans join Democrats to confirm head of DOJ environmental division The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Crunch time for bipartisan plan; first Jan. 6 hearing today MORE (R-Maine) urged the Biden administration to revisit an order on U.S.-Canadian border restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a Feb. 16 letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasMayorkas working remotely after being exposed to COVID-19 Hillicon Valley: Tech groups urge Congress to 'dig deeper' on Facebook role in Capitol riot | Kaseya denies paying hackers for decryption key | Tech coalition expands tracking of extremist content Hillicon Valley: Amazon employees petition company to investigate discrimination allegations | ACLU calls for investigation into Alaska official over tweets | Electric cars to outsell combustion vehicles by 2036 MORE, Collins said she hoped they could work to an “equitable solution” for communities along the U.S.-Canadian border that takes into account localized risk levels. 

Collins publicly released the letter on Thursday.

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“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, strict travel restrictions at land ports of entry between the United States and Canada have been in effect for nearly one calendar year,” Collins wrote.

“While I appreciate the need to limit nonessential travel into the United States in order to prevent further spread of COVID-19, these restrictions should reflect the localized risk levels along our border, and allow for certain common-sense exceptions, such as visits among close relatives or day-to-day local commerce in low-COVID-19 transmission areas,” she continued.

The letter comes after DHS tweeted on Feb. 19 that the U.S., Canada and Mexico are extending restrictions on nonessential travel at their land borders through March 21, which would keep the restrictions in place for exactly one year.

The restrictions were first agreed to last March but have been repeatedly extended over the course of 2020 as the pandemic accelerated and persisted.

Under current restrictions, Canadian citizens, Americans with dual citizenship, and family members and partners can cross for nonessential purposes, The Associated Press reported