Trump victory could see Kiwi expats leaving the USA

Published:  7 Nov at 6 PM
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Whilst the world waits with bated breath for tomorrow’s US presidential election result, Kiwi expats in New York are considering leaving should Trump win.

The New Zealand expat community in New York is well-established, with many immigrants running successful businesses in Brooklyn serving both New Zealanders and Australians. The race to occupy the White House has caused friction all over the USA, with Kiwi expats feeling its effects as much as American citizens.

One Kiwi restauranteur who’s been serving up favourite New Zealand dishes to antipodean expats for some years has made up his mind to relocate to Canada should Trump win tomorrow night. He thinks the TV star is a raving lunatic and a terrible human being who shouldn’t be put in charge of anything, let alone the world’s most powerful nation.

He hates the increasing polarisation of supporters on both sides, and wishes his clients wouldn’t discuss developments over dinner in his restaurant. He’s increasingly having to attempt to realign conversations between patrons before they get too heated, and is waiting for it all to be over, no matter what the result.

He told local media he would probably move his business and his family to Canada, should Trump become the next US President, adding that many people had said the same after George W Bush’s election but didn’t follow through. This time, he believes, is very different as a Trump presidency would bring with it huge risks for immigrants from many different countries.

Many people, he said, are talking negatively about immigrants, and his comments are similar to those made by another long-term Kiwi expat. Helen Klisser has lived in New York for 28 years, and is now a US citizen helping with the Clinton campaign to turn out the vote. She believes the vote will be tight, and sees a Trump win as a threat to everything she loves about New York.

The city’s welcome to all people from all cultures, its vibrancy, love of the arts and celebration of diversity are all threatened, she says, adding the worst threat of nationalistic xenophobia is the scariest. Her friends are from both political sides, but they all feel xenophobia may result whoever wins, and are considering returning to New Zealand rather than waiting it out.
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