The Department of Homeland Security announced an extension to the travel limitations at land crossings along the Mexican and Canadian Borders. The Trump era ban has been in place since March 2020 and applies to non-essential travel such as day tourism and shopping.
The ban has many border communities frustrated as it has directly impacted local economies. The ban was set to expire at 11:59pm on March 21, 2021 but will now exceed its one-year anniversary. Many local merchants have expressed dismay about the allowance of thousands of asylum seekers arriving daily while masked Mexican tourists and shoppers are kept across the border.
One local merchant, Pedro is feeling the financial pinch the ban has caused him, according to a recent interview.
“It’s not fair that we have lost so much of our business–but others cross illegally, and no one cares” he said as Breitbart Texas visited with him recently. In Spanish he adds, “The government may not think the travel is essential to come shopping, but to those that cross and us who sell, it is everything. We wear masks. They can too.”
Ports of entry along the border that once bustled with daily crossers frequenting the local businesses are nearly void of traffic.
In a statement released Thursday, DHS noted:
To prevent the further spread of COVID-19, and in coordination with our partners in Canada and Mexico, the United States is extending the restrictions on non-essential travel at our land borders through April 21, while ensuring continued flows of essential trade and travel. Informed by science and public health guidance, we will work with our counterparts to identify an approach to easing restrictions when conditions permit and with the protection of our citizens from COVID-19 at the forefront of our minds.
The ban on documented crossers will remain in effect for now as illegal border crossings continue to soar.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX