(HorizonPost.com) – The United States has traditionally welcomed visitors from around the world with open arms. In an average year, around 80 million international travelers land on our shores. Of course, 2020 and 2021 have not been average years. The COVID-19 pandemic forced our authorities to severely limit the number of inbound travelers coming to the US.
Now, though, as vaccination rates worldwide begin to climb, that’s starting to change.
Land Borders to Re-Open
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that fully vaccinated travelers will once again be able to enter the US over its northern and southern land borders starting in November. This will be the first time the borders have been open to regular travelers since March 2020. Authorities have yet to decide on the exact date they will effect this change.
Unvaccinated travelers are still banned from entering the country via land, but can enter by air travel with a negative COVID test.
Essential travelers, such as truck drivers, students, and healthcare workers, could always enter the US. Beginning next January, though, these categories of entrants will also need to display proof of vaccination to gain access to the country. Officials said this deadline would give essential workers plenty of time to inoculate.
Democratic politicians, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), welcomed this development.
Title 42 Remains in Place
One thing that will not change is Title 42. Former President Donald Trump initiated this controversial public health order at the beginning of the pandemic, allowing for the rapid expulsion of undocumented migrants at the border. The authority for this policy comes from the Public Health Services Law of 1944, a measure that provides for the management of the migrant population during public health emergencies. It was not in general use until the outset of the pandemic.
President Joe Biden attracted a lot of criticism from Conservatives for abandoning the immigration policies of his predecessor in favor of a more laissez-faire approach. Some believe this strategy has led to a massive crisis on our border with Mexico, with Border Patrol agents encountering record numbers of migrants since Biden’s inauguration. However, despite calls to get rid of Title 42 from many Liberals and immigration advocates, the president appears determined to keep it in place.
Do you think these updated rules are a step in the right direction?
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