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 immigration policies.

Trump appears to be violating NAFTA:

  1. Canadian advanced practice nurses are being turned away at the border. Their careers are on hold until they can resume working in Michigan.
  2. These nurses are being told that they require an H1-B visa, even though this would be in contradiction of NAFTA. An H1-B can be incredibly expensive for an employer (up to $6,000 USD) and there is no definite chance that it will be approved because many more people apply for H1-Bs than there are H1-Bs available.
  3. As per NAFTA, scientific specialty workers from Mexico or Canada can work indefinitely in the U.S. so long as their employer validates their TN-Visa annually.
  4. A TN-Visa is an excellent visa. It allows Americans to live and work in Canada or Mexico, or Mexicans to live and work in the U.S. or Canada, or Canadians to live and work in U.S. or Mexico.
  5. Trump appears to be violating NAFTA for the purpose of economic protectionism.
  6. Canada or Mexico can retaliate by engaging in the same activity against U.S. workers in their countries.
  7. These highly specialized nurses cannot legally work in the U.S. without a working visa. Their careers are on hold. [The Intellectualist]

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.

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.”

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.

Henry Ford Hospital alone has hundreds of Canadians on staff, with about 25 advanced practice nurses or nurse anesthetists with TN visas.