Trump's Win Sparks Fight-or-Flight Debate as Some Americans Mull Moving to Canada | NBC4 Washington
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Trump's Win Sparks Fight-or-Flight Debate as Some Americans Mull Moving to Canada

As the election returns were being counted, 200,000 users visited Canada's immigration website, with half being from U.S.

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    Many Americans said they would move to Canada if Donald Trump were to win the presidential election, but will they? Even if Americans do take steps to move, "waiting times can vary from months to sometimes years," said immigration attorney David Clarke, adding that the president you're moving away from could very well be out of office by the time you're even eligible to move. (Published Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016)

    A Donald Trump presidency will soon be reality for America. Supporters have hailed it as the chance for much needed government reform, and protesters in cities across the U.S. have already taken to the streets about their worries and fears.

    What was once a joke response among some Hillary Clinton supporters to a disappointing election, moving to Canada or somewhere else, is being taken more seriously. The election results have sparked a debate among liberals on whether to leave the country or remain and fight for progressive causes. 

    In the early hours of Wednesday, searches for "move to Canada" peaked, relative to the last seven days, according to Google Trends. "Easiest countries to immigrate to" was a related search.

    As the election returns were being counted, 200,000 people visited Canada's immigration website, with half being from U.S. IP addresses, a representative for the Canadian department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship told NBC in an email. And those figures don't account for users trying to access the site after it crashed. 

    "The volume for this time period is significantly higher than the same time the previous week, when the website saw just over 17,000 users," the representative said.

    Raw: West Coast Protests After Trump ElectionRaw: West Coast Protests After Trump ElectionProtests were held in Oakland, California and Portland, Oregon after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States early Wednesday. (Nov. 9) (Published Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016)

    Searching for immigration information doesn't take very long, but actually moving to Canada would take a lot longer. The wait time to achieve permanent residency in the country could be months or years, according to immigration attorney David Clarke. He said Trump may not even be president by the time current U.S. citizens finally become Canadian citizens.

    Celebrities took to Twitter on election night to sound off on the idea of an exodus.

     

    "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston spoke on the topic in an October episode of "The Bestseller Experiment" podcast. "Absolutely, I would definitely move," he said.

    However, others are arguing against fleeing, saying it is not what will keep America together.

    "The social solution is to stay and put up a fight," wrote the writer and activist Norman Solomon, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, a non-profit organization that helps spread "progressive perspectives" on social issues.

    Solomon added that America needs a "united front ... to understand clearly and organize effectively against the Trump regime. Failure to put up a fight should be unthinkable."

    Michael Krikorian, the author of the novel “Southside,” wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times titled "Don’t move to Canada. Stay and fight."

    WATCH: Clinton Gives Concession SpeechWATCH: Clinton Gives Concession SpeechHillary Clinton admitted the loss was painful but urged supporters Wednesday to accept the outcome of the election and continue working together toward a better America. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016)

    Filmmaker Michael Moore also urged people to stay and face the election results. In a Facebook post Wednesday that has since been shared more than 180,000 times, the prominent liberal wrote a "Morning After To-Do List" for the American people. First on the list: "Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people."

    "Any Democratic member of Congress who didn't wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct," Moore added, "must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that's about to begin."

    On Thursday, Moore posted a second to-do list, since shared more than 20,000 times. It included forming an opposition movement, as well as impeaching Trump. Moore and other protesters on the left are calling for action that is difficult and time-consuming, but it's clear that they are not backing down. The list concluded, "More to-do tomorrow."

    Trump has pledged to serve as president for all Americans in a speech that President Barack Obama said left him feeling "heartened."

    WATCH: Obama Welcomes Trump to the White HouseWATCH: Obama Welcomes Trump to the White HousePresident Barack Obama welcomed President-elect Donald Trump to the White House Thursday for a private meeting in the Oval Office. After spending roughly 90 minutes together the pair made a brief statement to reporters. Obama said he was "encouraged" by the wide-ranging conversation the pair had, adding that it's important "we call come together" to face the challenges America faces. Trump added that he "very much looks forward" to dealing with President Obama in the future and will rely on his "counsel" (Published Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016)