American News Sep 23, 2021 3:13 PM EST

Biden's special envoy to Haiti resigns over 'inhumane' deportations of migrants

"I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti," wrote Daniel Foote.

Biden's special envoy to Haiti resigns over 'inhumane' deportations of migrants
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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On Thursday, the Biden administration's special envoy to Haiti resigned from his post in protest of the "inhumane" expulsions of Haitian migrants from Del Rio Texas that have been occurring this week following a massive surge in migrants from the nation traveling across the border.

Daniel Foote was appointed to his post in July, following the assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moïse on July 7.

According to the Associated Press, the diplomat has been "known to be deeply frustrated with what he considered a lack of urgency in Washington and a glacial pace on efforts to improve conditions in Haiti," even before the unfolding of the Haitian migrant crisis in Del Rio, Texas.

Foote wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken 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.

"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," Foote continued. Two US officials with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed the resignation

Both officials spoke on conditions on anonymity. One official said that "Foote had consistently sought greater oversight of Haiti policy and that the administration did not believe his requests were appropriate," according to the AP.

Foote previously served as deputy chief of mission in Haiti and is a former ambassador to Zambia.

He had reportedly been "quietly pushing in Washington a plan to boost U.S. security assistance to Haiti to pave the way for presidential elections. But Haiti watchers said he became increasingly disappointed with the pace of decision-making in the administration," wrote the AP.

"When someone who is tasked with Haiti policy at the highest level resigns because 'recommendations are ignored and dismissed' it's not only troubling, but shows you this administration does not tolerate anyone who won't go along with their distorted view of the facts," said Damian Merlo, a Republican strategist who is a registered lobbyist for the country's government and had worked on Haitian policy for years.

"Dan Foote is a world class diplomat who refuses to be told what do. I wish more foreign service officers had his courage to stand up and call out their bosses," Merlo continued.

Amidst Foote's sudden resignation, the White House is facing a bipartisan condemnation of the ongoing incident. Vice President Kamala Harris, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas all slammed their own administration's actions at the border.

On Sunday, flights deporting migrants who had illegally entered the US, that were previously halted, began again, with Haitian officials saying that by the end of Tuesday, there had already been 10 of these flights.

US officials say they will ramp up these flights to seven per day.

The camp, which swelled to more than 14,000 people on Saturday, has shrunk significantly in size, with many of the Haitian migrants being expelled or released into the US with notices to report back to immigration authorities in 60 days.

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