Washington, DC–The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) applauds the Biden Administration and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in particular for the October 12 announcement that they will allow non-essential travelers who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation to enter the United States through land and ferry ports of entry at U.S. borders. In June the Conference unanimously adopted policy urging “the Biden Administration to lift non-essential travel restrictions at U.S. Land Ports of Entry to facilitate economic recovery in communities on both sides of the border.” Below are statements on the decision from USCM President Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and USCM Vice Chair of Border Policy San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria:

“Opening land and ferry ports of entry to non-essential travel is the right thing to do for the country and especially for the southern and northern border cities and states whose economies have lost billions of dollars per month since the ban went into effect in March 2020,” said USCM President and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “The continued closure of the Canadian border alone has affected us here in Ohio and cost the U.S. economy $1.5 billion in potential travel exports each month. We commend Secretary Mayorkas and the Administration for recognizing that communities on both sides of the borders are successfully deploying COVID-19 vaccines and that it is safe to open these points of entry.”

“For far too long, the restrictions at our border separated families and devastated businesses that rely on cross-border commerce. Since I took office in December, and on my most recent trip to Washington D.C., I have been meeting with officials at all levels of the federal government to help get these restrictions lifted. As the Vice Chair for Border Policy at the Conference, I was proud to lead a resolution supporting the lifting of these restrictions and I am happy to see this advocacy effort be successful. I want to thank Secretary Mayorkas and the entire Biden-Harris Administration for hearing our call and taking this action, which will allow families to be reunited, businesses to get back to a sense of normalcy, and our local economy to fully recover.” said USCM Vice Chair of Border Policy San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.