Americans prepare to flee if Trump wins
History is repeating itself in more ways than one as Donald Trump chases four more years in office as President of the United States.
In 2016, hordes of celebrities and their fellow US citizens pledged to flee the country to Canada if Mr Trump was elected.
Some, like actor Lena Dunham, later backtracked on their statement.
"It's easy to joke about moving to Canada. It's harder to live, fully and painfully aware of the injustice surrounding us, to cherish and fear your country all at once. But I'm willing to try," she said after Mr Trump's victory.
The land of the maple leaf saw an uptick in Americans trying to move over the border after the Republican Party presidential nominee beat his Democratic counterpart Hillary Clinton, according to figures from Immigration Canada.
CTV News reported applications from Americans for permanent residency in Canada grew from 6819 in 2015 and 7715 in 2016 to 9018 in 2017 - the year of Mr Trump's inauguration.
Public expressions of a desire to move away - specifically to Canada - have returned ahead of the 2020 US presidential election on November 3 when Americans will decide on Mr Trump or Democrat Joe Biden.
If Donald Trump wins the election I'm moving to Canada— Freddy 🦌 🇿🇼 (@ShrewdExecutive) October 27, 2020
If Trump wins a second term I'm moving to Canada.— Christopher (@cseal) October 27, 2020
if trump wins the election i'm packing my bags and moving to canada GIRL BYE!!— Chaasey (@CheeseyDev) October 26, 2020
19 today. guess this means i’m an adult in canada. which just so happens to be the place i will be moving if trump wins again :)— ashley liao (@ashleyjliao) October 21, 2020
Some have labelled the statements "ridiculous" and indicative of privilege.
Others noted Mr Trump built a wall on the US-Mexico border to prevent illegal crossings.
Riffing on an exchange I saw yesterday, but Americans fantasizing about "moving to Canada" if Trump wins are engaging in the most American ignorance ever: ignorance of pervasive influence over other countries— Paul “Boo 👻🎃State Voter” Musgrave (@profmusgrave) October 27, 2020
Another thing that occurred to me is how often white people say things like “I’m moving to Canada if ______ is elected.” White people are fair weather patriots at best. Another example of white privilege.— Eilish Palmer (@eilishp) October 7, 2020
I like how Americans are genuinely looking into their options of moving to Canada if Trump wins, YET— Ana Bretón (@missbreton) October 22, 2020
When Latin Americans flee their countries and basically risk their lives to come to the United States, Americans are like "WhY ArE THey cOMiNg HeRE"
In previous elections there's been a frequent refrain of, "If ______ wins, I'm moving to Canada."— StabbyandtheBrainNomNom 🎃 (@AbbyNomNomNom) October 27, 2020
We can't even indulge in that fantasy because of covid and Trump's disastrous response.
No one will have us.
But there is one rather glaringly big problem stopping US citizens from making the move in 2020.
On October 19, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau announced a 30-day extension of the US-Canada border closure.
He said non-essential travel will remain restricted until at least November 21, 2020.
Update on our border: We’ve extended the measures in place at the Canada-US border by another 30 days. Non-essential travel remains restricted until at least November 21st.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 19, 2020
It marked the seventh extension of the border closure agreement since it began in late March.
Mr Trudeau told a Winnipeg radio station, in regards to the number of COVID-19 infections, "the States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders".
Canada's Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said: "Our decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe."
The US Department of Homeland Security said the government is "taking necessary action to fight against this pandemic together" with the Canadian government.
According to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, the US has recorded more than 8.7 million cases of the coronavirus and more than 226,000 deaths.
Canada has recorded around 225,000 cases and just over 10,000 deaths.
To enter Canada at present, foreign nationals arriving from the US must prove to the Canada Border Services Agency they are travelling for an essential/non-discretionary purpose or are an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
"If you are a foreign national arriving from the US, to enter Canada, you must prove to the CBSA that you are travelling for a non-discretionary (essential) purpose or an immediate family member, are not presenting signs or symptoms of COVID-19, and have a plan to quarantine for 14 days unless exempted," the agency states.
"Travel to Canada for discretionary reasons (non-essential), such as for tourism, recreation or entertainment is currently prohibited.
"Unless exempted, if you do not have a non-discretionary (essential) reason to travel to Canada, a border services officer will deny you entry.
"If you cause a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while wilfully or recklessly contravening this (Quarantine) Act or the regulations, you could be liable for up to $1 million in fines and/or imprisonment of up to three years."
The CBSA states people living in the US and coming to Canada directly are exempt from the travel restrictions if their valid confirmation of permanent residence was issued before March 18, 2020.
Those also able to make the jump are Canadian expats including citizens and dual citizens with a valid Canadian passport.
"We periodically - and more so lately - talk about, depending on what happens in November, do we move back to Canada?" Tristan Wallis, 39, told the National Post earlier this month.
"It gives you the confidence to sort of sit and wait and see what happens, knowing that if things get really, really, really bad, you don't have to start freaking out and planning for it."
He added: "It would have to get bad enough here for us to want to leave and go back to Canada, where maybe we would be giving up some of the benefits of being down here."
Originally published as Americans prepare to flee if Trump wins