Since Donald Trump started to gain traction in the race for presidency, many joked about leaving the country. As a Donald Trump presidency became more and more likely, jokes turned into promises. According to Google, after the super tuesday primary results came in, search results for ‘move to canada’ skyrocketed and the website for Canadian immigration crashed. Why are people considering uprooting their lives and moving to foreign countries? Well, for some, this seems to them their only option.
In the weeks following Trump’s inauguration, BBC news has written a couple of articles about their readers; those who are leaving the country, those considering, and those who want to but cannot. A few of the people talked about in their articles are dual citizens and visa holders from countries more or less targeted by the Trump administration. Fearing deportation and/or hostility from other Americans, some have made plans to leave the US. Another example given was a gay couple, one of which was HIV positive, fearing the hostile political climate has heavily considered immigrating.
Overall, many of those who are feeling threatened, even some who just heavily disagree and have little faith in the current administration are considering leaving.
While I do agree that it may be in the best interest for some, like immigrants from damaged countries, to immigrate to another country in order to avoid being returned to the country they fled in the first place. But for many, this is the wrong decision. Those who leave mostly on an ideological basis only fuel what they see as the problem. For these people, remaining in the US is the best way for them to help solve it.
One way to do this is the most obvious: voting. Participating in elections for local and state government and voting for those who represent your interests is the first step. When that does not work out, like with the election of our current president, there are other options. Protesting in all of its forms helps raise awareness to you side of the cause while also rallying others who may share your views. Another way is to support organizations and charities that you believe do good and hold similar ideals to you.
Even if you do decide to immigrate to another country, an issue like this does not just stay in the US, but affects much of the world. If you are a supporter of the administration, then this is good for you, as the election of Trump has inspired similar movements in other countries. If you are one of those who are considering leaving, then this is not great news for you. Since the United States is such a huge player in the world, leaving the country might not rid you of the problem entirely.
A misconception that many who fear the political climate in general have is that the whole country is split in two, one side against the other. In reality, that could not be farther from the truth. It is called a political spectrum for a reason. Someone who voted Trump may not necessarily believe in everything that he stands for, and the same for those who voted for Hillary. Extremists on either side really are a minority; they only seem that way because they are also the loudest and the spotlight is always on them.
Finally, for those who have the ability to leave, you must consider the fact that there are many in the same shoes who are unable to leave. This could be for a variety of reasons, like lack of funds, social obligations, etc. When you leave the country behind, you also take away one more supporter for those affected by the decisions of the administration.
Whichever side you are on, whatever you believe, whoever you voted for: stay and make this country great.