The United States Special Envoy for Haiti abruptly resigned his post on Wednesday, amid a still-unfolding crisis involving thousands of Haitians at the U.S.-Mexico border, over the Biden administration’s “inhumane” deportation of some of those migrants.
“I will not be associated with the United States [sic] 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 in control of daily life,” Ambassador Daniel Foote wrote in his resignation letter, which was first shared on Twitter by PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.
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
Foote noted in his letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that he is also tendering his resignation because he said his recommendations on how to help the Caribbean nation have been “ignored and dismissed,” while going on to cite the Biden administration’s policies for the continuing crisis involving Haitian migrants.
“Our policy approach to Haiti remains deeply flawed, and my recommendations have been ignored and dismissed, when not edited to project a narrative different from my own,” the former diplomat continued.
“The collapsed state is unable to provide security or basic services, and more refugees will further desperation and crime,” Foote said of Haiti. “Surging migration at our borders will only grow as we add to Haiti’s unacceptable misery.”
Foote’s resignation is certain to add new pressure to the Biden administration as it comes increasingly under fire for the newest migrant crisis after more than 1.3 million people, by the Department of Homeland Security’s estimation, have been encountered crossing illegally into the country since the president reversed nearly all of former President Donald Trump’s border and immigration enforcement policies after taking office in January.
Haitian migrants by the thousands have congregated under and near the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, awaiting processing by the administration. While some Haitians have been repatriated back to their country, thousands more have not and many of them are being sent to destinations inside the U.S. and released with a request to appear at an asylum hearing at a future date, Fox News has reported.
The administration is also dealing with fallout from images involving Border Patrol agents on horseback whom several Democratic lawmakers have accused of using “whips” to corral and prevent from crossing into the country illegally.
“What I saw depicted about, of those individuals on horseback treating human beings the way they were was horrible,” Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday. “And…I fully support what is happening right now, which is a thorough investigation into exactly what is going on there.”
“But human beings should never be treated that way, and I’m deeply troubled about it. And I’ll also be talking to Secretary Mayorkas today about it,” she said, in reference to Department of Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas, who also criticized his agents.
“I was horrified by what I saw. We will let the investigation run its course, but the pictures that I observed troubled me profoundly,” Mayorkas told CNN. “One cannot weaponize a horse to aggressively attack a child. That is unacceptable. That is not what our policies and our training require. … We will not tolerate mistreatment.”
Other reports Wednesday noted that Mayorkas has suspended several horseback Border Patrol agents involved in trying to keep Haitians from crossing from Mexico.
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