We joked about it over and over again, but it’s actually happening – American refugees are fleeing to Canada in record numbers.
According to Radio Canada, the RCMP has detained 823 Americans illegally crossing the border into Quebec so far in 2016. That number was just 166 in 2014, and 315 in 2015.
In November alone, 273 American refugees were detained in Canada.
While it’s generally an empty threat to move to Canada, there have been several indications that action might be taken this time. Google searches related to moving to Canada have been hot all year, while Canada’s immigration website crashed after Donald Trump won November’s U.S. federal election.
The number of Americans seeking official, legal refugee status has increased too. According to the CBC, there was a five-fold increase in the month of November, with 28 people claiming refugee status last month compared with merely five in November 2015.
While the Canadian government won’t speculate on what’s behind the rise, one Canadian lawyer just came out and said it: Trump.
“I don’t think it’s surprising at all,” said University of Ottawa professor and lawyer Jamie Liew.
“The rhetoric coming from the (U.S. political) discussion… was filled with a lot of concerning language, including hate; exclusion; deportation… I could see why people would be concerned for their own safety, their own lives, and evaluate whether they could live (there).”
Time to build a wall? (Just kidding.)