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U.S.-Canada border closure extended through September 21

The announcement came Friday morning from Acting Homeland Security Director Chad Wolf.

WASHINGTON — Western New Yorkers hoping to travel to Canada this summer will now have to wait a little longer to do so.

Acting Homeland Security Director Chad Wolf announced Friday morning that the limits on non-essential travel at shared ports of entry, including the U.S.-Canada border, will now be extended through September 21. 

Immediate family, defined as as spouses, common-law partners, dependent children, parents or step-parents, and guardians can travel to Canada to see loved ones, but they must remain there for 14 days. 

The border has been shut down to non-essential travel since March 20 to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Congressman Brian Higgins, who respresents New York State's 26th Congressional District and who is a Co-Chair of the Northern Border Caucus, had this reaction Friday afternoon to the extension:

“On full display for the entire world to see is the Trump Administration’s abject failure to lead. This lack of leadership is keeping families apart, straining the relationship with our closest allies, and contributing to unnecessary deaths.

“We would love for the border to reopen but we certainly expected this decision. Unless and until our President takes this pandemic seriously and employs policies that protect Americans and support assistance to help communities, I’m afraid we are facing a long, tough road ahead.”

Higgins and his Northern Border Co-Chair, Elise Stefanik, led a bi-partisan letter signed by 29 members of Congress calling on the two governments to begin to develop a framework for a phased reopening of the border.