Weary from Political Strife and COVID, Some Americans are Fleeing the U.S.
Many are seeking foreign visas in record numbers
Americans are leaving the country or seeking foreign visas in record numbers, according to immigration lawyers and expatriate organizations, during an oppressive year of political violence, racial strife and an uncontrolled pandemic that has kept families locked in their homes for months — with no clear end in sight.
The exodus has been led by parents looking for countries with open and safe schools and by members of marginalized groups fed up with institutionalized racism, shaken by the visibility of white supremacists and worried about what a Supreme Court swing to the right will mean for their civil liberties. They are largely Americans with financial means and the ability to work virtually; some are dual citizens and their spouses.
Vows to flee the country amid contentious elections are a well-worn threat among American voters. But 2020 has been unprecedented in the number of people following through on that pledge or taking the steps to leave even before polls opened, experts said. Heather Segal, a Canadian immigration attorney, said inquiries to her Toronto office became relentless after President Donald Trump hesitated in condemning white supremacists at the first presidential debate in late September.
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