What President Trump’s New Immigration Law Means for Our Nurses
A lot of news has been made in the United States with President Trump’s signing of an Executive Order on January 27 that temporarily halted immigration from 7 countries. We’ve received questions from a number of you about whether that will impact your visa application or visa status, and we expect that some of you are concerned.
The most important thing you should know is that the Executive Order applies to only seven countries, none of which we recruit from. Additionally, the order is temporary in nature, lasting from 90-120 days depending on the country. The order is limited, temporary, and does not impact visa applications for nurses from any country other than the seven named in the order.
The Executive Order applies to countries that have been tragically torn apart by Jihadist terrorism, and it purpose is to allow time to put in place better background checks for visa applicants from those countries. Its fundamental purpose is to prevent future terrorist attacks in the United States.
The countries affected are: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Sudan.
The vast majority of visa applications from those countries are for refugee status visas, not the EB3 visa that our nurses apply for. In fact, Shearwater Health recruits nurses from countries where there are simply not refugees seeking visas to enter the United States. Another tragic consequence of war includes a health system that simply doesn’t support a modern nursing environment.
Some Muslims awaiting their visas understandably fear they will not be allowed to proceed to the United States. For our Muslim nurses, we want you to know that the Executive Order is quite clear that it applies to nationality only and not religion.
There is also a lot of concern and confusion about what happens next. With a new President, there is change, and opponents of the President speculate that more surprises about immigration lie ahead. We believe that the Executive Order was consistent with President Trump’s campaign promises. He consistently stated that he would advance policies pertaining to two areas of immigration: illegal immigrants (primarily crossing the southern border of the United States) and refugees coming from other countries where extremism had created a chaotic, unsafe environment. He has not raised opposition to legal immigration from other countries.
Nurse immigration to the United States is critical. As we wrote about in our December newsletter, a shortage of 200,000 nurses is expected by the year 2020. The largest hospital companies in America have gone on record over the last several years about the challenges of the nursing shortage across the country. To disrupt the flow of international nurses coming to the United States would risk a health crisis. And these hospitals ensure that the US Congress knows how important it is to have international nurses here. Your profession is simply too vital to disrupt.
The clear majority of people inside the United States are supportive of immigrants. This was clearly on display after the Executive Order was signed, as hundreds of American citizens rushed to airports across the country in a show of support for immigrants from affected countries who were in transit while the order was signed and as a result were stuck in an airport and denied entry.
Many reasonable people disagree with President Trump’s new executive order, and other reasonable people support it. Shearwater Health doesn’t claim to know the right policy to keep the citizens and immigrants inside the United States safe. But we do know that American patients need you and want your help. And for that reason, we are recruiting nurses, processing immigration paperwork for nurses, and managing nurses at US hospitals as passionately today as we ever have.
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