WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, the Canadian government announced that conditional cross-border travel will be allowed for fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents beginning on August 9, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. ET. In response, Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (MN-07) issued the following statement:
“The light at the end of the tunnel appears to be closer. After more than 16 long, arduous months, it is long past the time for these punitive restrictions to meet their end. Not only has the prolonged border closure affected the ability of Americans to travel, it has also impeded the ability of Americans to earn a living. The closure of the northern border has been particularly devastating for Minnesotans living in the Northwest Angle, and I am committed to doing all that I can to help their recovery.”
Minnesota’s Northwest Angle – a functional exclave – is the only portion of the contiguous United States located above the 49th parallel, geographically separated from the rest of the state by Lake of the Woods and accessible by land only through a remote Canadian highway. Due to COVID-19 restrictions by the United States and Canadian governments, the border has remained closed to non-essential travel since March 21, 2020.
Since taking office in January, Congresswoman Fischbach has led the call to end the border restrictions. She and her staff have held more than a dozen meetings with elected officials from both governments, community members, and business owners.
In April, she and Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) held a roundtable meeting with two members of the Canadian Parliament to discuss the impacts of the border closure. Congresswoman Fischbach also introduced the Assistance Needed for Great Losses Experienced in Isolated Northern Lakes Economic Territory Act, known as the ANGLE Act, to create a forgivable loan program for “remote recreational businesses” impacted by the border closure, as well as legislation to create an international travel corridor for individuals seeking to visit areas like the Northwest Angle. After visiting the Northwest Angle in early July, Congresswoman Fischbach and 13 of her border colleagues sent a letter to President Biden urging that he not extend travel restrictions.
Michelle Fischbach is a wife, mom, grandma, attorney, and the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District. Find updates from Rep. Fischbach’s congressional office on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.