The180·The 180

Actually America, moving to Canada is a lot more complicated than you think

If every American who is threatening to move north after a Trump win actually arrived, you could build a brand new Canadian city. But reporter Jonny Wakefield has a message to those wishful thinkers: it's not that simple. He should know, he's an American currently trying to make a life in Canada.
U.S. and Canadian flags flying outside of the home of an American. In the lead up to Tuesday's election, many Americans have said they will move to Canada if Donald Trump wins. (The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck)

Bryan Cranston, Lena Dunham, and Chloe Sevigny are just a few of the Americans who have in recent memory said they would move to Canada if their candidate of choice doesn't win the election on Tuesday. 

And then of course there was this campaign: 

But Jonny Wakefield finds all the talk, by both Americans and Canadians, problematic. 

As someone who's actually filled out immigration forms and sat waiting to hear what my fate is going to be, you look at those things and say these people really do not understand what's involved in moving to another country.- Jonny Wakefield

Wakefield, an American working as a reporter in Dawson Creek, B.C., says he's been working on immigrating to Canada in earnest since 2015 and the work and anxiety involved, he says is taking a toll on him.

Part of this process is just the waiting and not knowing. I imagine each scenario in my head on any given day about the day I hear that news.... part of me thinks I am just caught up in my own anxieties, but it is very difficult not knowing.- Jonny Wakefield

Employed, fluent in English, and educated in Canada, Wakefield acknowledges he has many advantages compared to other potential immigrants.

But he says, often the discussion around immigration is rooted in a visceral reaction to the issue.

It's either fear based, something's gone wrong in your life,and you're looking for someone to blame, or on the other side of that token you want to appear to be an enlightened tolerant person so let's throw the gates open to everyone, and neither of those views take into account the actual complications of the policies and processes and everything that people have to go through to actually immigrate.- Jonny Wakefield


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