Global Migration Update
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The U.S. special envoy to Haiti has resigned in protest of the Biden administration’s “inhumane, counterproductive decision” to deport thousands of Haitian immigrants.
The resignation of former U.S. Ambassador Daniel Foote, who took over his last State Department job in July, comes as the White House battles a ploy of immigrants from Haiti who gathered in the Texas border town of Del Rio.
The Department of Homeland Security said this weekend it would “accelerate speed and increase capacity” for deportation flights to Haiti after an estimated 14,000 people gathered under a bridge in 35,000 cities.
In his Sept. 22 resignation letter, published Thursday by U.S. broadcaster PBS, Foote said Washington’s policy on Haiti was “deeply flawed” and that its own recommendations had been “ignored and rejected.”
Foote is a member of the Senior Foreign Service who has previously posted to several countries in Afghanistan, Iraq and Latin America.
State Department spokeswoman Ned Price has accused Footy of misrepresenting the circumstances of his resignation and “failing to take adequate opportunities to raise concerns about immigration during his rule.”
“He has been told that his proposals have been ignored, it’s just a lie,” Price said in a statement.
Conservatives have accused US President Joe Biden of overseeing the immigration crisis on the US-Mexico border. But the U.S. president has also been expelled by many Democrats, who have called the deportation policy “cruel and brutal.”
Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake last month and is now in political turmoil following the assassination of President Jovenal Moss. The country’s economy is flattening if inflation is forecast to rise above 20 percent this year.
The Department of Homeland Security warned that irregular immigration was “a significant threat to the health and well-being of the border community and the lives of immigrants, and should not be tried,” adding that the U.S. border was closed.
Foot’s resignation came after criticism from more than 50 Democrats, who wrote a letter to the Homeland Security Department on Friday to stop the deportation flight.
Ayana Presley, one of the signatories to the letter, said: “The Biden administration cannot claim that it is doing what is being done to support the Haitian community, unjustly continuing to deport Haitians because the island is in its worst political, public health and economic crisis.”
Foote criticized the U.S. broader approach to Haiti, saying the U.S. seeks to influence the future of political leadership, which he described as a “broken state.”
He wrote, “That Habitat makes us believe that we should choose the winner – again – impressive.”