- LAST MINUTE: US Extends COVID-19 Restrictions at Borders
- Biden has extended restrictions on non-essential travel
- Restrictions at the US borders will remain in place for a longer period
LAST MINUTE: US Extends COVID-19 Restrictions at Borders. The administration of President Joe Biden extended restrictions on non-essential travel across the borders with Mexico and Canada, as part of the measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, according to Efe.
“The restrictions outlined in the Notifications are temporary in nature and shall remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 21, 2021 unless otherwise rescinded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),” said a notification posted on Monday in the Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) website.
US Extends COVID-19 Restrictions at Borders
Due to these measures, initiated in March 2020 by the government of former President Donald Trump, only travelers or workers classified as “essential” are allowed to cross borders, reveals Efe. This category includes, according to DHS, US citizens.
As well as immigrants who are legal residents and return to the US; travel for medical reasons, or to attend classes in educational institutions and travel for work within the US Border restrictions also exclude travel for emergencies.
Who will be able to travel to the US without border restrictions?
Public health issues, those related to legal trade across the border, travel by government officials, and those of members of the US Armed Forces and their spouses and children will also not have these restrictions.
Knowing the extent of the border restrictions, Democratic legislator Henry Cuéllar, representative for Texas, expressed his frustration that the administration of President Joe Biden does not try to open at least one port of entry.
Some can enter and others cannot
“I think they just don’t understand. I am frustrated and disappointed with them, “said Cuellar on his Twitter account. Henry Cuéllar and leaders of border communities maintain that the travel restrictions are unfair, indicates Efe.
This is because Mexican travelers arriving at airports can enter as long as they prove that they are not carriers of the coronavirus. On the other hand, travelers who want to cross the border or driving their vehicles, even if they only come to shop, are not allowed to enter.
They attack undocumented immigrants
The restrictions, in the opinion of Democratic legislator Henry Cuéllar, have been devastating to the local economy. Speaking to the Border Report platform, Cuéllar said that he questioned the Secretary of National Security, Alejandro Mayorkas.
Cuéllar asked how the government admits undocumented people who cross the southern border without proving if they carry coronavirus, but does not allow the entry of people from Mexico, who have a visa, and want to make purchases or visit their relatives.
Border economy ‘devastated’ by border restrictions
Before the pandemic, some 18 million Mexican citizens crossed the border each year and spent $ 19 billion in the United States, most of it in border regions, Efe indicates. The news of the restrictions comes amid strong tensions on immigration.
The situation has reached the point that the Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, issued an Emergency Declaration on Tuesday by which he will deploy elements of the National Guard on the southern border of the state to support the efforts of local authorities in the face of the overwhelming arrival of families and unaccompanied children to the country, indicates Efe.
They declare an emergency in Arizona due to the arrival of immigrants
The declaration will allow the state to allocate up to $ 25 million to finance the transfer of soldiers, the governor explained in a statement. Doug Ducey lashed out at President Joe Biden and his immigration policy.
The same that he attributes the increase in the numbers of migrants arriving at the border in an undocumented way, thus justifying his decision. “Arizona clearly needs the National Guard, and the White House knows it. However, to date there has been no action by this Administration and it does not appear that they will act at any time soon. If this Administration is not going to do anything, we will do it, “said the governor, according to Efe.
Doesn’t Biden care about the situation on the border?
The Republican has been a harsh critic of the administration of President Joe Biden on the handling of the border. Last March, he said that the appointment of Vice President Kamala Harris to face the migration crisis showed that the Democratic president “does not care” what happens on the southern border.
He added that Democratic President Joe Biden has “completely trivialized this problem” by putting someone else at the forefront, thus demonstrating, in his opinion, that he “just doesn’t care.” In this regard, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said in a statement Tuesday that “the actions of the federal government have made the border less secure.”
They claim that Biden is ‘to blame’ for the crisis
“This threatens the safety of our communities and law enforcement,” added Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels. For his part, the head of the Yuma Sheriff’s Department, Leon Wilmot, warned that “the crisis at the border is serious and cannot be taken lightly,” according to Efe.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will visit Yuma County this Wednesday, April 21 to see the situation on the ground and speak with community leaders and local authorities. The statement sent by the governor did not specify the date and how many National Guard soldiers will be deployed to the border.
Shelter closed amid arrival of thousands of immigrants
In March, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detained more than 170,000 immigrants at the border. Almost 19,000 of those arrests were unaccompanied children, emphasizes Efe. While a temporary shelter in Houston (Texas), run by a non-profit organization where hundreds of immigrant girls were housed, was closed.
The above, for not offering adequate conditions to live and where the safety of minors was at risk, activists told Efe. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) enabled the facility on April 1 to house more than 450 girls between the ages of 13 and 17.
Shelter closed for not offering “strict conditions”
The immigrant girls who arrived in the country without a companion, were housed in this enclosure that this weekend announced its definitive closure. “The minors will be transferred to other shelters that offer the strict conditions that we demand from shelters of this class, while we continue to work with other agencies to unify the minors with a sponsor,” HHS noted in the announcement.
The ABC network aired a video over the weekend showing the transfer of at least a hundred minors to a bus outside the warehouses of the temporary shelter and where the National Association of Christian Churches (NACC) operates.
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