As Election Day nears, it’s not just about winning the ‘Latino vote.’ It’s about making a real connection.

As Election Day nears, it's not just about winning the 'Latino vote.' It's about making a real connection.

A sense of belonging — meaning, how society perceives you — along with feeling respected and valued — can be powerful forces to mobilize or discourage voting.

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Michelle Garcia

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People attend a bilingual health care town hall sponsored by local organizations that work in Latino voter outreach, disability advocacy and community health at the Ability360 Center in Phoenix, July 5, 2017. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake were invited but declined to attend. 

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To be Latino during an election season can feel like landing on a movie set of a suspenseful, high-stakes drama. It’s a story of contradictions. You are a star of the show — Latinos are projected to become the largest, nonwhite racial or ethnic electorate in 2020 — but it is usually set to a predictable, one-note soundtrack: “immigration, immigration, immigration.” An audience of pundits dissects the “Latino vote,” while advocates recite well-rehearsed lines: “Latinos are not a monolith. Ignoring the Latino vote will cost candidates at the polls.”

And perhaps the only reason the Latino vote narrative captivates political writers, pundits and especially candidates is because they want to know: “How does the story end?”

Related: Getting out the vote for the 2020 election: Lessons from Bernie Sanders’ Latino outreach

Sure, action sequences turn on whether Democrats can rally Latinos or whether an incumbent president, whose political emblem is a border wall, has alienated Latinos who vote for Republicans. But it’s a story that comes down to the question: Will they show up on Election Day?

The answer depends, in part, on whether our stars feel like heroines on camera or specimens under a microscope, and whether they feel they are part of the US electorate or outsiders: “them,” “the other.”

“It matters a great deal, especially for those who are not politicized who have not developed an interest to engage or desire to engage with politics.”

Angela X. Ocampo, author 

“It matters a great deal, especially for those who are not politicized who have not developed an interest to engage or desire to engage with politics,” said Angela X. Ocampo, author of the forthcoming book, “Politics of Inclusion: A Sense of Belonging and Latino Political Participation.”

Before our stars became Latino voters, say researchers and voting rights advocates, daily experiences informed their enthusiasm for casting a ballot. To reach the ballot box, Latinos often must first traverse a battlefield of messages from the political left and right that casts Latinos as the perennial outsider. They will have shielded themselves from media coverage often portrays Latinos as rootless newcomers and asks that all-too-familiar question: “Where are you from?” Which presumes that the answer is: “Not here.” They will have faced a barrage of rejecting encounters, with nearly 38% of Latinos reported to the Pew Research Center in 2018 that they had been told to “go back,” chastised for speaking Spanish, or been on the receiving end of offensive slurs in the previous year. They will have pushed through the psychological impact of violent events, such as the 2019 mass shooting in El Paso, which was provoked by racist backlash against Latinos as a growing political force in Texas.

Related: The pandemic upended this Latino teen’s senior year. Now it’s upended his politics.

“After that terrible event, we were left at the mercy of a fear created for us,” writes Ilia Calderón, a national news anchor for Univision, in her new memoir, “My Time to Speak: Reclaiming Ancestry and Confronting Race.” The fear extended far beyond El Paso or Texas, beyond Mexicans and Mexican Americans, reaching Calderón, an Afro Latina thousands of miles away in Miami and but to Latinos across the country.

“We already had to deal with how the color of our skin makes some look at us a certain way when we walk into a store, what it means to be a woman walking around certain areas at certain times, but now we have to add our papers, last names, or nationality to the mix,” Calderón said.

From these experiences, “many Latinos in the U.S. learn that their standing in the U.S. social fabric is limited and below that of others,” writes researcher Ocampo, adding that it holds true for people whose roots run generations deep, or who arrived decades ago and raised their children.

A sense of belonging — meaning, how society perceives you — along with feeling respected and valued — can be powerful forces to mobilize or discourage voting. In his eulogy for the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis on July 30, former President Barack Obama said a central strategy to voter suppression is to convince people to “stop believing in your own power.”

Though Latinos possess a strong American identity, researchers have found Latinos register a lower sense of belonging than whites but slightly higher than Blacks. And given the nation’s racist hierarchy, Latinos, who can be of any race, with darker skin have a more tenuous sense of belonging than lighter-skinned Latinos. In 2018, the Pew Research Center found that following the election of Donald Trump, 49% of Latinos had “serious concerns” about the security of their place in the US. The implications can be significant. Ocampo found that a strong belief in belonging to US society can change the probability of voting by up to 10%, translating into tens of thousands of votes.

Demographics, though, seem to have little effect. Even in a state like Texas, where Latinos will soon become the largest demographic, they are underrepresented in nearly all areas of leadership. A forthcoming, statewide study by the Texas Organizing Project about Latinos’ relationship with the electoral system turned up a solid strain of unbelonging, particularly among working-class Latinos in urban areas.

“We are an ‘other.’ We still feel it,” said Crystal Zermeno, director of electoral strategy for the Texas Organizing Project.

That perception becomes a challenge when trying to convince eligible voters that the ballot box belongs to them.

“A lot of times working-class Latinos, they feel like voting is for other people. It’s not where they belong.”

Crystal Zermeno, Texas Organizing Project

“A lot of times working-class Latinos, they feel like voting is for other people. It’s not where they belong.”

Political campaigns may run on promises of better access to health care, tighter border security and help with college tuition. But to get the message across, candidates and parties need to make an authentic connection.

“I needed to make an emotional connection with an old, angry, white, Jewish man from Vermont [Sanders] with a demographic with an average age of 27, to say, ‘I understand your plight,’” said Chuck Rocha, a senior adviser during Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign effort to turn out Latino voters and recently released the book, “Tío Bernie: The Inside Story of How Bernie Sanders Brought Latinos into the Political Revolution.”

Sanders’ immigrant roots may have opened a door. But the connection comes from communicating, “You are part of our community and we’re part of your community,” Rocha said.

Related: Trump, Biden boost efforts to reach Texas Latino voters

Belonging, or at least the semblance of it, is a tool that Republicans use — including President Trump. With Trump’s “build that wall” chant; fixation on border security, and derogatory references to asylum-seekers and other migrants, Trump has drawn clear and powerful boundaries on belonging. Contained within his rhetoric, rallies and campaign videos is a choreography for performing American identity, patriotism and citizenship.

“Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics?” Trump asked Steve Cortes, a supporter and Hispanic Advisory Council member, during a 2019 rally in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. During his 2020 State of the Union Address, Trump momentarily paused his typical vilification of asylum-seekers and other migrants to recognize one Latino: Raul Ortiz, the newly appointed deputy chief of the US Border Patrol  — a servant of surveillance.

“He’s putting forth a clear version of what it means to belong and not to belong and who is a threat and not a threat,” said Geraldo Cadava, author of “The Hispanic Republicans: The shaping of An American Political Identity from Nixon to Trump.”

In the long term, Cadava says, Trump’s strategy is untenable because of the demographic direction of the nation. But in the immediate term, it is meant to rally his base and solidify support among voters in key states. Inviting Robert Unanue, CEO of Goya Foods, a major food brand favored by Latinos, to the White House in July, provoked backlash when the CEO praised the president. Still, for Latino Republican voters, it suggested that the White House is open to them.

This, combined with a weeklong, Hispanic outreach campaign that centered on promises to play up Latino business opportunities, in the eyes of Trump’s supporters, Cadava said, “he looks like a perfectly electable candidate.” It’s an image tailored for an existing base, which stands in contrast to the scene of Trump tossing rolls of paper towels to survivors of Hurricane Maria.

Overtures of belonging can also be seen in a move by Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican of Texas, who is up for reelection, to co-sponsor legislation to fund a National Museum of the American Latino. But advocates warn such messages ring hollow when matched with policies. Cornyn, a Trump supporter and lieutenant to Sen. Mitch McConnell, has aggressively backed repealing the Affordable Care Act even though his state has the highest uninsured rate in the nation — 60% of the uninsured are Latino. With news coverage of Latinos generally centered on border and immigration issues, and 30% of Latinos reported being contacted by a candidate or party, according to a poll by Latino Decisions, the lasting image is likely a photograph of a museum. This may explain why Cornyn is 10 points behind his Democratic challenger. To this, some say Democrats have failed to summon a vision of the nation that includes Latinos.

“We [Latinos] are part of the America, the problem is we haven’t made them part of the public policy and politics of our country because we don’t spend the time to reach out and make the connection to that community.” 

Chuck Rocha, senior adviser during Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign

“We [Latinos] are part of the America, the problem is we haven’t made them part of the public policy and politics of our country because we don’t spend the time to reach out and make the connection to that community,” said Rocha, who led a campaign by Sanders that scored record turnout among Latinos.

Related: This young Afro Latino teacher and voter wants to be a model for his students

Missing in American politics for Latinos is “a showman, somebody who stands up and who isn’t afraid of consequences to stand for our community the way [Trump] stands for racist rednecks. We haven’t seen that.”

Left is a roadmap of patriotism, of citizenship that positions Latinos in a neverending border checkpoint, not located in South Texas or Arizona, but built around the notion of an American.

“There are these tests being administered to see where these people are going to fit in the greater scheme of things if we have to deal with them,” said Antonio Arellano, acting executive director of Jolt Institute, a voter mobilization organization in Texas. “Patriotism can be displayed in many different ways, this administration has tainted nationalism by dipping it into the red cold racist filled paint that has been emblematic of America’s darkest moment in history.”

In a scathing opinion piece for The New York Times, Alejandra Gomez and Tomás Robles Jr., co-founders of Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) accused political leaders of deserting Latino Arizonans, leaving them as scapegoats to a right-wing political agenda that was built on excluding and attacking immigrants and Latinos.

“The thing is, people want community. They want to belong to something that helps them make sense of the political world,” they wrote. “But they don’t trust politics or Democrats because both have failed them.” 

While unbelonging may drive some people from the polls, it can also be a mobilizing force.

Following the 1990s’ anti-Latino and anti-immigrant campaign in California, that resulted in policies, such as denying education and housing to undocumented imigrants political groups harnessed the outrage and pain among Latinos in that state. In the 2000s, facing deportation, the young Latinos known as the “Dreamers” transformed their noncitizen status into a political asset and became a reckoning force across the nation. Millennials, in particular, reported to Ocampo their outsider status was a catalyzing force for political participation.

LUCHA and other advocacy groups have provided something candidates and parties have not: belonging. “We are reminding them and they are true leaders in our community, creating spaces to be themselves authentically in the world,” Gomez told me.

These advocacy groups have become a political force in Arizona, backing progressive candidates and galvanizing Latinos, not by stoking party loyalty but as “independent power organizations,” Gomez told me. In a state where Latinos are nearly a quarter of eligible voters, LUCHA and other groups helped roll back anti-immigrant laws and elected community leaders and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema to the US Senate by promoting a platform created not by a party, but by their community.

In late summer, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, made belonging a central feature in “The Biden Agenda for the Latino Community.”

“President Trump’s assault on Latino dignity started on the very first day of his campaign. … Trump’s strategy is to sow division — to cast out Latinos as being less than fully American.” 

“The Biden Agenda for the Latino Community”

“President Trump’s assault on Latino dignity started on the very first day of his campaign. … Trump’s strategy is to sow division — to cast out Latinos as being less than fully American,” it says.

Biden’s agenda includes a host of policy offerings including a public option for health care, immigration reform and addressing climate change. It remains to be seen if that’s enough, if the strategy will amount to policies wrapped up in an anti-Trump message. And this brings to mind a critical point that Rocha made about appealing to Latino voters: Latinos changed Sanders himself, by courting them he gained a more complete portrait of the nation. Belonging, after all, is reciprocal.

Come Election Day, whether someone coming off a double shift or mourning family members who died in a pandemic, or a student facing down a deadline for a paper will take a few hours — Latinos stand in lines that are twice as long as whites — a ballot cast will be the end result of a long journey, an epic drama that began long before a campaign season. 

Nicholas Burns: Bolton allegations on Trump ‘as damaging as any in modern American history’

Nicholas Burns: Bolton allegations on Trump 'as damaging as any in modern American history'

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The World staff

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Then-National Security Adviser John Bolton listens as US President Donald Trump holds a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 9, 2018.

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John Bolton’s memoir from his time as the national security adviser in the Trump White House is set to publish Tuesday, but advance copies are already making waves. 

In the book, Bolton says explicitly that President Donald Trump is unfit for office. 

“I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” Bolton writes.

Trump fired Bolton this past September after roughly 17 months as his national security adviser.

The Trump administration is suing to block the book’s publication, claiming it contains classified information and would compromise national security. 

Nicholas Burns, a former career foreign service officer who served as undersecretary of state for former President George W. Bush, knows John Bolton from his years in government. He’s now professor of the practice of diplomacy at Harvard University and an adviser to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Burns spoke to The World’s host Marco Werman about the most disturbing allegations in Bolton’s book.

Related: Nicholas Burns: US’ ‘unusual’ absence on world stage is bad for Americans

Marco Werman: First of all, how do you know John Bolton? What’s he like? 

Nick Burns: Well, truth be told, I’ve had my share of differences with him in the past. We worked very closely together at one point in the George W. Bush administration. It was not always a pleasant experience, I’m sure, for either of us. He is an arch-conservative, a loyal Republican, highly intelligent. Lots of experience at the high levels of government, a true national security expert. And he’s a patriotic person. Despite my differences with John, I have to credit him with all that. 

How do you judge the veracity of the claims he’s making in his book? 

Well, these allegations are about as damaging as any in modern American history. I mean, it’s explosive, when John Bolton says that President Trump agreed with President Xi Jinping of China that Xi should build concentration camps for Uighurs, the Muslim population of western China. President Trump encouraging President Xi to buy US farm products in order to help President Trump win the 2020 election. And I think the most explosive revelation in the book is that John Bolton is confirming the charge by House Democrats back in the impeachment trial that President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine until the government in Kyiv would provide political dirt on Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. 

And you remember, Marco, the Republican defense of President Trump back in the impeachment trial in January was: “Well, all these people who testified, they were secondhand sources. They never met or engaged with the president.” John Bolton was in the Oval Office with the president every day and had lots of discussions about this specific issue. And I think that is the most meaningful charge in the book. 

So, if John Bolton had so much damning information, why did he not come forward during the impeachment inquiry? What was his motivation? 

I can’t know what his motivation was, but he should have come forward. Back in December and January, during the impeachment inquiry, he had information, really, that no one else had that was central to the question being debated by the House and the Senate: Was the president guilty of impeachable offenses on the issue of Ukraine? Bolton knew the history. He had the details. He should have come forward. 

I mean, it’s not unusual, really, for any president to always be thinking about election prospects. It sounds like what you just said is what makes this administration different. 

It is what has distinguished the tenure of President Trump in office. What underlies all of these different revelations in the Bolton book — and Bolton says this, specifically — the president was always looking out for his own self-interest or his family’s self-interest, rather than the national interest. And we elect the president to represent all 330 million of us, to put aside his family’s financial interests, which this president has not done. And that, to me, is the most disturbing aspect of this. Of course, a lot of us — I certainly suspect that this is the way the president operated. But this is not from a journalist. This is not from a Democrat who might be opposed to the president politically. These are revelations from a true conservative and a true Republican who has never broken with his party in the past. 

We should note, Nick, that the Trump administration says the book is all lies. But it’s also asking the courts to prevent the publication on the grounds that it’s full of classified information. So, how can lies be classified as vital national secrets? 

That’s what a lot of people are asking. And it’s a contradictory statement. And the president, of course, said publicly the other day, every conversation with me is classified — which, of course, is patently untrue. It’s never been the case. It never will be the case. Some conversations are classified. Many are not. 

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. Reuters contributed reporting.

Americans have ‘fundamental right’ to hear from military leaders, frmr NATO commander says

Americans have ‘fundamental right’ to hear from military leaders, frmr NATO commander says

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The World staff

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Joyce Hackel

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US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley testifies beside US Defense Secretary Mark Esper before a Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, March 4, 2020. 

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United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley have so far refused to testify before a House panel about President Donald Trump’s interest in deploying active duty military troops to quell protests.

US President Donald Trump told his advisers at one point in the past week that he wanted 10,000 troops to deploy to the Washington, DC, area to halt civil unrest over the police killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, according to a senior US official.

The account of Trump’s demand during a heated Oval Office conversation last Monday shows how close the president may have come to fulfilling his threat to deploy active-duty troops in US cities — despite opposition from Pentagon leadership.

At the meeting, Esper, Milley, and Attorney General William Barr recommended against such a deployment, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The meeting was “contentious,” the official added.

This week the House Armed Services Committee had been hoping to hear from Esper and Milley, but they have refused to appear before the panel.

James Stavridis, a retired Navy admiral and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander said he’s “quite surprised they are refusing to go and testify.”

“I think it’s a significant misstep by the Department of Defense,” Stavridis told The World. “Throughout my time as a senior military officer, I testified in front of Congress on many occasions. Didn’t always want to go and do that; it can be uncomfortable, but it’s a fundamental right of the American people to hear from senior military leadership. That’s the role.”

Related: US may be violating international law in its response to protesters, UN expert says

NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe US Navy Admiral James Stavridis delivers a speech before a panel discussion in Berlin, Jan. 24, 2012.

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Stavridis spoke with The World’s Marco Werman about whether US military leaders will defy the US constitution.

Marco Werman: What does that tell us about the moment we’re living in?

Adm. James Stavridis: Last Monday, as we all know, we saw demonstrations, largely peaceful, that were stopped in order to provide a photo op for President Trump. The military got pulled into participating in that. That’s obviously what the Congress wants to hear about. I’d like to know more about the facts of that case. It bespeaks an attempt on the part of the administration to politicize the military that is unwarranted and I think, frankly, dangerous.

Well, to that point, we learned this weekend that President Trump demanded that 10,000 active-duty troops be ordered into American streets at the height of the recent protests. That’s according to a senior defense official. What would that have looked like across the nation?

Well, it would have been a terrible moment for the country. And I’ll tell you, Marco, as both NATO commander and previously as commander US Southern Command, in charge of all military activity south of the United States, I would often talk to government officials and senior military officials in other countries about how inappropriate it is to use the armed military against protesters. I never thought I’d be in a position of criticizing that here in our own country.

Related: Former CIA analyst sees parallels between Trump protest response and social unrest abroad 

In the end, Sec. Esper rebuffed President Trump’s threat to deploy soldiers. Gen. Milley declared that US armed forces would not allow themselves to be used against nonviolent protesters. In making those statements, were Esper and Mille publicly daring the president to fire them?

I wouldn’t use the word dare, but I think that they are doing their job. Ultimately, of course, they may have to take dramatic action, but I think they wanted to make this public so that if they do end up resigning, there’s a track record going back to the beginning of the controversy.

So, if Esper and Milley went that far with these comments, why not appear before the Armed Services Committee?

Good question. You’d have to address that to the two of them. I am hopeful, and occasionally we see this, that there’s a kind of negotiation between a congressional committee and some branch of the executive department about what will be discussed, what’s classified, what is in the realm of advice given directly to the president. So, perhaps there is a conversation like that unfolding.

Related: Why the US military is supposed to stay out of politics  

Sen. Tom Cotton wrote in The New York Times in support of putting federal troops in the streets to stop protests, which was an opinion so out there that the editor of the Times who let that op-ed through resigned. Why, Admiral, if you see the existentially troublesome side of that proposition, why are there American lawmakers supporting it?

It’s hard for me to gauge that. And let’s just for a moment, do the numbers here. We’ve got over a million sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. We have 500,000 members of the National Guard who are trained, who are citizen soldiers, who know how to back up police officers. That’s almost 1.5 million people. I see nothing going on in terms of violence or looting or disturbances that would be beyond the reach of that 1.5 million force. So, I don’t understand this desire to pull the active-duty military into this.

Related: Tear gas has been banned in warfare. Why do police still use it? 

What are you watching most closely? A decision or shift in position that will tell us about the military’s relationship with the White House right now?

I will look for whether or not the secretary of defense remains in his post. There’ve been conflicting signals in terms of confidence in him. But from what I can see, he is speaking truth to power to the president in terms of recommending no active-duty troop use. So, watch for how long Sec. Esper remains in the job.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Reuters contributed reporting. 

Detroit needs Canadian nurses. But coronavirus threatens their cross-border travel.

Detroit needs Canadian nurses. But coronavirus threatens their cross-border travel.

Some 1,600 nurses in Ontario cross the border every day to work in the US, but the pandemic could change that. As the number of novel coronavirus cases grows in Michigan, some officials in Ontario are calling for restrictions on where these nurses can work.

By
The World staff

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Amanda McGowan

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A healthcare worker walks outside the DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital amid an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Detroit, Michigan, April 14, 2020.

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Patients admitted to hospitals in Detroit, Michigan, are often cared for by Canadian nurses. Some 1,600 nurses in Ontario, Canada, cross the border every day to work in the US health care sector. And some nurses work in hospitals on both sides of the border.

But the pandemic could change that. As the number of novel coronavirus cases grows in Michigan, some officials in Ontario are calling for restrictions on where these nurses can work — telling them to essentially pick a side.

Michigan had more than 28,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nearly 2,000 deaths as of Friday. Ontario, by contrast, had some 10,000 cases and 500 deaths. 

COVID-19: The latest from The World

Crossing from Detroit, Michigan, to Windsor, Ontario, which lies just across the Detroit River, is a daily communte for some. “We practically are one community when you are looking at Windsor and Detroit. A significant number of people cross every day,” said Dr. Wajid Ahmed, the chief medical officer in Windsor-Essex County, Ontario. “Close to 6,000 people who cross the border and work in Michigan. Close to 1,600 are health care workers who are going there and working there.”

But Ahmed is concerned about transmitting the coronavirus across the border, and has called for stricter restrictions to reduce risk. “What we have seen recently is a significant increase in the number of cases [on the] Michigan side. And [on the] Ontario side, the increase was not as significant,” Ahmed said. “But when we are talking about health care workers, they don’t have any boundaries. They’re working there. They’re working here. So we did feel that there has to be a better measure to contain the virus as much as possible.”

Ahmed spoke with The World’s Marco Werman about the medical relationship between the US and Canada. 

Related: How the US-Canada border closure will disrupt life in this Canada border town

Marco Werman: Would you say hospitals in Michigan are pretty dependent on nurses from Canada?

Dr. Wajid Ahmed: I would say so, because I know some of the hospitals, they have a significant proportion of their workforce that are from Canada and they need those workers to keep the operations going. And without these workers, they won’t be able to operate the way they normally do. And this is not even a normal time. So it would be very difficult for them to maintain operations.

Related: Racing to develop a drug to fight COVID-19 

So what restrictions are being put on these nurses currently, and what restrictions do you think should be put in place?

What is happening in the Canadian side is, a health care worker needs to restrict their work to one facility and not work in multiple facilities. If you are coming back and you’re still working in Michigan, knowing that your risk is high, when you’re returning to Canada, the moment you enter Canada, you basically go into the self-isolation mode. So you’re coming straight to your home. You’re not going to any grocery store or doing any of the work that you need to do. And you are staying at home and not meeting anyone, and follow[ing] everything that you should. So we are hoping that these measures, if followed appropriately, they won’t be spreading it to our community.

So if you were in charge, doctor, would you make it so that nurses would just stop going to the US altogether?

If in my community, the needs are [that] I need those nurses, then probably, I would say, “Yes, we need those nurses right now because we have a shortage of nurses and we are critically low in nursing supplies.” And right now, that’s not the situation. So we feel that, yeah, we are basically just doing our part as neighbors. They need our support. Can we provide them with our support? Yes, we can. So might as well do it. And if that changes, then that’s a different conversation altogether. Right now, we haven’t seen that at this time.

Related: Mutual aid groups respond to coronavirus and climate change threats 

So as you know, earlier this month, President Trump banned the export of N95 masks to Canada. And then Prime Minister Justin Trudeau say Canada would not issue any retaliatory measures in response. And he cited the nurses in Ontario as an example of how close the US and Canada are intertwined. Would restrictions on nurses suddenly change that and raise tensions, do you think?

I don’t think so. I think as Canadians, we do have a better understanding of how we how we should support not only ourselves, but a global fight against this COVID pandemic. And we will continue to do our part, continue to support our neighbors, continue to support the rest of the world as much as possible, up to our capacity. And I think that’s a great thing that being a Canadian means, and supporting others.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.