It wasn’t that long ago Americans were threatening to flee to Canada if Donald Trump won the presidency.
Now, just a few months later, that seemingly joking threat — because we never did see that mass exodus when the final votes came in — isn’t such a joke to many people living and working in the United States.
Last week, a Reuters.com story reported a group of eight individuals fled across our northern border near Champlain, N.Y. The scene was captured by a Reuters photographer.
According to the story, the group, including four children, arrived at the border crossing in a taxi, and as one man’s papers were held by guards the remaining members jumped out of the car and fled through a snow-filled gully where Royal Canadian Mounted Police helped them up and into Canada.
Back at the car, the man being questioned by U.S. officers on the validity of his paperwork threw their belongings into the gully, where the same Mounties retrieved them. Eventually, the man reportedly snatched the family’s documents back from the U.S. officers and fled. The officers stopped chasing him at the border, according to the story.
From there, the group was loaded into vehicles with the Canadian guards and driven to a nearby office to make their refugee claim.
Wait, that story must not be right. Isn’t the U.S. where people flee to?
Unfortunately, under the new Donald Trump presidency, even with a hold placed on his recent immigration ban, the United States is no longer that beacon of hope.
And as new guidelines for the Department of Homeland Security were made public over the weekend aimed at aggressively detaining and deporting immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, it isn’t hard to imagine this kind of story becoming the norm in our morning headlines.
No matter which side one may fall on, be it to build the wall, install a door or knock down the fence, one thing we should all be able to agree on is that our country shouldn’t be a place people feel the need to flee from.
Those who did enter the U.S. illegally should feel secure in the belief they will be given a fair chance to prove their claim to stay, and not be arrested and immediately sent away.
But until President Trump realizes that, at least our northern neighbors are there to pick up our regretful slack.