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Why People Are Being Told to Move to Massachusetts Instead of Canada

For those who couldn’t get through to the overwhelmed Canadian immigration website this week or realized that moving to the Great White North in the wake of Donald Trump’s election is trickier than expected, there is another option: The Bay State.

As the Boston Globe pointed out Thursday, Massachusetts in 2006—under then-Governor Mitt Romney—inaugurated Obamacare-style universal health coverage, which will stick around even if the nation-wide Affordable Care Act is gutted. Yes, Romney was for healthcare reform before he was against it during his presidential bid six years later.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Massachusetts even longer, since 2004. And as of this week, Massachusetts voters approved legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

The commonwealth, which is the ancestral home of the Kennedys, has been a one-party Democratic state in recent history. Yet it also has a propensity for electing amiable, moderate Republican governors, including the current Charlie Baker and his predecessors: Romney, Paul Cellucci, and William Weld. So it’s a sort-of-kind-of big tent state.

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The last Republican U.S. Senator elected from the state was Scott Brown, who defeated a Democratic candidate in 2010 to win Ted Kennedy’s seat. He lasted one term, losing to Democratic firebrand Elizabeth Warren. He then moved to New Hampshire to try to extend his political career. (So far, not much success there.)

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It’s safe to say many in Massachusetts, which Hillary Clinton won by 27 points, are as anxious about a Trump presidency as those in other deep-blue states. But there is not much talk about secession in Massachusetts as there has been on the West Coast, notably in California. There, some Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs have been talking up a “Calexit”—a play on the term Brexit referencing Britain’s vote to leave the European Union—which they say would make an independent California the world’s sixth largest economy.

Massachusetts is nowhere near as large, but it is home to a healthy dollop of tech and biotech startups as well as more than its fair share of world-class universities and hospitals–making it a bit of an economic engine all on its own. The unemployment rate even dropped to 3.6% in September.

Thus, there may be opportunity here for folks in other states looking for an out.