Gloria applauds federal officials for decision on border travel restrictions

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Following the federal government’s decision to lift non-essential travel restrictions at U.S. ports of entry for those who provide proof of vaccination, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria thanked federal and local leaders Wednesday.

“For far too long, the restrictions at our border separated families and devastated businesses that rely on cross-border commerce,” Gloria said. “Since I took office in December, and on my most recent trip to Washington D.C., I have been meeting with officials at all levels of the federal government to help get these restrictions lifted.

“I want to thank Secretary Mayorkas and the entire Biden-Harris Administration for hearing our call and taking this action, which will allow families to be reunited, businesses to get back to a sense of normalcy, and our local economy to fully recover,” he said.

Gloria also thanked South Bay mayors and Vice Chair of the County Board of Supervisors Nora Vargas for their partnership in the effort to lift the restrictions.

On the federal level, Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-San Diego, said the proof of vaccine requirement had precedent and was designed to keep both international travelers and Americans safe.

“There is a international convention on vaccinations which has a standard set of reporting,” Jacobs told FOX 5. “If you have traveled to some countries abroad, you may remember you have to bring a yellow card with you to prove some of your vaccinations. This is just like that: You have to bring your vaccination card and show the border agents that you have that proof.”

The much-anticipated federal announcement comes on the heels of Gloria’s trip two weeks ago to Washington, D.C., where he met with federal officials, including White House staff and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner, to advocate for an end to the travel restrictions, imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gloria said the restrictions have greatly impacted San Diego families who live binationally and harmed businesses in border communities such as San Ysidro and Otay Mesa that rely on cross-border commerce.

In the mayor’s “Back to Work SD” plan — which he introduced with the intent to provide a framework for economic recovery from the pandemic — he called for reopening the border to non-essential travel. Gloria has also signed and sent letters to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, including a letter signed jointly by the Mayors of South Bay cities.

Additionally, in August, Gloria passed a resolution at the U.S. Conference of Mayors that urged the Biden administration to lift the non- essential travel restrictions.

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