11/14/2012 03:00 EST | Updated 01/14/2013 05:12 EST

Elderly friends leave Canada after one fails to secure application to stay

GUYSBOROUGH, N.S. - An immigration lawyer said Wednesday that there is little hope an American woman will be able to return to Canada after being deported to the U.S.

Lee Cohen said his 73-year-old client, Nancy Inferrera, headed to the U.S. border along with her lifelong friend after her attempts to remain in Canada failed.

Cohen said Inferrera came to Nova Scotia in 2008 to live with and take care of 83-year-old Mildred Sanford.

But the pair were headed to the border from their home in Nova Scotia's Guysborough County after numerous applications to stay in the country were rejected.

He said the prospect of returning to the States deeply upset Inferrera.

"Every single phone communication I've had with Nancy Inferrera over the past six months or longer resulted in tears from her because of the depth of her despair and frustration and the upset over all of this," he said.

Cohen says the only possible remedy left would be an intervention by the federal government.

However, Julie Carmichael, a spokeswoman with Public Safety, said in an email that the department has no plans to intervene in the file since all avenues of review "have been exhausted."

"A key part of Canada Border Service Agency's mandate is to remove those who violate Canada's immigration laws as soon as possible," she added.

Megan Leslie, the NDP member of Parliament for Halifax, said the government should help the elderly women remain in Canada.

"The Conservatives are deporting seniors who are providing home care to fellow seniors," she said in an emailed statement.

"I don't think it's the right way to treat our seniors .... Nancy Inferrera should be allowed to stay in Canada on compassionate grounds."

Cohen said he would consider a special application for a temporary residence permit, but that that could take almost a year.

He added that Sanford has medical issues and has been under a doctor's care, but would not have coverage when she is in the States.