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Oct 13, 2021

BREAKING: Following Aggressive Tester Push, Biden Administration to Open Northern Land Border to Vaccinated Travelers

Senator: “I’m glad that the Biden Administration listened to me and the thousands of Montanans who fought back against this shortsighted policy”

Bowing to an aggressive push by U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the Biden Administration announced today it is finally reopening the northern land border with Canada to vaccinated travelers beginning in early November.

“Montanans depend on cross-border trade and travel to support our businesses and keep our communities connected, and the Biden Administration’s decision to keep the northern border closed has unnecessarily hurt our economy,” Tester said. “I’m glad that the Biden Administration listened to me and the thousands of Montanans who fought back against this shortsighted policy, and I will continue pushing to make sure that the northern border re-opens as quickly and as safely as possible so that families and businesses on both sides of the border can continue to fully rebound from this crisis.”

Tester led the charge to re-open the border to fully vaccinated travelers and repeatedly slammed the White House for ignoring the science and the needs of families and communities who depend on the northern border to meet their bottom lines and stay connected to friends and family.

Tester began calling for the border to fully re-open in May, urging the Biden Administration to work with their Canadian counterparts to quickly and safely open the border. He followed up on that in July with a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pressing the Administration to coordinate with the Canadian reopening in a "safe, fair, and efficient manner."

Tester denounced the White House for repeatedly punting on re-opening the land border. Last week, after an announcement that the White House would allow fully vaccinated travelers to enter the U.S. by air while continuing to restrict “nonessential travel” across the land border indefinitely, Tester questioned the Administration’s medical justifications for the uncoordinated reopening and demanded it fully open the northern border to all vaccinated travelers.

Timeline of Tester actions to re-open the northern border with Canada:

May 19Tester pens letter to Biden Administration urging it to re-open the border
July 21Tester writes letter to Department of Homeland Security calling for the agency to coordinate with Canada to re-open the border quickly and safely
August 20Tester denounces Biden Administration for dragging its feet, saying “I urge the Biden Administration to reverse this disappointing decision and re-open the northern border as quickly as possible to vaccinated Canadian travelers so that both of our economies can continue to fully rebound."
September 17Tester leads letter demanding President Biden allow vaccinated Canadians to travel to the U.S. through land ports of entry
September 20Tester blasts the Biden Administration for keeping the border closed for at least another month
October 1Tester questions the Administration’s medical justifications for the uncoordinated reopening and calls to fully open the northern border to all vaccinated travelers immediately

Montana shares a 545 mile border with Canada and is home to many border towns whose economies rely on Canadian trade and commerce throughout the year. According to the U.S. Trade Representative, Montana exported $692 million in goods to Canada in 2018, representing 42 percent of the state's total goods exports.

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

208 North Montana Avenue
Suite 104
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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