DETROIT – Canadian nurses working at Michigan hospitals were barred from entering the U.S. last week because of changes to their working visas under new immigration policies, according to CBC.
CBC reports last week, a new Canadian hire attempted to go to work at Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital, but was turned away at the border.
She was told that advanced practice nurses and nurse anesthetists no longer qualify for the working visas because of policy changes instituted by U.S. President Donald Trump.
"Some of these things are surprising," Patrick Irwin, vice-president human resources at Henry Ford Hospital told CBC. "We have always been able to qualify these nurses under the TN category."
The nurses have been advised they need to apply for H1B visa status, which is a separate category under NAFTA for more specialized employment. But those applications can cost between $3,000 and $4,000 depending on the applicant, and the fast track program for processing them has been suspended, CBC reports.
Earlier this year, The Atlantic reported on a coming nurse shortage in the US: America’s 3 million nurses make up the largest segment of the health-care workforce in the U.S., and nursing is currently one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country. Despite that growth, demand is outpacing supply. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.2 million vacancies will emerge for registered nurses between 2014 and 2022.* By 2025, the shortfall is expected to be “more than twice as large as any nurse shortage experienced since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960s,” a team of Vanderbilt University nursing researchers wrote in a 2009 paper on the issue.
Two federal judges have temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's travel ban, both citing Trump's statements about Muslims during the presidential campaign as part of their rulings.
A ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii Wednesday resulted in a temporary restraining order nationwide, hours before it was set to go into effect. In a decision published Thursday morning, another federal judge in Maryland specifically blocked the 90-day ban on immigration for citizens of six Muslim-majority countries.
In a 43-page ruling, US District Court Judge Derrick Watson, who presides in Honolulu, concluded in no uncertain terms that the new executive order failed to pass legal muster at this stage and the state had established "a strong likelihood of success" on their claims of religious discrimination.
Trump decried Watson's ruling during a rally Wednesday night in Nashville, introducing his statement as "the bad, the sad news."
"The order he blocked was a watered-down version of the first one," Trump said, as the crowd booed the news.
"This is, in the opinion of many, an unprecedented judicial overreach," he added, before pledging to take the issue to the Supreme Court if necessary.