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Expiring US travel restrictions with Canada, Mexico extended


Expiring US travel restrictions with Canada, Mexico extended

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Photo: Reuters

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the US-Mexico and US-Canada land borders originally scheduled to expire today have been extended through April 21.

The restrictions were extended by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and will likely be pushed back further if infection rates have not decreased by mid-April.

A recent surge of migrants at the US-Mexico border has dramatically increased cross-border infection risk and has left President Joe Biden’s new administration facing the unprecedented task of processing thousands of migrants during a pandemic. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has reported an infection rate lower than 6%, it still lacks a strategy to contain further infections.

Expect Biden to announce a strategy in the coming weeks in which DHS and FEMA cooperate to expand border testing and research into infection clusters to prevent further outbreaks. As the first major crisis that Biden has faced, expect a great deal of scrutiny to be placed on his handling of the situation. Biden’s current strategy of migrant deterrence has drawn the ire of both Democrats and Republicans. A long-stated goal of this administration is comprehensive immigration reform, but if Biden alienates both Democratic and Republican congressional leadership this goal will likely be frustrated.

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