The Termination Of Biden's Envoy To Haiti Worsens The Border Crisis

Washington - The resignation of the US special envoy to Haiti aggravated on Thursday the controversy over the management of the White House border crisis, which avoided responding to criticism about its mass deportations of Haitian migrants.

Daniel Foote, who had been in charge of Haiti since last July as Haitian State Department, circulated a letter in the media on Thursday announcing his immediate resignation, in protest against the "inhuman treatment" of Haitian migrants by the US Government.

"I will not let myself be associated with the inhuman and counterproductive decision of the United States to deport thousands of undocumented refugees and immigrants to Haiti, a country where American diplomats are confined in safe havens due to the dangers of armed gangs," Foote wrote.


The career diplomat considered "deeply erroneous" the policy being carried out by the government of President Joe Biden with respect to Haiti and denounced that his recommendations in this regard have been "ignored and rejected."

His resignation reinforced the controversy over the situation on the border with Mexico, which thousands of migrants have crossed in recent days, mostly Haitians, whom the United States has deported in many cases to Haiti and whom it has sometimes treated aggressively, as photographs and videos show.

Initially, the State Department reacted lukewarmly to Foote's resignation: in a first statement sent to some media, it thanked the diplomat for his service and assured that he was designing measures to provide more "assistance" to the Haitians it deports.

However, in a second statement, he harshly criticized Foote's management, denied that he had "expressed concerns about migration" to his superiors and alleged that his suggestions about Haiti were discarded because they were not "good."

"Some of these proposals were considered harmful to our commitment to the promotion of democracy in Haiti, and were rejected," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in the statement.


State Department "number two" Wendy Sherman went further and assured that Foote had even proposed the deployment of American troops in Haiti.

"One of the ideas that Mr. Foote had was to send the US military back to Haiti (...). It was simply a bad idea," the Undersecretary of State said in an interview with the McClatchy newspaper group.

With that reaction, the State Department avoided responding directly to Foote's criticism of U.S. treatment of migrants, the problems of deporting them to a country in crisis like Haiti and the political interference of the Biden Administration in the internal affairs of that nation.

In his letter, Foote alleged that Haiti needs "the opportunity to design its own path" without becoming a "puppet" of international powers and denounced the public support that the United States is expressing to Ariel Henry as interim prime minister of the country.

"The pride that makes us believe that we should choose the winner (of the Haitian elections) - again - is impressive," stressed the diplomat, former American ambassador to Zambia.

Many observers believe that US support has been key for Henry to remain as Haiti's interim leader, even after a prosecutor asked to investigate him for his possible involvement in President Jovenel Moise's assassination last July.

Asked about it, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki responded at her daily press conference that what the US supports is "a Haitian-led process" to resolve its political crisis and call elections and that it does not support "a particular political group."


Foote's resignation came days after controversial images of the treatment of migrants at the southern border by Border Patrol agents on horseback were published, which have provoked criticism of Biden from figures of his own party and activists for the rights of migrants and black people.

Many of them, such as the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, have gone beyond demanding better treatment for migrants and have asked the White House to stop mass deportations to Haiti.

However, the White House's reaction has focused on expressing its condemnation of the mistreatment of immigrants shown in the images and investigating the incident, without responding to concerns about the deportation of these vulnerable people to a violent and crisis-riding country like Haiti.

The White House spokesperson announced on Thursday that her immigration agents will temporarily stop using horses to patrol the Del Río border sector, where the thousands of immigrants have crossed, but defended the expulsions of Haitians and even defended that "they are not deportations."

Psaki specified that "less than 5,000 migrants remain" in the Del Río area, where about triple that figure came to concentrate in an improvised camp under an international bridge, and that since Sunday more than 14,000 Haitians have been expelled to Haiti on 12 flights.

In collaboration with EFE news agency

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