Canadian nurses working at Michigan hospitals were shocked last week when border security officers stopped them from entering the U.S. because of changes to their working visas under new immigrationpolicies.
Staff at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital heard reports of nurses unable to renew their working visas. Last week, a new Canadian hire at Henry Ford tried to go to work, but was turned away at the Windsor-Detroit border.
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She was told advanced practice nurses and nurse anesthetists no longer qualify for the working visas because of policy changes under U.S. President Donald Trump.
“We really question the motives,” said immigration lawyer Marc Topoleski, whose firm is retained by the hospital. “All of the immigration executive orders and all the things being rolled out have been focused on national security first, and this is clearly not an issue of national security whatsoever.”
‘Livelihoods are at stake’
Only advanced practice nurses and nurse anesthetists are being rejected. All Canadian nurses working in the U.S. have non-immigrant NAFTA professional (TN) visas.
An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 Canadians work in the U.S with TN visas, which allow experts in certain fields — like economics and science — a fast track, provided they have a job offer.