MISSOULA — The new Restoring the Northern Border Travel Act presses to loosen some "essential travel" guidelines while also aiming to have a complete plan to restore full crossings of the Canadian border in July.
The new bill was announced Thursday by Senator Steve Daines and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik in response to another extension of the COVID closure of the northern border.
Sen. Daines says he's "amazed and shocked" that the Biden Administration can't reach an agreement with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for more business and family crossings while "illegal immigrants" continue to come across the Mexican border.
The bill requires the Department of Homeland Security to expand the list of "essential" cross-border travel within the next 10-days, including families, property owners, and some business travelers.
Sen. Daines explains it also demands a complete plan for full reopening.
"My bill would require a full restoration of cross-border travel within 20-days. We just have to have a plan in place so they uncertainty, because they keep extending these closures, the uncertainty is having a big effect as well for businesses to plan, families to plan. It's just time to open up the Northern Border."- Sen. Steve Daines
In a statement to MTN News, Senator Jon Tester said "each day that passes without a resolution is a hit to Montana's family farmers and ranches and rural communities along the border that rely on its commerce to make ends meet."