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Deported American Woman Allowed Back Into Canada To Care For Friend - Nov. 15, 2012

CALAIS, Maine (WQDY NEWS) - The lawyer for a 73-year-old American woman deported to the United States on Wednesday said she will be allowed to return to Canada to continue caring for her ailing friend of 30-years.

Lee Cohen, an immigration lawyer in Halifax told WQDY NEWS on Thursday that his client, Nancy Inferrera, can return to Nova Scotia with 83-year-old Mildred Sanford, just a day after they left their home in Nova Scotia for Maine.

Sanford and Inferrera have been staying at a motel in Calais pending the outcome of this ordeal -- which changed dramatically for the better on Thursday afternoon.

"I've been in negotiations with the Canadian Immigration Department in Ottawa," Cohen told WQDY NEWS in a telephone interview from his office in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"We've been back and forth and I now have it -- on very good authority -- that Nancy is going to be admitted to Canada. She's off the ground, she's so excited," Cohen said. "It's a tremendous gift for her." 

Reacting to the news, Inferrera told WQDY NEWS, she couldn't believe it.

"I can't get over it yet, I'm still pinching myself." 

Inferrera is an American citizen. She had tried to stay in Canada but had been turned down by Canadian authorities after trying a number of appeals. She and Mildred Sanford, a Canadian citizen who turned 83 this past Monday, are inseparable friends.

Both women came to Nova Scotia in 2007, Inferrera said. "We were there five years." 

She explained she came to Canada as a visitor and was unaware she had to apply for a special immigration status. Inferrera said she was providing care for Sanford and her application for permanent residency was refused, and a humanitarian application was also turned down.

"That's when everything went sour. Mr. Toews [Public Safety Minister Vic Toews], he wouldn't give me a reprieve at all. He's the one that was holding this all up, why, I don't know," Inferrera said.

The women don't have a car but were driven to Calais by relative of Sanford's on Wednesday -- and things looked pretty bleak until Thursday afternoon.

"We've broken the back of this case," Cohen said.     

"The Canadian Immigration Department reviewed the application again and decided to extend humanitarian consideration. Nancy will be permitted into Canada for three years at the end of which she will be eligible to apply for permanent resident status," Cohen said. "It couldn't be better for her."

"It's never a done deal until it is done. And so we have to approach the Canadian border [Friday] and hopefully get the document that I believe we are going to get and then we can say it is certain," Cohen added.   

Inferrera says she never, ever wants to go through this again.

"It's an awful, awful feeling to know you didn't have a home down here, you didn't have a home up there -- you had a home but you couldn't go there," she said.

"I figured I'd be out in the street there but these people here at the Calais Motor Inn, they took the rates down and everything. They've been so good to us," Inferrera said.

Cohen says he'll be driving to Calais on Friday to pick up Nancy and Mildred to bring them back to their home in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia.