Impulse to emigrate is a product of privilege

The upcoming presidential election is already shaping up to be one of the most divisive in history One of its most interesting developments has been the overwhelming amount of people who are seriously considering leaving the country if certain candidates are elected. According to Google trends, the phrase “how to move to Canada” spiked more than 1100 percent after Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump scored victories in the Super Tuesday primaries. Surprisingly, this trend isn’t new. According to The Atlantic, the same talk of leaving the country was common when President Obama was elected in 2008 and when George W. Bush was reelected in 2004. Psychologists say it’s because people severely overestimate the impact major life events, like presidential elections, will have on them emotionally and financially. The fact that many Americans, especially young ones, believe they can just leave the country if an election doesn’t go the way they want isn’t just a an overreaction; it’s a product of privilege. Students should consider the seriousness surrounding the immigration process for most people and reconsider flippantly suggesting leaving the country if the November elections don’t turn out the way they want. The U.S. only accepts around 990,000 immigrants each year, according to the International Migration Database. Millions more immigrate illegally because quota numbers are much lower than the demand. Canada and most European countries accept way less. Although comprehensive statistics on emigration from the U.S. are almost impossible to find but the majority of those who actually leave the U.S. move to Mexico. Those seeking to immigrate to the U.S. are often fleeing from situations of war or extreme poverty, not the outcome of a democratic election and students need to realize that.