The U.S. special envoy for Haiti has resigned over the Biden administration’s “inhumane” and “counterproductive” deportation of thousands of Haitian refugees.
Foote wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday that he was stepping down immediately “with deep disappointment and apologies to those seeking crucial changes.”
“I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs to daily life,” he wrote in the letter, first obtained by PBS. “Our policy approach to Haiti remains deeply flawed, and my policy recommendations have been ignored and dismissed, when not edited to project a narrative different from my own.”
SCOOP: Special Envoy for Haiti, Amb Daniel Foote, a career member of foreign service, has RESIGNED. In his letter of resignation, he says he will not be associated with the U.S.’s “inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees.” Letter attached. pic.twitter.com/KlW5GoTF3u
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) September 23, 2021
He went on to condemn the administration’s decision to back Haiti’s de facto prime minister, Ariel Henry, claiming that it had not learned from the mistakes of previous “international political interventions in Haiti.”
“The hubris that makes us believe we should pick the winner — again — is impressive,” the letter says.
Ambassador Daniel Foote’s resignation comes just two months after he was appointed to the position in July following the assassination of Haiti’s president.
Earlier this week, the White House vowed to increase deportation efforts, saying it would send five to eight planes of migrants back to Haiti per day. The flights began on Sunday and more than 500 migrants have been removed, Reuters reported. Single adult males are the priority for expulsion, while many family units are being admitted.
Yet the Associated Press reported this week that thousands of Haitian migrants who were camped under a bridge in Texas have reportedly been released into the U.S., despite the Biden administration’s assurances that they would be removed from the country.
A U.S. official reportedly told the Associated Press that the migrants are being released into the country on a “very, very large scale” with notices to appear at an immigration court within 60 days. That official put the number in the thousands.
The U.N. refugee chief said expelling the migrants back to Haiti could violate international law by sending refugees back to life-threatening situations.
Border patrol agents had been overwhelmed by thousands of mostly Haitian migrants streaming across the border in Del Rio, Texas, and camping out on the American side of the Rio Grande under an international bridge. The number of migrants at the camp quickly exploded, at times topping 14,000.