Residents on both sides of the border have pressed for reopening, and more than 2,800 people have joined a private Facebook group organized by Let Us Reunite, an advocacy group, to press for a more relaxed border policy.
One of the group’s members is Heather Kienle, an American citizen who lives in Montreal. Crossing the border has not been a problem for Ms. Kienle, but her Canadian husband, Etienne Bouchard, cannot.
So Ms. Kienle, who is six months pregnant, often drives alone or with her four-year-old daughter more than eight hours to West Babylon, N.Y., to care for her mother, who has endometrial cancer.
“It was just very stressful because I had to travel by myself, without my husband, and I had to take care of my daughter in the back seat,” Ms. Kienle said on Wednesday.
U.S. politicians from both parties have also objected to the restrictions.
Brian Higgins, a congressman who represents a district in Western New York that borders Canada, said in a statement on Wednesday that “today’s decision by the Biden administration harms economic recovery and hurts families all across America’s northern border; this is completely unnecessary.”
Mexican officials had recently expressed hope that the United States would agree to open up their shared border. A vaccination program in northern Mexico was ramped up as well. “We are working on this, so that the economic and social activity of the border can be regularized as soon as possible,” Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, told Forbes Mexico this month.
American citizens can travel into Mexico for any reason — to buy cheaper goods, access cheaper health care or because they live in Mexico and commute to work in the U.S. — but the border shutdown has meant many businesses have lost customers and been forced to close.