The federal administrations decision to suspend H-1B, H-2B, L and J visas would have a detrimental impact on the North Countrys regional economy. These visas allow many of our regions largest businesses to permanently employ many Canadian citizens while other visas are crucial to our upstate tourist businesses.
I applaud the recent move to reverse course on this decision to allow Canadian citizens to be exempt from this executive order. This will ensure that as our North Country businesses continue to reopen, they can rely on their Canadian workforce to be here.
With that said, both Governments need to do more and re-examine their policies regarding international travel. Families have been ripped apart, cross- border property owners are left in distress, and both economies severely impacted. New York State has issued travel guidelines impacting essential workers when visiting for short periods of time, and I see no reason why this cannot be mirrored to reflect similar international policies. We need to ensure that our economies can move forward and families be safely reunited, without being subjected to 14-day quarantine when the pose very little risk. I am dedicated to working with our federal partners to find alternatives that address public health concerns about international travel.