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Disappointed Democrats immigrate to Canada PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Thursday, 04 November 2004 07:04

Disappointed Democrats immigrate to Canada

Many young professionals put their heart into the Kerry campaign to correct the course of U.S. history and remove ?W? from the white house.  They lost. Many media outlets are running stories o­n the pre-election threat, ?If Bush wins again, I?m moving to Canada.?  A quick review of the media fails to mention a very fast route that has been used for years by Canadians seeking work in the U.S.; the NAFTA agreement.  Professionals in about 60 desirable areas of employment can circumvent the ?immigration? lineup and get a Visa at the boarder for a o­ne year (renewable) work stay. The following stories from the Globe & Mail and Reuters discuss the more traditional routes.  ? Space & Technology Editor

For more information o­n NAFTA entry to Canada see:



Disaffected Americans look north to 'better government'

With a report from Jeff Gray


UPDATED AT 12:59 PM EST  Thursday, Nov 4, 2004

Some Americans are willing to do anything to avoid another four years of George W. Bush -- even move to Canada.

Joe Auerbach is so disappointed with Mr. Bush's election victory that he is planning to give up a job as a systems analyst and leave his comfortable life in Columbus, Ohio, to move to a country with "a better government and more reasonable people."

"Today, o­nce the Bush victory was clear, my e-mail was burning up with people vowing to leave the U.S. for Canada," said Mr. Auerbach, 27.

"I don't want to be living in the U.S. when China decides we are a threat and when George Bush starts drafting computer engineers into the army. I'm morally opposed to the Bush administration."

He and several other disenchanted Americans are contacting immigration lawyers north of the border to see whether they qualify to immigrate to Canada. It is too soon to say whether this is political hot air or the start of a new trend in immigration.

But among some middle-class, liberal Americans, there is a growing sense of political disengagement as they realize the majority of their fellow citizens support the conservative agenda of Mr. Bush, who received 51 per cent of the popular vote, winning more votes than any other president in U.S. history.

"Mr. Auerbach is o­ne of many middle-class Americans who have a philosophical difference with the direction the U.S. is taking," said Sergio Karas, a Toronto immigration lawyer. "I have received several inquiries from people like him who want to move here."

Jacqueline Bart, a Toronto immigration lawyer, said she recently attended a conference in New York and more than a dozen U.S. lawyers asked her about sending their children to study in Canada. "There is a sense of hesitation about the direction Bush is taking the country in," she said.

Clyde Williamson, a libertarian from Ohio, feels the Bush administration is too conservative o­n social-justice issues such as gay rights, abortion and the medicinal use of marijuana. He is also opposed to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

"I don't think the U.S. is going to turn into Nazi Germany or anything. But it is going to become a much more conservative country," said the 29-year-old computer-security engineer.

Others feel Mr. Bush's unilateralist foreign policy is more troubling even than his social conservatism. A former U.S. diplomat who has already applied for permanent-resident status said yesterday that Mr. Bush's election victory has accelerated his determination to relocate permanently to Vancouver.

"I'm watching this administration preside over the virtual destruction of relations with the Muslim world -- and, I fear, end up strengthening the forces of terrorism as a result," he said.

"The values of Canada are what I thought the values of the U.S. used to be: personal freedoms, a sense of need for a global community and consensus. The U.S. is losing its way."

A Toronto lawyer representing three U.S. soldiers who have fled to Canada to avoid fighting in Iraq said Mr. Bush's re-election means more U.S. deserters are likely to seek refugee status north of the border.

Jeffry House, a Vietnam-era draft-dodger who is steering the refugee claims of the three young men, says he has received about 80 e-mails from other U.S. soldiers stationed around the world, inquiring about escaping to Canada to avoid serving in Iraq. At least five U.S. soldiers are believed to have fled to Canada.

Maria Iadinardi, spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, said it is too soon to say whether there has been a spike in the number of Americans being granted permanent residency, noting the number has fluctuated in recent years from a low of 4,437 in 1998 to a high of 5,604 in 2001.

So far this year, 5,353 Americans have become permanent residents.


Unhappy Democrats Must Wait to Get Into Canada
Wed Nov 3, 2004 02:41 PM ET


By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Disgruntled Democrats seeking a safe Canadian haven after President Bush won Tuesday's election should not pack their bags just yet.

Canadian officials made clear o­n Wednesday that any U.S. citizens so fed up with Bush that they want to make a fresh start up north would have to stand in line like any other would-be immigrants -- a wait that can take up to a year.

"Let me tell you -- if they're hard-working honest people, there's a process, and let them apply," Immigration Minister Judy Sgro told Reuters.

Asked whether American applicants would get special treatment, she replied: "No, they'll join the crowd like all the other people who want to come to Canada."

There are anywhere from 600,000 to a million Americans living in Canada, which leans more to the left than the United States and has traditionally favored the Democrats over the Republicans.

But statistics show a gradual decline in U.S. citizens coming to work and live in Canada, which has an ailing health care system and relatively high levels of personal taxation.

Government officials, real estate brokers and Democrat activists said that while some Americans might talk about moving to Canada rather than living with a new Bush administration, they did not expect a mass influx.

"It's o­ne thing to say 'I'm leaving for Canada' and quite another to actually find a job here and wonder about where you're going to live and where the children are going to go to school," said o­ne official.

Roger King of the Toronto-based Democrats Abroad group said he had heard nothing about a possible exodus of party members.

"I imagine most committed Democrats will want to stay in the United States and continue being politically active there," he said.

Americans seeking to immigrate can apply to become permanent citizens of Canada, a process that often takes a year. Becoming a full citizen takes a further three years.

The other main way to move north o­n a long-term basis is to find a job, which in all cases requires a work permit. This takes from four to six months to come through.

Statistics show the number of U.S. workers entering Canada dropped to 15,789 in 2002 from 21,627 in 2000. In 1981 some 10,030 Americans gained permanent residency, compared to 5,541 in 2003.

Asked if there had been signs of increased U.S. interest, Sgro said: "Not yet, but we'll see tomorrow."

The Canadian foreign ministry said there had been no increase in hits o­n the Washington embassy's immigration Web site, while housing brokers doubted they would see a surge in U.S. business.

"Canada's always open and welcoming to Americans who want to relocate here, but we don't think it would be a trend or movement," said Gino Romanese of Royal Lepage Residential Real Estate Services.

Those wishing to move to Canada could always take a risk and claim refugee status -- the path chosen earlier this year by two U.S. deserters who opposed the Iraq war.

"Anybody who enters Canada who claims refugee status will be provided with a work permit...it doesn't matter what country they're from," said an immigration ministry spokeswoman.

Refugee cases are handled by special boards, which can take months to decide whether to admit applicants. The rulings can be appealed and opposition politicians complain some people ordered deported have been in Canada for 10 years or more.


? Copyright Reuters 2004. All rights reserved. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 November 2004 07:04

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