Report: Canadian nurses working in Michigan denied entry due to Trump immigration policies
DETROIT (WJBK) - The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that nurses who live in Windsor and commute to Detroit to work in hospital have been turned away due to President Trump's immigration policies.
The CBC reported that last week, a new Canadian hire at Detroit's Henry ford was turned away at the Windsor-Detroit border. The report also said that other nurses who had the proper visas to work in the United States were unable to renew them.
According to the CBC report, the new hire was told that 'advanced practice nurses and nurse anesthetists no longer qualify for the working visas because of policy changes under U.S. President Donald Trump.'
The report did not state what the nurse specialized in.
FOX 2 has not independently confirmed this report.
"We really question the motives," immigration lawyer Marc Topoleski told the CBC. "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."
According to the CBC, only advanced practice nurses and nurse anesthetists are being rejected. All Canadian nurses who work in the United States have non-immigrant NAFTA professional visas. The visas, known as TN visas, allow experts in certain fields a fast track, so long as they have a job offer.
An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 Canadians commute to the U.S. to work with the TN visas. Henry Ford Hospital says hundreds of their nurses are Canadian residents and 25 of them have TN visas.
CBC contacted U.S. Customs and Border Proteection but has not receieved a response.
Hospital officials said they're doing what they can to resolve the issue.
"Their livelihood is at stake," Topoleski told the CBC. "They don't know why this is happening, they don't understand why it's happening. All they've been doing is just coming here and helping Americans get better by providing patient care."
The CBC said the nurses have been told they need to apply for H1B visas status, which is separate under NAFTA for more specialized employment. Those applications can cost $3,000 to $4,000.
It could then take six months or more before the application process in complete.