The American envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, has resigned, denouncing in a scathing letter the “inhuman” expulsions by the United States of thousands of Haitian migrants to their country plagued by the terror of armed gangs.
“I will not join in the inhuman and counterproductive decision of the United States to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where our officials are confined in secure complexes due to the danger that represent the armed gangs controlling daily life, ”wrote Mr. Foote in his letter of resignation dated Wednesday and addressed to Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
“Our political approach in Haiti remains deeply flawed and my recommendations have been ignored and rejected, when they have not been modified”, also denounces Mr. Foote in his letter.
“We thank the special envoy Foote for his commitment to the country and to the people of Haiti,” said the State Department first, requested by AFP.
Later in the morning, State Department spokesman Ned Price dismissed Daniel Foote’s accusations as “simply bogus” he said. “It is a pity that, instead of participating in a political process geared towards solutions, Special Envoy Foote both resigned and distorted the circumstances of his resignation,” he said.
The envoy was seeking to expand his decision-making power over US policy in Haiti, and the Biden government decided it was not appropriate to give him so much leeway, a senior official also said under cover of ‘anonymity.
Tens of thousands of migrants, mostly Haitians, have been piling up for several weeks in the Mexican towns of Tapachula (southern border with Guatemala) and Ciudad Acuña (north, on the Texas border), where they live in heat and unsanitary conditions.
In the latter city, tension reigned Thursday after the deployment of a hundred Mexican police, AFP journalists noted. The police were deployed after the announcement made by the National Institute of Migration (INM) indicating that the situation of migrants would be examined in order to return them to the city where they initially applied for asylum.
Mexican security forces are stationed along the Rio Grande River, crossed daily by hundreds of illegal immigrants who come and go from one bank to the other in an attempt to stock up on food and medicine. “We have come to coordinate assistance to this population which is in a vulnerable situation. Respect for these people is guaranteed, ”assured Francisco Garduño, INM’s special envoy to Ciudad Acuña.
The United States had suspended deportations of Haitian irregular migrants after the earthquake that devastated the southern half of Haiti on August 14, but the regrouping in a few days of more than 15,000 migrants under a bridge in Texas changed the situation. given.
Since Sunday, the American migration services have already chartered 12 flights to return more than 1,400 people, including several hundred children, in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and in Cap-Haitien, the second city of the country.
Daniel Foote was appointed on July 22 with the objective of “facilitating peace and stability” and the holding of “free and fair” elections after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, killed in his private residence by an armed commando on July 7.
His resignation is another hard blow for Joe Biden, after his parliamentary difficulties and Afghanistan: his policy of mass expulsions of Haitian migrants to their country in the midst of security chaos is thus criticized by his own envoy.
In a rare reprimand, the Democratic leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer, had also urged Tuesday Joe Biden to immediately end the expulsions, described as “despicable”. “Such a decision goes against common sense” and “decency”, he said, stressing that the difficult conditions in Haiti meant that the country could “not receive them”.