Rep. Higgins questions border staffing, COVID-19 testing in new letters


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Rep. Brian Higgins says there are still questions to be answered when it comes to opening the border between the U.S. and Canada.

The congressman, who represents New York’s 26th district and serves as co-chair of the Canada-US Interparliamentary Group and the Congressional Northern Border Caucus, recently sent two letters — one to White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients, and another to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

In the letter to Zients, Higgins asked what America is doing to ensure border communities have enough testing capacity to meet Canada’s new requirement for proof of a negative COVID-19 test. He also wonders if testing for travel will come at any cost to Americans.

MORE | For a complete list of Canada’s accepted COVID-19 tests, click or tap here.

“As you know, Canada recently announced that beginning August 9th, American citizens and
permanent residents in the United States who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may
enter Canada for non-essential travel,” Higgins said in the letter. “However, travelers must also show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel.”

MORE | Read the letter in its entirety here.

In Higgins’ letter to Mayorkas, he poses questions about border staffing.

“The increase in cross-border travel as a result of Canada’s actions will increase the amount of cross-border travel at land ports of entry across the northern border,” Higgins said. “In the past, summer months have been plagued by delays, which has been a consistent source of frustration among my constituents.”

MORE | The whole letter can be read here.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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