After 16 Months, US Covid Border Closures Keep Families Separated

After 16 months, US Covid border closures keep families separated

Washington, June 6 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 6th Jun, 2021 ) :Julien Rocher has been able to see his son Zadig, who lives in the United States, only once in 15 months since Washington shut the country's borders over the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It's like he has disappeared," Rocher said.

He is one of thousands separated from spouses, children or grandparents because of the tight lockdown of the country's frontiers, yet to be lifted despite the widespread distribution of vaccines on both sides of the Atlantic.

Many are pressuring the administration of President Joe Biden to permit general travel to and from the United States, with families spilling their anguish and anger over the forced separations onto social media.

They are particularly angry over Washington's lack of reciprocity after the European Union announced on May 20 it would reopen borders to travelers, including Americans, just ahead of the summer season.

Rocher, a producer of commercial videos who lives in France, used to see Zadig, 11, who lives in Los Angeles with his mother, each year.

But the boy's mother doesn't want him to travel to France out of fear he would not be able to return to the United States.

That keeps Zadig separated from his dad as well as a three-year-old half-sister.

"It is hard to maintain family ties over time with such a distance," Rocher told AFP.