“Extremely Disappointed:” Inslee, Murray react to extended U.S./Canada border closure

Governor Jay Inslee (L), Senator Patty Murray (R)

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Biden Administration announced an extension to closures of the U.S./Canada border through August on Wednesday morning, prompting a despondent response from Washington Governor Inslee and a call to action by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA).

Gov. Inslee recently penned a detailed letter requesting a full or partial re-opening of the U.S./Canada border to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. In it, the Governor highlighted a serious economic impact that this extended closure had on Washington state and the United States as a whole. Lumber costs rose exponentially in Washington and various parts of the United States due to the border closure.

This announcement from the Biden Administration comes shortly after Canada announced that it will open its borders for vaccinated Americans on August 9.

RELATED: Canada to let vaccinated US citizens enter country on Aug. 9

In response to the border closure extension, Inslee issued a new statement which can be read here:

“I am extremely disappointed by the federal government’s announcement today that the U.S. border with Canada will remain closed through at least August 21. This continued closure will result in continued hardship for Washingtonians living in border communities, including in Point Roberts.

“As I have expressed repeatedly in communications with the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, the time has come to at least partially reopen the U.S.-Canada border, and I will continue to advocate for relief for border communities in Washington state.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Murray has been working with community members in the border town of Point Roberts as an advocate for the border re-opening. A joint effort between Sen. Murray and Gov. Inslee recently provided emergency financial assistance to border communities that are suffering as a result of the closure. It has impacted their economy, infrastructure, and even their access to food.

RELATED: Governor Inslee announces state of emergency, burn ban due to wildfires

Senator Murray’s full statement can be read below:

“This is a frustrating and disappointing decision by the Biden administration that puts the border communities in Washington state, especially Point Roberts, in an absolutely untenable position,” Senator Murray said. “These communities rely on cross border travel, and after more than sixteen months many businesses are on the brink of shutting their doors for good, which would be absolutely devastating for these communities.

 “I want to be crystal clear so that President Biden and the administration understand me: at the very least, we need an emergency exemption from these restrictions for the Point Roberts community and in fact, we needed it yesterday. I’ve spoken with top officials at the State Department on just how urgently there needs to be a resolution here, and I will continue to press the administration on this matter as we work to safely reopen the U.S.-Canada border.”

Point Roberts, a pene-exclave located on the southern tip of the Tsawwassen Peninsula, is part of Washington state despite sharing land with Canada south of Vancouver.


RELATED: Canada surpasses US vaccination rate as country prepares to reopen its borders