Lately I am sick of politics, and for the most part, I would like to keep it out of my website. But in order to tell the story of how we came to find a new home, I must break my rule for just this one time. In return, I promise not to bring up Trump or the 2016 election up ever again.
Our dreams of moving to Canada began way before November 2016, yet the election was the pivotal moment that compelled us to stop dreaming and take action.
For a while now, I have had a complicated relationship with the United States. This is where I grew up; America educated me and in large part made me who I am; the most important and happiest days of my life have happened here. Yet here I am, from the outside looking in, an “alien” in disguise. None of my friends know my status and none suspect it. Why would they? I speak English with no trace of an accent, we went to school together, we watch the same TV shows, and pay all of the same taxes. Its an isolating experience: you can never let anyone in too close for fear they may discover your secret; you belong to no tribe.
For the past six years this has been our life, an existential crisis every now and then, but nothing too serious. Before getting DACA status I lived as an undocumented immigrant for 6 years. Both my husband and I went through high school and college undocumented. The difference between having and not having DACA is night and day, and having both already experienced what it’s like to be undocumented, we did not take the threats of revoking DACA lightly. At this point in our lives both my husband and I yearn to be citizens of a country that sees the value in us. To have a country we can call our own, where we can participate as full citizens and be proud to call home. And so when elections rolled around we were not caught without a plan.
The night of the election we sat on our coffee table with our eyes glued to the TV only a couple feet away from us. Of course we thought Trump would not win; we couldn’t, or wouldn’t, allow ourselves to believe this. But, as we watched the map turn red, the reality of our situation sank in. We understood what this meant for our future, all hope of remaining in the country we had called home was gone. We knew we had to take action, as it is the only antidote to hopelessness. We would take our futures back from this man who threatened to end DACA on his very first day in office.
The very next day after the election I spent my lunch hour in my car calling immigration attorneys. I booked a consultation, and our journey began. Ultimately we felt that Canada was our best option because it is close to our friends and family, has a high standard of living, and their values align with ours. As the world closes its doors on immigrants, Canada remains a welcoming and inclusive society, and after so many years of living on the fringe, the prospect of moving to a country that actually wants us was refreshing. For us, Canada has become the light at the end of the tunnel; it has given us an opportunity that America never did. And for that, we feel like we have already found a new home.