Both of Washington's US Senators and two members of Congress are pushing for changes for the residents of an isolated Whatcom County town.
Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, along with Representatives Suzan DelBene and Rick Larsen have asked the US Ambassador to Canada to ask for a border exemption for residents of Point Roberts, Washington.
The letter was sent after a KING 5 story last month, in which the Point Roberts Fire Chief described the challenges of the extended border closure at the 49th parallel. Residents of the small town, in the past, have had to make two crossings to get to the rest of Whatcom County, a quirk of the treaty which created the small US territory.
The elected leaders' letter includes ideas for an exemption, in part, "Currently, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) prevents non-essential travel of American citizens between Point Roberts and the mainland, which isolates that community from the rest of Washington and the country. It is possible for U.S. citizens to travel safely between the mainland and Point Roberts since they can enter Canada by car and re-enter the United States without stopping or getting out of their car. Individuals with drivers’ licenses from Point Roberts or who can prove ownership or lease in Point Roberts could be identified and allowed to transit between their town and the rest of Washington state. We urge you to raise this issue with the Canadian government and work to find a solution that protects public health and ensures Point Roberts’ residents can access the rest of the United States."