WASHINGTON – At least one Washington state immigration attorney said her office was inundated with calls from people inquiring about moving to or working in Canada just one day after Donald Trump was elected president.
“We’ve been getting so many calls, mainly from millennials who are frightened by the election results,” Everett attorney Terry Preshaw said. “They feel that, you know, there’s no place for them in this new America.”
Canada’s immigration website crashed Tuesday night and came back online late Wednesday morning.
American John Quimond, who voted for Hillary Clinton, isn’t fazed.
“It’s just an emotional response,” he said, pointing out the ties of employment, family and friends that would keep people in the country. “I think people just — we overreact immediately.”
One option is to apply for express entry.
Canada screens for the best candidates, and if you already have a qualified job offer or match a position in the country’s job bank, you can get permanent residency. That can lead to citizenship in as little as six years.
Americans could also use NAFTA, the treaty between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico that President-elect Trump says he wants to withdraw from or renegotiate.
“We could very well see a brain drain to Canada courtesy of NAFTA,” Preshaw said.
Preshaw said Americans in dozens of professions, including scientists, engineers, nurses and others, can qualify for a NAFTA temporary work permit after a couple steps.
“If I’m an accountant and I want to go to Canada, how fast could I possible get there if everything lined up?” KIRO 7 asked.
“Under NAFTA, if you have a job lined up, days,” Preshaw said.
Canadian Bob Brown said Americans should give Trump a try, but if not, Canada would welcome them.
“We need people,” he said. “People come, they pay taxes.”
Preshaw said it’s unclear how Trump might change immigration law and policy. One standout that he might eliminate completely is the DACA program, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
It gives temporary protection from deportation to thousands of undocumented people who arrived in the U.S. as children.
Trump previously vowed to deport people who are in the United States illegally and he could rescind DACA.
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