Most Travel Banned At U.S. Land Borders. What That Means Depends On Where You Cross.

The U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico are closed to non-essential travel, but agents on the border processing immigration say they haven’t received guidance on what that means and they’re left to make up the rules themselves.

Immigration officers further resent the number of people coming into the U.S., viewing them as physical threats to their health, despite a sharp drop in border crossings. In fact, vehicle traffic is down 56% and foot traffic is down 73% at U.S. land borders.

The continued travel has become a point of contention among union officials and CBP, which the officials said has provided little guidance on who is and isn’t allowed to travel across the border. “It’s a frustration of all angles. We don’t know what essential or nonessential travel is. There’s no clear clarification,” said Ortiz, who is based in San Diego.

Miguel Flores, National Treasury Employees Union chapter president for Eagle Pass and Del Rio, Texas, said that the two types of travel blur together because of the way they’re defined. He said that locally, the union and management have coordinated to clarify the definition to “make it work for our area.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees are unhappy that people are still allowed to cross the border, believing that interfacing with people is a threat. They acknowledge having sufficient personal protective equipment (something many hospitals do not have!) but want to be at the “front-of-line” for repeated coronavirus testing, taking a limited number of tests away from others.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Trump pushed to open the Canada-US border recently. The Canadian federal and provincial governments told him “we’re good”. It’s remained closed. It’s amazing what a powerless and mindless so-called leader can’t accomplish.

  2. As a dual citizen living in canada, I cant wait for the border to be open
    Enough with this circus
    Stupid canadians are brainwashed and walk in the streets like if the virus is a sniper
    Its a joke

  3. Oh trump-loving @doug, that’s a lie and you know it. We can’t wait for the the border to open one-way so we can get you out. That is, if your story here isn’t a lie as well.

  4. @steve
    Actually, as anti trump as one can be….but walk around vancouver and see the idiots giving looks to people, social distancing their dogs, and ducking when going around others….
    Canadians have proven to be stupid sheep

  5. CBP has always been full of assholes. There’s not really a better word to describe them. They enjoy the unilateral power trip of making anyone’s life miserable without any consequence in the name of national security. US Citizen with global entry? lets tear apart and search his car because he doesn’t remember the exact date he visited Canada last time, even though that info is obviously on the screen in front of them.

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