The U.S. special envoy for Haiti resigned on Wednesday, rebuking the Biden administration’s handling of Haitian refugees amassed along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti,” Daniel Foote wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken dated Wednesday. News of Foote’s resignation was first reported by PBS.
Foote went on to say that the U.S. approach to Haiti “remains deeply flawed” and said that his input has been marginalized “when not edited to project a narrative different from my own.”
Foote warned that the Haitian government “simply cannot support the forced infusion of thousands of returned migrants lacking food, shelter, and money without additional, avoidable human tragedy.”
“The collapsed state is unable to provide security or basic services, and more refugees will fuel further desperation and crime,” he wrote.
Foote, a career member of the foreign service, had only been serving in the position as special envoy to Haiti since late July.
Haiti has reeled in recent months following the assassination of the country’s president, as well as the devastation wrought by a tropical storm and 7.2-magnitute earthquake.
The Biden administration has struggled to handle the outflow of Haitians arriving at the U.S. border and has drawn criticism from across the political spectrum in recent days.
Federal officials have surged resources to the massive encampment in Del Rio, Texas, and begun deporting many of them back to Haiti — infuriating Foote, humanitarian groups and a number of congressional Democrats.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) called Foote’s resignation from the position “an honorable thing” in an interview on MSNBC.
“We should be opening our arms to folks who are in crisis,” echoing the message from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and others.
Republicans, meanwhile, have pointed to the situation as further example that President Joe Biden’s immigration policies are misguided and ineffectual.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told members of Congress earlier this week that the administration’s anticipated “dramatic results” in its effort to get the situation under control within the coming days.Internet Explorer Channel Network