Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an update last Thursday indicating that unvaccinated Canadians wishing to enter the U.S. at the northern border will be banned from entry due to the extension of the rule requiring COVID vaccinations for entry. Meanwhile, the southern border remains wide open with hundreds of thousands of illegal and unvaccinated immigrants crossing freely.
The DHS said that “COVID-19-related land border entry requirements” are being extended indefinitely. Non-U.S. travelers will be required to provide proof of “full vaccination” at ports of entry and ferry terminals at all land borders upon request. Air travelers are also required to show proof of vaccination at customs before entering the country.
The “temporary rule” requiring vaccinations had been in place since January and had been set to expire at Midnight on Thursday before it was extended.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (D-NY) sharply criticized the Biden administration’s decision to extend the vaccine requirement. She said the rule harms northern states and communities near the Canadian border and the open border policy at the Mexican border only demonstrates the president’s hypocrisy.
She said that travel restrictions at the northern border for the last two years have devastated tourism and the supply chain while cruelly separating families.
Some border crossers have told reporters that they have not been checked at the northern border for proof of vaccination. One person said that they have never been asked for any proof but said going back to Canada is a “pain as they still make you quarantine” if a person is not vaccinated.
Children under 18 are not subject to the DHS border vaccine rule. The rule also excludes foreign diplomats and those with a “humanitarian or emergency exception” as determined by the DHS Secretary.
Before the rule was imposed in January, unvaccinated travelers including truck drivers were allowed to enter the U.S. at land borders. The U.S. put the mandate in place shortly after the Canadian government ordered that all truckers and other travelers must be vaccinated to enter.
The Canadian rule led to fierce protests, headlined by the Freedom Convoy of thousands of truck drivers who congregated at the capital city of Ottawa. That protest was eventually shut down by Prime Minister Justin Truedeau when he called the Canadian Emergencies Act into action for the first time in the country’s history.