The Cable

Surprise: Canada’s Immigration Site Has Crashed

As election results showed Trump victories in key swing states, nervous Clinton supporters grasped for an exit strategy.

US President Barack Obama and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hug during a welcome ceremony during a State Visit at the White House on March 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hug during a welcome ceremony during a State Visit at the White House on March 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Aaand the Canadian immigration website is down for the count. Apparently the poor thing just couldn’t keep up with anxious Americans grasping late Tuesday for an exit strategy as Republican Donald Trump appeared poised to take the U.S. election in a surprise upset over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

It’s not surprising many Americans repulsed by Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and bombastic personality would turn to their northern neighbors in crisis. Beyond its proximity, Canada is an attractive haven of values that Trump railed against during his campaign, with its generous Syrian refugee program, decent welfare system, and Obama-friendly, mild-mannered prime minister. (And Canadians would never think to build a wall against Trump-fleeing Americans, would they?)

Surprising no one, this isn’t the first time the Canadian immigration site has had trouble keeping up with American demand. It also crashed back on Super Tuesday in March, when Trump demonstrated a staying power many had underestimated. Google searches for “move to Canada” also spiked that day.

Canadians, true to their nice-guy reputation, have tried to make things easier on stressed Americans during this roller coaster election season. In July, Air Canada launched a “Test Drive Canada” ad campaign, inviting Americans to check out the country, just in case the election went sideways.

That was a bit cheeky but in October, when America seemed on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Canadians tried to give their U.S. friends the equivalent of a back massage with a “Tell America it’s Great” self-esteem booster social media initiative from an advertisement company.

That’s nice, but maybe it would have been more helpful to beef up their website’s back-end support. If Clinton’s numbers don’t bounce back, the demand knocking on Canada’s door might only grow.

Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Kavitha Surana is an editorial fellow at Foreign Policy, where she produces breaking news and original reports with a particular focus on immigration, counterterrorism, and border security policy. Previously, Kavitha worked at New York magazine’s Bedford + Bowery blog, CNNMoney, The Associated Press in Italy, and Fareed Zakaria GPS and has freelanced from Italy and Germany for publications like Quartz, Al Jazeera America, OZY, and GlobalPost/PRI. In 2015, she was awarded a Fulbright trip to Germany, as well as a grant from the Heinrich Böll Foundation to report on migration and integration. She also reported from Rwanda and Senegal. Kavitha studied European history at Columbia University and holds a master’s degree in journalism and European studies from New York University. She has studied in Italy and Peru and speaks Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. @ksurana6

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