Former President Barack Obama’s ambassador to Canada says he’s “totally embarrassed” that so many people are supposedly “fleeing” to the safety of Canada from the administration of President Donald Trump.
Bruce Heyman told CTV News in an interview scheduled to air Sunday, “I’m totally embarrassed with the way our country treats people, that they feel that they have to flee the United States of America. But that’s the circumstances we’re in.”
Heyman left his post at the U.S. Embassy after Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. He was responding to questions about the chronic flow of illegal immigrants crossing at the U.S.-Canadian border after having first arrived from other nations — like Haiti or Nigeria.
Heyman claims the would-be refugees “are very scared” of Trump and his response to illegal immigration.
“Psychologically, if people are under pressure and threatened in the United States and feel they have to flee, they’re going to go somewhere,” he told CTV. “Either they’re going to go in hiding within the United States or they’re going to flee the country.”
Heyman agrees with a conclusion that even the Trudeau government has now reached: that the border crisis isn’t going away any time soon.
“This is going to be a continued stress point,” he said, noting that the problem can be expected to worsen “in the summer months.”
Reports this week indicated that the Trudeau government is quietly negotiating with the U.S. to have the entire U.S.-Canada border declared a legitimate border crossing — paradoxically enabling the Canadian border security guards to turn back illegal immigrants. When asylum seekers arrive at unofficial border crossings, they are arrested and then processed as potential refugees.
Heyman insists that Trump is only vaguely aware of the situation at the northern border because he’s “highly distracted. There a lot of things happening here, he’s trying to feed his base, we’ve got an election coming up here in the fall and it wouldn’t surprise me if they get more aggressive on immigration.”