Put Our Safety First; Protect the Right to Leave

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Ariz., on Saturday, March 19, 2016. Arizona holds its presidential primary on Tuesday. (Allen J. Schaben/ Los Angeles Times/TNS)

By KATHY YOO
Staff Writer

When Donald Trump triumphed in seven states in the Super Tuesday Republican contests, many Americans were taken aback. According to Mashable, Google searches for “How to move to Canada” spiked 1,150 percent, and the topic “Move to Canada” was “higher than at any time in Google’s history.” Cape Breton, an island in Nova Scotia off the coast of Maine, has made worldwide news and gained over 700,000 hits online with its resident-made tourism campaign to attract Americans to permanently relocate there. The island’s website includes various education opportunities and describes Cape Breton as a place “where women can get abortions, Muslim people can roam freely, and the only ‘walls’ are holding up the roofs of our extremely affordable houses.”

Today, Donald Trump does not have as large a gap between him and his closest rival, Ted Cruz, as he did back on Super Tuesday. Still, Politico reports that Trump is leading Cruz 744 delegates to 559, and, at the time of the publication, he is projected to do very well in the New York primary. Regardless, Cruz himself has proven not to be much better than Trump, often echoing much of his rhetoric and even claiming that police need to patrol neighborhoods in our own country known for “radical Islam.” It’s easy to simply label those who want out of such a bleak-looking future to be “un-American,” but Americans, particularly minorities, shouldn’t compromise the safety and happiness of themselves and their families to fight for a country they no longer recognize, especially when such viable alternatives lie within our reach.

Trump’s presidency would have tremendous domestic and global effects, but many of his proposed policies concentrate specifically on minorities. International Business Times reports that in addition to the colossal wall and deportation of illegal migrants, Trump committed to a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” in a statement released in December 2015.

By doing so, Trump would not only perpetuate the long-standing alienation of Muslims in the United States, but also prohibit an entire community of people on the basis of religious discrimination. He also plans to eliminate child tax credit, which Quartz reports “helps temporary resident families—most of which are poor and Latino—financially support their children.” The child tax credit is essential for survival for many Hispanic families living in America, where young Latinos earn 54 cents to every dollar earned by caucasian males, according to The American Association of University Women (AAUW). Furthermore, as a pro-life opponent of Planned Parenthood, Trump will set back decades of progress in women’s rights. Evidently, these adjustments will reshape America into a hazardous nation, where its citizens no longer feel protected under the law. The lives of minorities in particular are so largely impacted that their sole obligation should not be to endlessly fight for an indefinite future; they need to prioritize finding a safe environment for themselves and their families.

These changes will evidently affect immigrants, but will also significantly change countless natural-born Americans’ lives. As the elected leader of the free world, Donald Trump promises to tighten immigration, protect gun laws, repeal Obamacare and build a multibillion-dollar impenetrable wall at the Mexico and U.S. border. CNN reports that in spite of the several recent mass shootings and President Barack Obama’s plans to tighten gun control, Trump vowed to “unsign” the current president’s executive plan to expand “background checks on gun sales.” In addition, Trump’s immigration reform to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants within two years can risk unintended deportation of legal citizens. The Washington Post discloses that multiple reports estimate a one percent error out of total apprehensions, which would still result in the accidental deportation of 100,000 U.S. citizens. Overall, The Center for a Responsible Federal Budget calculates that Trump’s policies would cumulatively “add between $11.7 and $15.1 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years.”

For others, allegiance to America is the priority. The increasing interest to move up north prompted Americans to criticize fellow citizens for their cowardliness and lack of loyalty. Bill Scher, founder of LiberalOasis.com, published a book titled “Wait! Don’t Move to Canada: A Stay-and-Fight Strategy to Win Back America” about revitalizing America instead of abandoning the country. The U.S. Representative for Florida’s 9th congressional district Alan Grayson asked Americans to choose to fight for their country; Grayson commented that he wants to stop seeing people searching for an escape to Canada, but instead to witness Americans “searching for information on how to vote for progressives and how to help progressive campaigns.”

Admittedly, Donald Trump may not be the next President of the United States. His victory is not inevitable and therefore neither is the future of America. Nevertheless, we cannot overlook the real possibility that Trump, the front-runner in the GOP, may become the president of one of the strongest nations in the world. Furthermore, Trump is supported by countless Americans who share the potential president’s appalling ideals. Even if there is a revolution against Trump’s oppression, the dangers facing these individuals can have severe consequences, particularly for minorities. The vast majority of Americans are immigrants who left their country, family and friends to provide themselves and their children with the American Dream: a vision of opportunities for education, jobs and safety. When this vision vanishes and the United States can no longer offer these opportunities for immigrants, but instead threaten their safety and happiness, it is rational to seek refuge. Under Trump’s vision, 11 million migrants will be deported, 11.3 million Americans will be denied health care, guns will remain prevalent and the government will sink further into debt. In this state of chaos, patriotism is certainly not of significant importance. Whether they want to escape to Canada, Australia or Britain, Americans should not feel obliged stay in any country to desperately fight for progress by putting their safety, security, and happiness at risk.