U.S. envoy to Haiti Daniel Foote resigns over 'inhumane' refugee treatment

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Career diplomat Daniel Foote resigned Wednesday as special U.S. envoy to Haiti. Photo courtesy U.S. State Department/Wikimedia Commons

Career diplomat Daniel Foote resigned Wednesday as special U.S. envoy to Haiti. Photo courtesy U.S. State Department/Wikimedia Commons

Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Daniel Foote, the U.S. special envoy for Haiti, has resigned from his post over what he called the Biden administration's "inhumane" deportation of Haitian refugees from the southern border in Texas.

Foote, a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service, became special envoy to Haiti in July as the Caribbean nation was facing multiple critical issues, including the assassination of its president and an earthquake.

Foote has been critical of the administration's response to a flood of Haitian refugees who made their way through Mexico to the U.S. border at Del Rio, Texas.

As many as 15,000 migrants, many of them Haitian, have arrived at the border over the past week seeking asylum. The government has been flying many of those migrants to other processing centers or back to their home countries.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told Congress on Tuesday that he was "horrified" by the images of Border Patrol agents charging migrants in Del Rio and promised a full investigation.

Foote tendered his resignation on Wednesday.

"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 in control of daily life," Foote wrote in his resignation letter.

Foote said the U.S. policy toward Haiti remains "deeply flawed," and noted that his recommendations have largely been dismissed.

"Haitians need immediate assistance to restore the government's ability to neutralize the gangs and restore order through the national police," he said in his resignation.

"They need a true agreement across society and political actors, with international support, to chart a timely path to the democratic selection to the next president and parliament."

Foote said Haiti is a "collapsed state" that's "unable to provide security or basic services and more refugees will fuel further desperation and crime."

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