US Extends Travel Restrictions at Northern, Southern Borders

US Extends Travel Restrictions at Northern, Southern Borders
An empty walkway at the U.S.-Mexico border during the outbreak of the CCP virus, in San Diego, Calif., on April 21, 2020. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
Zachary Stieber

The United States on Friday said it reached agreements with Mexico and Canada to extend travel restrictions at shared borders.

The restrictions will last well into September, acting U.S. Homeland Security Department Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement on Twitter.

“We continue to work with our Canadian and Mexican partners to slow the spread of #COVID19. Accordingly, we have agreed to extend the limitation of non-essential travel at our shared land ports of entry through September 21,” he wrote.

According to the department, the restrictions will now remain in effect through 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 21, in a decision coordinated with the governments of Mexico and Canada.

The restrictions began in March, shortly after the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus outbreak was defined as a pandemic. The rules curb non-essential travel, or travelers that lack so-called essential purposes such as economic or family care reasons. Tourism and recreational travel are considered non-essential.

U.S. immigration authorities are also no longer detaining illegal immigrants, instead returning them immediately to the country they entered from. If that’s not possible, the illegal aliens are being sent to their country of origin.

The rules have been extended five times now.

In a statement in April, Wolf said that “border control, travel restrictions and other limitations remain critical to slowing the spread [of the virus] and allowing the phased opening of the country.”

The U.S.-Canada border crossing is seen amid the CCP virus outbreak, in Lacolle, Quebec, Canada, on April 17, 2020. (Christinne Muschi/Reuters)
The U.S.-Canada border crossing is seen amid the CCP virus outbreak, in Lacolle, Quebec, Canada, on April 17, 2020. (Christinne Muschi/Reuters)

American, Mexican, and Canadian authorities last extended the restrictions in mid-July through Aug. 21.

“We’re going to keep working closely with our American neighbors to keep people safe on both sides of the border,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters at the time.

An Ipsos poll conducted last month found that 85 percent of Canadians believe the Canada-U.S. land border should stay closed until at least the end of 2020.

A separate survey released this week found that 62 percent of respondents support the Trump administration’s immigration restrictions, including a plurality, or 49 percent, of Democrats.

Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard told reporters on Thursday that it doesn’t make sense right now to roll back the restrictions, according to the Associated Press.

“We already told the United States that we’re of the idea that it’s extended,” Ebrard said.

The number of migrants entering the United States from Mexico has plunged this year, declining to a two-year-record-low of 17,086 in April. The number has been rising since, hitting 40,746 in July, according to government data.

Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]
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