Today, October 9, 2020, Representative Henry Cuellar of the 28th Congressional District of Texas writes a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking that the United States reopen land ports of entry for "non-essential" travel.
Due to the health contingency caused by COVID-19, millions of people face economic challenges and the border is no exception. The official argues that thousands of small businesses in the United States face many challenges because of the Department of Homeland Security's ban on "non-essential" border travelers.
After a six-month travel ban, local communities have had to struggle to maintain their means of support and their way of life. He mentions that a balance must be found between the health of the individual and the health of the local economy.
He also says he has heard from local community leaders and other border representatives in Congress and thinks the United States can safely reopen its land ports of entry to "non-essential" travel in a focused manner.
Accordingly, Henry's proposal is to: consult with local community leaders and their medical staff, and the Center for Disease Control to determine criteria for lifting COVID-19 restrictions on travelers. Both for the southern border and the northern border.
Within this approach, he adds to the plan, "non-essential" travelers would be screened twice. One by the CDC and another by health screening by local personnel. Finally, he thanks and comments that he has discussed this with CBP and with the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, who was receptive to the proposal. Since this is a bilateral issue and is best resolved through coordinated efforts.
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