Shortly before Pennsylvania was called for Donald Trump giving him the presidency, Canada’s immigration website crashed from traffic overload. Apparently, there are a lot of Americans who fear a Trump presidency and are looking for somewhere else to go.
As if Canada would have most of them.
At the top of the list are celebrities who stuck their faces in front of numerous microphones over the last several months saying that if Trump won, they’d leave the country. This was probably the safest way to show just how opposed they were to The Donald. After all, six months ago, only Trumpbots and the mentally defective actually believed the guy could win.
But here we are the day after and dozens of celebrities are desperately hiding, terrified of being confronted by the simple question: Are you going to make good on your word and leave the country?
The Hill has a list of actors and singers who took the pledge to vamoose to the north.
Bryan Cranston said he hopes he doesn’t have to pack his bags, but would “definitely move” if Trump won. “Absolutely, I would definitely move,” the “Breaking Bad” star said on “The Bestseller Experiment” podcast. “It’s not real to me that that would happen. I hope to God it won’t.”
Samuel L. Jackson slammed Trump for running a “hate”-filled campaign and said he would move to South Africa if he wins. “If that motherf—er becomes president, I’m moving my black ass to South Africa,” the movie star quipped to Jimmy Kimmel.
Lena Dunham told Andy Cohen at the Matrix Awards that “I know a lot of people have been threatening to do this, but I really will. I know a lovely place in Vancouver.” The star and creator of HBO’s “Girls” has been a vocal advocate for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.
Neve Campbell, an actress on the political drama “House of Cards,” vowed to move back home to Canada, while “Orange is the New Black” actress Natasha Lyonne said she would hightail it to a mental hospital.
Ms. Lyonne is, at least, honest. She recognizes where most of her ideological compatriots belong and just wants to get a head start to beat the rush.
Cher tweeted this summer that if Trump gets elected, “I’m moving to Jupiter.”
Miley Cyrus wrote in an emotional Instagram post in March that tears were running down her cheek and she was unbelievably scared and sad. “I am moving if he is president,” the young pop star said. “I don’t say things I don’t mean!”
Barbara Streisand, a vocal Clinton supporter, told “60 Minutes” that “I’m either coming to your country if you’ll let me in, or Canada.”
Ne-Yo told TMZ last month that he’d move to Canada and be neighbors with fellow R&B singer Drake if the country elected Trump.
Comedian Amy Schumer said in September that Spain would be her destination of choice.
“My act will change because I will need to learn to speak Spanish,” Schumer said in an appearance on the BBC’s “Newsnight.” “Because I will move to Spain or somewhere. It’s beyond my comprehension if Trump won. It’s just too crazy.”
Chelsea Handler said she already made contingency plans months ago.
“I did buy a house in another country just in case,” the comedian and talk show host said during an appearance on “Live with Kelly and Michael” in May. “So all these people that threaten to leave the country and then don’t — I actually will leave that country.”
Former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart said he would consider “getting in a rocket and going to another planet, because clearly this planet’s gone bonkers” if the real estate mogul wins.
Whoopi Goldberg, co-host of the “The View”, said on an episode of the talk show earlier this year that if the country elects Trump, “maybe it’s time for me to move, you know. I can afford to go.”
We better start a “GoFundMe” page for Cher. A trip to Jupiter is at minimum $4 billion. But the great thing about it is that it’s a one-way trip, so we won’t have to worry about Cher ever showing her bony face on earth again.
Maybe Jon Stewart can tag along with her.
Kudos go out to those celebs who actually prepared for this day by buying a house or property in another country. It wasn’t such a stupendous waste of money after all.
Canadian immigration lawyers have some helpful hints for those thinking of trekking to Canada.
Vancouver immigration lawyer Alex Stojicevic recalls receiving a deluge of emails and a spike in traffic to his corporate website as the U.S. election count brought Trump steadily closer to the White House. “Surprisingly, they all came from Colorado. There’s a lot of people throwing up their hands in despair,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
But Stojicevic said disgruntled Americans following celebrities like Barbra Streisand, Bryan Cranston and Keegan-Michael Key to consider making their own run for the border won’t find it easy. “The people who are, ‘I hate it in America, I need a fresh start, I can’t see myself living in this open-carry lunacy of Texas, or Arizona,’ those people are making the enquiries, but few are acting on it,” he said.
Windsor immigration lawyer Eddie Kadri said his smartphone started buzzing with immigration enquiries at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, just as the votes rolling Trump’s way began to steamroll. “I started taking text messages and emails when it looked like Donald Trump was well on his way to a victory, with people telling me, ‘okay, what do I need to do?'” he said.
“People were just in shock. I literally got messages from prominent American businessmen and women that said ‘I’m sick to my stomach. I didn’t think this would happen,'” Kadri added. But becoming a permanent resident in Canada, absent a firm job offer or a sought-after skill or profession, is an uphill battle, lawyers caution.
“A lot of people can use the NAFTA agreement, ironically, to invest and buy a business in Canada and use that as a way to come,” Stojicevic said, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement that anti-free trader Trump repeatedly called a “disaster” during his presidential run and said he wanted to renegotiate.
It also helps if you have a connection to Canada, typically family, like Canadians who have chose to live in Los Angeles with their American spouses and U.S.-born children, and now want to bring their entire family back to Canada.
“They’re debating whether they want to stay in San Francisco and Denver or move to Vancouver and Toronto. That’s been happening quite a bit,” Stojicevic explained. Hollywood directors, actors and screenwriters married to Canadians essentially have a far easier and less time-consuming path to permanent Canadian residency.
“Coming to Canada and already being a breadwinner on day one, they can and they do take those steps,” Stojicevic said. In all, the Canadian government intends to accept around 300,000 new immigrants in 2017. Around 40,000 of those emigrants will be refugees, considered “vulnerable people trapped in often unsafe or violent situations in their home country.”
Most of those celebrities will rue the day they left if it comes to that. These are people who live and die via self-promotion and there’s a huge difference between getting your face on Canadian TV and exposure in U.S. media.
But still, we should be neighborly and do everything in our power to facilitate their departure. Perhaps we can throw them a going-away party — they don’t even have to show up. The rest of us can get scat-kicking drunk to celebrate. America’s gain is Canada’s loss.