ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — An American-born biology professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland intends to officially become a Canadian citizen after living in the country for three decades, calling himself a "political refugee'' of Donald Trump's presidency.
Steve Carr, a California native whose mother hails from Stratford, Ont., says he has applied for Canadian citizenship as "insurance'' against Trump's hardline immigration policy.
Professor Steve Carr is seeking Canadian citizenship as a 'political refugee' of Donald Trump's U.S. administration. (Photo: Memorial University)
The longtime permanent resident of Canada has flirted with becoming a naturalized citizen since moving to Newfoundland for a teaching gig in 1987, but as a self-proclaimed American patriot, says he couldn't bring himself to swear an Oath of Allegiance to the Queen.
He says he watched in disbelief when the voting returns came in last November, feeling "sick to (his) stomach'' as it became clear Trump had won the presidential race.
'Us' vs. 'them'
Carr says Trump's rhetoric divides the American public into "us'' and "them'' — his supporters and everyone else — and as a Buddhist scientist with liberal leanings, he falls squarely in the latter camp.
He says he's concerned about being flagged by U.S. customs and immigration officials for having twice visited Cuba on an American passport during professional trips permitted under the previous administration's relaxed travel restrictions.
Carr worries that under Trump's reshaped foreign policy, his trips to Cuba may land him on a no-fly list or even in a cell.
He says as a father of six-year-old girls, he's not going to risk travel that could "deprive them of a dad.''
The professor says he is holding onto his American citizenship in hopes that his compatriots will "come to their senses'' once mid-term elections roll around in 2018.
Carr says if Newfoundland were a republic, he would have filed for citizenship years ago.