The White House special envoy to Haiti has resigned in protest against “inhumane” large-scale deportations of Haitians to their homeland as outrage continues to grow over the Biden administration’s treatment of Black asylum seekers.
A reported 14,000 Haitians have crossed from Mexico into the Texas border town of Del Rio. There has been major criticism since photos of Border Patrol agents on horseback using aggressive tactics against the migrants went viral. The images are reminiscent of slave owners rounding up Black people during the antebellum south, critics say.
“We all witnessed in 2021 in the United States a group of armed men on horseback who monitored and enforced discipline upon the Haitians. It’s a perfect example of Slave Patrol at the border,” Sickoftrash64 @sickoftrash64 tweeted.
A group of Black leaders and immigration advocates wrote an open letter calling for an investigation into the treatment and deportation of the migrants.
The expulsion flights to Haiti began on Sunday, Sept. 19, and there had been 10 flights by the end of Tuesday, Sept. 21, according to Haitian officials. U.S. officials announced they were ramping up to seven flights a day, which would make it one of the swiftest large-scale expulsions from the U.S. in decades, AP reported.
Foote informed Secretary of State Antony Blinken that he was stepping down immediately “with deep disappointment and apologies to those seeking crucial changes,” U.S. officials said on Sept. 23.
“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 to daily life,” he wrote. “Our policy approach to Haiti remains deeply flawed, and my policy recommendations have been ignored and dismissed, when not edited to project a narrative different from my own.”
White House Correspondent for PBS Yamiche Alcindor tweeted “SCOOP: Special Envoy for Haiti, Amb Daniel Foote, a career member of foreign service, has RESIGNED. In his letter of resignation, he says he will not be associated with the U.S.’s “inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees.” Letter attached.”
The State Department pushed back against Foote’s comments and criticized him for resigning at a critical moment and for suggesting that his policy prescriptions were overlooked.
“This is a challenging moment that requires leadership,” spokesman Ned Price wrote. “It is unfortunate that, instead of participating in a solutions-oriented policy process, Special Envoy Foote has both resigned and mischaracterized the circumstances of his resignation.”
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