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Politicians, families, businesses call on U.S. to end border limitations

Border Closed at Peace Bridge
Posted at 10:51 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 00:01:31-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The pain is real for some waiting for the U.S. to open its border with Canada for non-essential travel.

“Say something from the federal level about what the plan is for us,” said Tammy Scott, a Canadian resident who fly from Toronto to Chicago to Buffalo to see her Boyfriend who lives in Western New York.

Wednesday, the Biden Administration extended the border restrictions for both Canada and Mexico until at least August 21st.

Thursday, Congressman Chris Jacobs took to the floor of Capitol Hill, calling on President Joe Biden to open the border sooner than August 21st

“Reopening the border for nonessential travel can be done safely. The time for stalling and silence is long past. The Biden Administration needs to act immediately and reopen this shared border,” said Jacobs, a republican who represents NY-27.

Despite the border closure, Buffalo is rebounding from the pandemic. Visit Buffalo Niagara points to hotel rooms and how many have been booked up over the past few months.

In May, hotel occupancy in Buffalo was around 50%. In June, it was 62%. Pre-covid, in the summer months, that number is usually over 80%.

“I think it is very encouraging, especially when we don't have meetings and conventions. We don't have amateur athletic events taking place. And we don't have the Canadian border open,” said Patrick Kaler, the CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara.

When the border does open fully, Visit Buffalo Niagara will be ready to attract Canadians to Western New York.

“We’re prepared to go very strong with a campaign,” said Kaler.

Until then, Canadians looking to enter the U.S., and U.S. businesses, especially ones in Western New York, wait.