Frightened by shootings, appalled at Trump, Americans are voting with their feet — to leave

Frightened by shootings, appalled at Trump, Americans are voting with their feet — to leave

Eleanor Pelta has secured Polish passports for herself and her two sons. Stephanie Schwab is planning an escape route via Spain. Elie Jacobs has begun to keep enough cash on hand to buy last-minute plane tickets to Israel for his family. Alex and Aussa Lorens are applying for work visas in Australia, while Josh Lewin is aiming for New Zealand.

And Kami Lewis Levin already has her bags packed and tickets purchased. She leaves next week, with her husband, three children and a dog, for a new home in Costa Rica.

Americans are not flocking to the exits, but some of them are thinking about it, and some are talking about it, and at least a few are acting on the idea. Google searches for terms like “how to move out of America” spiked this past weekend to levels not seen since November 2016, right after the presidential election, and last seen a decade ago during the Great Recession. And in dozens of interviews after the massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, people who were born here spoke of their crystallizing desire to leave.

These are not recent immigrants who feel threatened by nationalist rhetoric coming from the White House and Congress, but for the most part middle-class or relatively affluent Americans disheartened by the turn in American politics since the 2016 election. And it is not necessarily Canada — the default destination for agitated Americans over the decades — where they are threatening to move, because work visa qualifications there are tight. Instead, they are casting a larger net across the globe.

“The text-message threads and FB message threads have surged with questions about how and when to leave,” said Jacobs, a 41-year-old public affairs consultant who lives in New Jersey with his wife and toddler, and who began looking to Israel as an “escape hatch” as soon as Donald Trump was elected, but whose stockpiling of cash took on new urgency this week. READ MORE


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  1. Heather Anderson

    People leaving the country due to Trump? Good riddance. This is how I felt under Obama’s administration(s). I wonder Ms. Belkin, did you give this same kind of credence (grief) to Pres. Obama for the 32+ mass shootings (resulting in four or more deaths) that occured under his watch? Somehow I doubt this. I hear so much in the media about the White Supremacist El Paso shooter, but what about the Dayton, OH shooter? He was pro-violence, pro-leftist, radical, militant Antifa, liberal-leaning, pro-Elizabeth Warren kind of guy who had “kill” and “rape” lists, among other depravities, but mum’s the word on this guy from media outlets. When journalism doesn’t present facts uniaterally but only presents one side to promote an agenda, and when one side of the spectrum is demonized simply because they disagree on politics, beliefs, mores, etc. and instead retort to name calling, violence in the streets (ie. Antifa), being attacked for wearing a MAGA hat/t-shirt, etc. — imagine if this kind of stuff was being perpetrated on folks wearing Obama paraphanalia? These are dangerous times we live in and the media can’t fuel it enough. When did this stop being America (freedom of speech, freedom of dissent, etc.) Shame on you and your ilk for pushing an agenda, oppressing freedom of speech, the right to dissent without resorting to put downs, name calling, race baiting and the like. It’s pathetic. Journalism has lost, or rather thrown away with both hands, any integrity they ever held.

  2. Sally Parker

    Heather—there is no evidence that the Dayton shooter’s actions had anything at all to do with his politics. No linkage at all. He was a violent, deranged person who should have had no access to firearms. He was apparently fascinated with the El
    Paso shooting, which had to do with
    anti-Mexican prejudice. But the Dayton shooter was a dangerous person who should never been allowed to buy guns. What he did had nothing to do with the left.

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