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Separated families continue push for reopening of U.S.-Canadian border

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Posted at 6:31 PM, Jun 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 11:59:36-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Dozens gathered on Sunday afternoon to push for the U.S-Canadian border to be opened for families to reunite. Shannon Harder has been protesting nearly every Sunday with her children because her husband has been in Canada.

“We’re not trying to go shopping,” Harder said. “We’re literally trying to see our loved one.”

Congressman, Chris Jacobs, joined the families protesting at Pat Sole Park in Buffalo. Jacobs said he’s asking the government for both transparency and action.

“There needs to be a real effort to show that the two governments are working together,” Jacobs said. “I have not seen that yet. I have not seen indications that real lengthy conversations are going on."

Many people at the protest told 7 Eyewitness News that they have not seen their family members in over a year.

“No more indefinite closers,” Jacobs said. “The border can be safely reopened on June 22nd. We keep hearing ‘another month, another month’ with no indication on metrics or rationale.”

Harder said she cannot take the time off of work to quarantine to see her husband.

“I cannot take three weeks off work even if I wanted to,” Harder said. “A lot of people cannot financially or for their job if you are self-employed or if the business cannot run while you are gone.”

Jacobs said a solution would be having vaccine sites at the border.

"We don't want to see any vaccines get thrown out,” Jacobs said. “Maybe they can have sites here across the border. I think we should get proactive."

Jacobs said if the border is not opened by June 22, he’s pushing for at least the U.S. to open its side of the border unilaterally to put pressure on Canada.