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01/25/2005 Archived Entry: "Go North Young Man"

No one in Canada knows what to expect in terms of whether there will be a flood or trickle of immigration by Americans who feel so strongly against the war in Iraq and Bush's 2nd term that they no longer wish to live in the United States.

Canada's immigration Web site had a pre-US election average of 20,000 page visits a day. On November 3rd, the day after Bush's election victory, hits from the United States alone amounted to 115,628. But, given how long the application process takes, it will be Spring before any of those inquiries actually become immigrants. And the Canadian government doesn't seem to feel generous with either stats or predictions. Indeed, the question of American "refugees" is one that Prime Minister Martin wishes would go away and stop hindering his unceasing efforts to smooch some serious POTUS ass. I'm sure he would love satirical sites like Marry An American! to just 'go away' instead of encouraging his Canadian to take this pledge:

"Now that George W. Bush has been declared the official winner of the November 2 election and shall become the President of the United States for four more years of cowboy conservatism, I the undersigned, a Canadian citizen, pledge to liberate, through the legal and binding act of marriage, a willing citizen of the United States of America, of a gender of my choosing, and with one or all of the following political leanings: discouraged Democrat, reformed Republican, apolitical with limited world-domination tendencies

On this side of the border, people are making a clear distinction between "refugees" and military deserters (or draft dodgers) seeking asylum as an estimated 50,000 Americans did during the Vietnam War. Especially since the current U.S. is a voluntary force, the latter category is receiving less sympathy.

How much less? An indication may be forthcoming next month [February] when a decision on military deserter Jeremy Hinzman's application to stay in Canada as a political refugee is expected. I don't know what will happen; it seems about 50/50 to me whether he will granted asylum. But, even if he is denied status, an appeal is inevitable and already being planned. His lawyer states, "The Canadian government's argument that the illegality of the U.S. war on Iraq is `irrelevant'...is `dead wrong' and presents a strong basis for appeal if Jeremy is denied refugee status." Appeals could take years. By that point, Hinzman will probably have children born on Canadian soil, smoochie Martin may be out of office, the Iraq war will be more universally viewed as a hideous mistake?in other words, time is on Hinzman's side. Having a Canadian child alone constitutes "humanitarian" reasons to grant him status.

So the main importance of the upcoming Hinzman decision is not whether he will stay or return to the States. It is how other applicants will be handled thereafter. And, like the hits on the Immigration website, in the wake of a favorable decision, it is not possible to predict how many Americans would pull up stakes, put on hockey gear, learn French, eat TimBits, and be willing to end every sentence with "eh?" I mean, I'm Canadian and I've only been willing to do two of those things.

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