A Washington State Congresswoman is calling on U.S. President Joe Biden to immediately reopen the Point Roberts border.
Suzan DelBene has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on the Biden administration to reach an agreement with the Canadian government to grant the Point Roberts community an immediate exemption to current border restrictions and reopen the border crossing.
Since March 2020, residents in the exclave community of Point Roberts have been cut off from the mainland United States and unable to cross the border due to the pandemic. The border closure has been extended several times. After the most recent extension through July 21, the owner of the only grocery store in Point Roberts announced that she would be forced to close her store in July.
“The status quo is simply unacceptable,” said DelBene. “Leaders ultimately bear responsibility for the hardships faced by members of the Point Roberts community. We must act quickly to reach an adequate and safe solution before it is too late. I respectfully request that the United States and Canadian governments immediately grant the community of Point Roberts an exemption to the current border rules and reopen the Boundary Bay Border Crossing.”
DelBene has consistently called on U.S. and Canadian officials to provide more flexibility for Point Roberts. Last year, she led letters calling on the Canadian government to provide more flexibility and transparency for exclave communities like Point Roberts and calling on U.S. diplomats to work with Canadian officials to address broader issues that border communities are facing.
In February, she led a Washington congressional delegation in calling on Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to develop a plan to safely reopen the border.
Earlier this month, she introduced the Point Roberts Small Business Fairness Act that would provide forgivable loans to small businesses in Point Roberts and other exclaves.