Special Envoy For Haiti Resigns Over Biden’s ‘Inhumane, Counterproductive Decision To Deport’ Haitians

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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Ambassador Daniel Foote, the special envoy for Haiti, resigned Wednesday over the Biden administration’s “inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees,” according to a letter obtained by PBS News.

The Biden administration appointed the career member of the Senior Foreign Service in July after Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated. President Joe Biden is facing criticism from all sides over his handling of the current border crisis.

“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, which was addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“Our policy approach to Haiti remains deeply flawed, and my recommendations have been ignored and dismissed, when not edited to project a narrative different from my own,” Foote added.

PBS News’ Yamiche Alcindor noted that the resignation was “confirmed by multiple sources.” The White House and State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.

Over 10,000 migrants, many from Haiti, overwhelmed border officials in Del Rio, Texas, in mid-September. The Biden administration began deporting these migrants – who had been camping under the Del Rio International Bridge – back to Port-Au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, using a Trump-era policy dubbed Title 42. (RELATED: Republican Governors Demand Meeting With Biden To Discuss Border Crisis)

The policy was enacted in March 2020 amid the global pandemic and allows for the expulsion of migrants at the border due to a 1944 public health law. Biden has faced backlash from members of his own party for continuing to use Title 42 and House Democrats signed a letter Wednesday demanding answers from the administration.

“Reports that thousands of migrants are being deported to Haiti despite turmoil in that country raise serious concerns about whether the federal government is failing to treat migrants — including those fleeing violence, political instability, and natural disasters — with respect and dignity and affording them a meaningful opportunity to seek asylum,” lawmakers wrote, according to The New York Times.

Amid the deportations, some Haitians are being allowed to stay in the country. The administration wasn’t able to provide numbers on how many Haitians have been deported, how many have been processed and how many have been allowed to remain in the U.S. during Wednesday’s press briefing.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said Wednesday evening that over 4,600 migrants in Del Rio, Texas, had been removed from the area, with 1,401 being deported to Haiti. Three-thousand two-hundred and six migrants have been processed for expulsion or given a notice to reappear at an immigration office within two months, the New York Post reported. DHS didn’t specify how many migrants have been released into the U.S.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the administration’s use of Title 42 while saying Biden is “committed to putting in place a humane and orderly immigration system that includes an established and efficient process for applying for asylum, that includes a range of programs for individuals to apply to stay in the United States.”

“And we are continuing to expel people coming from a range of countries, as we are continuing to apply Title 42, because there is a global pandemic that is ongoing,” Psaki said Wednesday.

“We are applying immigration laws. We are applying what are — what are border requirements. And we are applying Title 42, which, again, is a health — a health application, given we’re in a global pandemic,” she added.