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Senator Murray: “We need an emergency exemption from these restrictions for the Point Roberts community and in fact, we needed it yesterday.”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) issued the following statement on the Biden administration’s decision to maintain restrictions on travel across the U.S.-Canada border through August 21, despite Canada’s decision to open the border on August 9.

“This is a frustrating and disappointing decision by the Biden administration that puts the border communities in Washington state, especially Point Roberts, in an absolutely untenable position,” Senator Murray said. “These communities rely on cross border travel, and after more than sixteen months many businesses are on the brink of shutting their doors for good, which would be absolutely devastating for these communities.

“I want to be crystal clear so that President Biden and the administration understand me: at the very least, we need an emergency exemption from these restrictions for the Point Roberts community and in fact, we needed it yesterday. I’ve spoken with top officials at the State Department on just how urgently there needs to be a resolution here, and I will continue to press the administration on this matter as we work to safely reopen the U.S.-Canada border.”

Senator Murray has heard from residents of Point Roberts and other border communities about the need to re-open the border with Canada, and has repeatedly pushed U.S. State Department and other federal officials to come to resolution with the Canadian government on re-opening and secure an exemption for Point Roberts as soon as possible. Earlier this year, Senator Murray introduced legislation that would provide forgivable loans to small businesses in exclaves of the contiguous United States near the Canadian border, and using American Rescue Plan funding that Senator Murray helped to secure, Governor Inslee was able to provide emergency financial assistance last month to avoid a food crisis in the community.  

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