LOCAL NEWS

WA lawmakers call on Biden to make reopening US/Canada border ‘immediate priority’

Feb 24, 2021, 5:44 AM

Canada Border crossing, detaining, Iranians, Iranian-Americans...

The Peace Arch border crossing in Blaine, WA. (Daveynin, Flickr Creative Commons)

Washington state’s Congressional delegation issued a letter to President Biden this week, calling on him prioritize the reopening of the U.S./Canada border.

Canada extends cruise ship ban to 2022, canceling Seattle cruise season

Currently, travelers — including those moving through the border crossing in Blaine, Wash. — must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and must be making what’s considered to be “an essential trip.”

The problem there, Washington lawmakers say, is twofold. First, what defines an “essential trip” is largely up to the discretion of officials processing vehicles at the Canadian border. Second, communities like Point Roberts that don’t have a direct land route into the mainland U.S. have to cross the border regularly to access things like grocery stores and medical appointments.

The latter of those two problems was recently addressed when the Consulate General of Canada exempted Point Roberts residents from having to produce a negative COVID test when crossing the border, but larger issues remain.

Point Roberts is ‘a wild place, removed from civilization’

“During the pandemic daily life has been uprooted in many ways for all of us, but for communities dependent upon cross-border interactions, life completely halted,” the letter from Washington’s Congressional delegation reads. “Many have family members, spouses, or children on the Canadian side of the border, including those families whose children attend school across the border.”

To address that, the coalition of lawmakers is asking the Biden administration to make the safe reopening of the border “an immediate priority.” The hope is to develop a bilateral plan between the U.S. and Canada in order to chart a path forward that helps border communities mitigate the stresses and limitations brought on by the pandemic.

“The United States and Canada have a special partnership and a long history of close cooperation,” the letter concludes. “We hope this close relationship can lead to swift action between our two countries to safely restore cross border travel while continuing to protect the health and safety of our communities.”

Local News

Seattle Police tombstone...

L.B. Gilbert

Seattle OPA refers mock tombstone probe to IG due to ‘conflict of interest’

The agency said it will not be able to investigate an incident where video inside a precinct showed a mock tombstone of a man killed by Seattle officers.

14 minutes ago

Former President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom at New York Supreme Court, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023...

MICHAEL R. SISAK, JENNIFER PELTZ AND BOBBY CAINA CALVAN

New York judge issues limited gag order after Trump makes disparaging post about court clerk

A New York judge imposed a limited gag order on defendant Donald Trump Tuesday after the former president disparaged a key court staffer during his civil business fraud trial.

27 minutes ago

Image: The outside of Hard Rock Hotel is seen on April 14, 2023 in New York City....

Steve Coogan

Seattle’s Hard Rock Cafe to permanently close Dec. 1

A spokesperson confirmed to KIRO 7 the company is open to having another location in Seattle if the right one can be found.

1 hour ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

Bridget Chavez, KIRO 7 News

Widespread vandalism in Seward Park leaves neighbors on edge

Widespread vandalism in the Seward Park neighborhood has left neighbors on edge after over a dozen cars had their tires slashed

2 hours ago

alarm...

Ted Buehner

This is why your phone alarm will go off Wednesday morning

A nationwide broadcast of the National Emergency Alert Test will be conducted by FEMA and the Federal Communications Committee (FCC).

4 hours ago

Washington wildfires...

Bill Kaczaraba

UW professor: Climate change fight is woefully underfunded

A University of Washington environmental professor says the federal government needs to dramatically increase money to fund research on how climate change impacts health.

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

WA lawmakers call on Biden to make reopening US/Canada border ‘immediate priority’