The surprising election of Donald Trump as the country's next president has sent panicked Americans scrambling to find ways to escape, crashing Canada's immigration website in the process. Celebrities like Amy Schumer, Cher, and Barbra Streisand have all said they would abandon the U.S. if Trump won, but the sudden, massive burst of interest in Canadian immigration shows that they are not alone.
The official 'Citizenship and Immigration Canada' website went down last night as Trump's votes rolled in, unable to support the traffic as droves of Americans began to research exactly how to escape four or more years of Republican-dominated government. The website is back online now, but is currently loading slowly due to the heavy traffic.
Voters have had their eyes on Canada since Trump took a lead in the Republican primary. In March, Google searches for “how can I move to Canada” jumped 350%. Earlier this year, a website encouraging Americans to flee to the remote Canadian island of Cape Breton was launched. Although the site was first seen as a joke, millions of people viewed the site as a Trump victory became more plausible.
Ireland, Britain, and European Union nations have also reported an increase in citizenship applications.
A similar spike in interest about emigrating to Canada occurred in 2004, when George W. Bush was elected to his second term. Despite the interest, few Americans actually made the move. It remains to be seen how many will follow through this time.