What a dumb move to keep COVID-19-related land travel restrictions between Mexico and the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, made clear it won’t lift restrictions on nonessential travel at land border ports of entry despite outcries from border mayors over the economic devastation that’s causing to local businesses.
Maintaining those restrictions imposed at the height of the health pandemic in March 2020 doesn’t make any sense now. Quite frankly, it’s reckless.
Border cities are bearing the worst of this
Mayors of border cities are sounding the alarm over the economic impact in their cities that heavily rely on legal border crossers.
In San Ysidro, Calif., at least 197 businesses have permanently closed while in Texas, border cities report higher unemployment rates than the state average. Arizona border cities have been hit hard, too.https://www.usatodaynetworkservice.com/tangstatic/html/pphx/sf-q1a2z3be0d353f.min.html
“Cross-border traffic is the lifeblood of their economy,” Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva told USA Today in March. “And it’s the people that walk over, the people that come to do retail shopping.”
It’s worse now. Yet, CPB says nonessential travel are still not allowed until at least Aug. 21. That specifically targets Mexican tourists who legally cross the border by land to shop at nearby stores.
That only hurts border-area businesses because Mexicans or anyone else in the world who can pay for a plane ticket can still travel freely to America.
Use excess vaccines for anyone who enters
Why penalize land tourism? Health risks can still be mitigated by requiring COVID-19 vaccines, for instance, or even offering the jab to legal border crossers since America has plenty.
And no. Mexican land tourists wouldn’t be taking shots that otherwise could go to Americans because anyone who wants a shot can and does get it. We need to make it easier for them to spend the money that border-state businesses desperately need.
Source: AZ Central