More Americans moved to Canada, but it's no stampede

The number of Americans who have taken up residency in Canada in the first 100 days of the Trump administration is up a little over the same period for the two prior years, but it is not enough yet to suggest a bunch of Americans are fleeing the country.

Lots of liberals swore they would move to Canada if Trump was elected, but there is plenty of reason to be skeptical of those claims. David Cohen, an immigration lawyer in Montreal, told USA TODAY last year that Americans often threaten to move to Canada during election years, but "at the end of the day the numbers remain kind of the same. Americans move here for love and for work and for very few other reasons."

The numbers so far for 2017 suggest a bit of an increase over last year, but not a mass migration.

According to the Canadian government, 2,325 Americans were granted permanent residency in Canada in the first three months of this year, which is about 100 more than the first quarter of 2016 and 1,000 more than the first quarter of 2015. But the quarterly numbers tend to fluctuate a lot, so it's hard to draw significant conclusions.

If the pace keeps up for the rest of the year — which would mean around 9,300 people relocating this year — it would be the highest number since 2008, but not a historic high. Last year, 8,400 Americans took permanent residency in Canada, about the same as the numbers in 2013 and 2014 and not quite 1,000 more than 2015, according to the government's statistics.

Cohen now says that in his practice helping people immigrate to Canada, "I'm seeing more applications from people on a temporary status in the U.S.," such as high-tech workers on time-limited visas who are now concerned their U.S. status will not be extended. For U.S. citizens, Cohen said, the number is "marginally higher, but we are not yet seeing any kind of stampede to Canada."

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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