By Jennifer Harper
There is another U.S. border besides the one with Mexico, and it concerns a Republican lawmaker in a big way.
“Americans on the northern border are in crisis,” wrote Rep. Michelle Fischbach of Minnesota in a new op-ed for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
“For more than a year, crossing the Canadian border has remained off limits for all but ‘essential’ travel. But what began as a temporary restriction to slow the spread of COVID-19 has morphed into an indefinite closure, upending life in a region that relies on cross-border travel for everything from medical care to employment to tourism,” Ms. Fischbach said.
Her state’s Northwest Angle, the only point in the contiguous U.S. located north of the 49th parallel, is only reachable via a “remote 40-mile stretch of Canadian highway,” the lawmaker advised. She also noted that the Canada Border Services Agency now require a negative COVID-19 result from a “molecular” rather than an instant test — a process which can take days.
“The 200 or so residents of the Northwest Angle — fellow Americans — have been left reeling by the restrictions, feeling abandoned by their own government and increasingly losing hope for a solution,” said Ms. Fischbach, who has met with affected residents, as has Rep. Pete Stauber, Minnesota Republican.
“With the eyes of the national media focused on the chaos at America’s southern border, few have any idea this problem exists,” Ms. Fischbach says. “The northern border is in crisis, too. This is going to require a bilateral solution at the highest levels, but that will not happen until the Biden administration acknowledges the problem. So far, there has been resounding silence,” she concluded.