IFPA Statement on recent DHS vaccine mandate

Effective January 22, 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection would begin enforcing a requirement for entry into the U.S. for essential workers.

DHS detailed the announcement here. In summary, all non-U.S. individuals crossing at points of entry (land, bridge, and ferry terminals) along the Mexico and Canada borders will have to verbally attest that they are fully vaccinated with one of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved vaccines (booster shots not required) and provide proof of vaccination to CBP officers upon request. If an individual cannot provide proof of vaccination when requested, they will be denied entry into the U.S. A list of the US, CDC accepted vaccines can be found on their website.

This enforcement will not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful U.S. permanent residents, or U.S. nationals.

Since early 2020, the Administrations of Presidents Trump and Biden have issued a series of Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations governing the admission of non-citizens to the United States at air, sea, and land ports in order to protect against the global spread of COVID. These restrictions were comprehensive by visa category and by country. “Essential” workers, including H2A workers and truck drivers, were previously exempt from these restrictions.

As the virus evolved and vaccinations became more widely available, President Biden issued a Proclamation in October 2021 indicating travel restrictions would be lifted for all travelers seeking admission at airports of entry who could provide proof of CDC approved vaccination or who met certain very limited exceptions. This order took effect in November and the Administration indicated an order and guidance for admission at the land borders would follow to take effect January 22, 2022.

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