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Tuesday, October 20, 2020
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U.S./Mexico border to remain closed to Mexican Shoppers


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Anzalduas Bridge (Photo Courtsey CBP Hidalgo)
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Texas Border Business

Laredo, TX — Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) released the following statement regarding the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to extend the limitation of non-essential travel at land ports of entry on the U.S.-Mexico border through October 21st. This announcement comes days after the U.S. State Department decided to lower its travel advisory for Mexico to a Level 3 ‘Reconsider Travel’ from its highest possible Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’. Read the State Department’s advisory here.

Congressman Henry Cuellar

“I commend the State Department’s decision to revise its travel advisory. However, the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to continue non-essential travel restrictions is disappointing. said Congressman Cuellar. “Allowing individuals to fly into the U.S. but restricting travel through our land ports of entry is unfair treatment to the land ports.”

“We must help our local economy who depends on these next three months for Holiday shopping. That’s why I worked hard to create and send in a proposal for DHS that will work to reduce or eliminate restrictions on non-essential travel while limiting the further spread of Coronavirus at the southern border. Since DHS is obviously uninterested in working with us on finding a solution, we must take it upon ourselves to create public-private partnerships to implement enhanced screening strategies. Hopefully, DHS does not stand in our way as we continue to fight for employees, business owners, and customers in our community who are facing the economic repercussions of COVID-19. We can balance the health of the individual and the health of the border economy.” 

The State Department’s updated travel advisory says U.S. travelers should “reconsider travel to Mexico due to covid-19” as well as “crime and kidnapping.” 

Since March 21, the Department of Homeland Security has implemented ‘nonessential travel’ restrictions on the United States and Mexico border. The border closure terms only apply to land and water crossings, as flights between the United States and Mexico have largely continued since the early days of the pandemic. 

Last week, Congressman Cuellar held a press conference to discuss his proposal to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). His proposal would allow DHS officials to conduct health screenings for non-essential travelers at ports of entry so that healthy travelers would be able to cross. DHS continues to extend non-essential travel restrictions but has not provided a plan to resolve the issue. The continual 30-day extensions of the travel restrictions prolongs economic devastation in our communities.

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Read his remarks from the press conference, which includes the proposal to DHS, here.

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