Cornyn, Sinema Ask DHS to Lift COVID-19 Travel Restrictions on Ports of Entry


In: All News   Posted 05/28/2021
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WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging him to commit to a timeframe to lift COVID-related travel restrictions on non-essential traffic through land ports of entry (LPOEs).

They wrote, “In light of the substantial progress the United States has made in distributing COVID-19 vaccines, we request DHS commit to a plan, benchmarks, and timeline for removing the restrictions to non-essential traffic through LPOEs.”

“We appreciate the hard work the DHS has undertaken to protect Americans’ health and safety during these challenging times. We remain committed to ensuring DHS and Customs and Border Protection have the necessary resources to secure our borders and protect the health of the public, as well as the Department’s staff and officers.”


They were joined on the letter by Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) as well as Reps. Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Tony Gonzales (TX-23), Michael McCaul (TX-10), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), and Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02).

Full text of the letter is here and below. Sens. Cornyn and Sinema sent a similar letter last year, which you can find here.

May 28, 2021

Hon. Alejandro Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security
2707 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE
Washington, DC 20528-0525 

Dear Secretary Mayorkas:

With continued success in containing the spread of COVID-19 throughout the United States, we are writing to inquire about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) plans regarding travel restrictions at U.S. land ports of entry (LPOEs).  Non-essential travel restrictions have been in effect since March 2020, and border communities in our states are looking to DHS to communicate and collaborate with local stakeholders on a plan for returning to normal operations.

Since DHS first limited non-essential cross-border travel at LPOEs, these restrictions have been renewed on a monthly basis for the past 15 months. On October 1, 2020, we requested then Secretary Chad Wolf to develop and publicly articulate a detailed plan, including benchmarks for LPOEs to return to full operations. We have yet to receive a response to that letter. In light of the substantial progress the United States has made in distributing COVID-19 vaccines, we request DHS commit to a plan, benchmarks, and timeline for removing the restrictions to non-essential traffic through LPOEs.

We appreciate the hard work DHS has undertaken to protect Americans’ health and safety during these challenging times. We remain committed to ensuring DHS and Customs and Border Protection have the necessary resources to secure our borders and protect the health of the public, as well as the Department’s staff and officers. We look forward to continuing to work with you as we adjust to the changing conditions with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sincerely,

/s/