Skip to content

UK-based Americans worried about Trump presidency


President-elect Donald Trump and vice president-elect Mike Pence in New Jersey this weekend

By Lauren Entwistle

AN AMERICAN student living in Leeds is fearful to go home after seeing the effects of Donald Trump getting voted into the White House.

Morris Chaiet, 19, who is gender non-binary and asexual, has been in the UK for three months on a three-year visa to study social policy at Leeds University.


US resident Morris Chaiet in good spirits at the start of election night – before it became clear Trump would win

“I was sitting in a pub watching the states flip to red and I thought it was some joke. I just started crying.

“We should now expect limited rights for immigrants, muslims, and LGBTQ+ people.

“I’m afraid for my friends and family back home in New York – my best friend who I grew up with is a Mexican immigrant.

“I got messages about how they were scared to go to school the next day and would have to sit in class next to the people who voted to have them kicked out of the country or tortured.

“A lot of people I know are gender variant and part of the LGBTQA community.

“I’m considering extending my UK visa for a few more years,” said Morris, who is among more than 197,000 US-born residents living in the UK since 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Aaron Spencer, 36, is a contractor originally from Florida, and has lived in Sheffield for the past two years.

He said: “I’m a little let down. I voted for Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) as I felt neither of the main candidates were great.

“But I think the protests and the wave of crime following the election would have happened no matter who got in – I’m just glad I’m over here and separated from people doing stupid things.”

The number of reported hate speech and hate crimes rose dramatically in the hours after Trump’s win, with New York police now dedicating an entire special unit to tackle the problem.

During the election campaign, Trump and his Vice-President Michael Pence advocated “punishment” for women who get abortions and called for “conversion therapy” to “cure” gay people as well as expressing controversial views on immigration and gun laws.

Today Trump made headlines after tweeting that ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage would make a great ambassador to the US.

“Trump has no political experience and is very self-contradictory,” said Dr Natalie Zacek, the head of American Studies at Manchester University.

“I think he will try to restrict immigration and I can imagine him pushing an Obamacare repeal, as there are people in congress who would want that. But I don’t think there will be a wall with Mexico.

“Trump is a cruel person who actually tries to humiliate people – I wouldn’t want that in a co-worker, let alone President.”

What do you think?