Daniel Foote, seen in a file photo from May 26, 2021, sent a stinging letter to the Biden administration resigning his position as U.S. Envoy to Haiti. (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
By Mike Landry September 23, 2021 at 2:56pm
The chaos regarding the crises in Haiti and at the U. S. border continues.
Now the U. S. envoy to Haiti has resigned and distanced himself from U. S. policy regarding the troubled country.
“I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti,” Daniel Foote wrote in his letter of resignation Wednesday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Drone photos of the mess at the Texas border have been appalling. Foote provided insights of the horrific situation in Haiti, a country where “American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs in control of daily life.”
It’s against the backdrop of the Biden administration at first saying Haitians could seek refuge in the U. S., then saying they couldn’t.
And Foote is critical of support by the U. S and others of the interim government in Haiti.
“Our policy approach to Haiti remains deeply flawed,” Foote said, “And my recommendations have been ignored and dismissed, when not edited to project a narrative different from my own.”
Foote became envoy in July, right after the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse and the resulting political chaos, according to The Washington Post.
A devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the beleaguered country in August.
Is the Biden administration capable of solving chaos in Haiti?
Foote said Haitians, wallowing in poverty and held hostage to “the terror, kidnappings, robberies and massacres of armed gangs and suffering under a corrupt government with gang alliances, simply cannot support the forced infusion of thousands of returned migrants lacking food, shelter, and money without additional, avoidable human tragedy.”
Foote described Haiti as a “collapsed state unable to provide security or basic services, and more refugees will fuel further desperation and crime. Surging migration to our borders will only grow as we add to Haiti’s unacceptable misery.”
Besides immediate aid to the Haitian government efforts to defeat gangs and restore order, the country needs international support “to chart a timely path to the democratic selection of their next president and parliament,” Foote said.
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. pic.twitter.com/KlW5GoTF3u
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) September 23, 2021
In addition to humanitarian aid, money for COVID vaccines and more, “what our Haitian friends really want, and need, is the opportunity to chart their own course, without international puppeteering and favored candidates but with genuine support for that course.”
Foote was critical of a statement last week by the U.S. and others supporting Haiti’s unelected interim leader, Dr. Ariel Henry, considered de facto prime minister.
Such support continued to tout Henry’s “political agreement” over another broader, earlier accord shepherded by civil society. “The hubris that makes us believe we should pick the winner – again – is impressive,” Foote wrote.
“This cycle of international political interventions in Haiti has consistently produced catastrophic results. More negative impacts to Haiti will have calamitous consequences not only in Haiti, but in the U. S. and our neighbors in the hemisphere.”
Meanwhile, embarrassed by the optics which made some erroneously believe border patrol horsemen were using whips against Haitians attempting to immigrate, the Biden administration suspended horse patrols used to protect the U. S. southern border, the Washington Post said.
And, according to Forbes, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has said the horsemen have been reassigned to “administrative duties” and will have no contact with migrants.
Which presumably sends a message to U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers: Be too effective at your job and the only thing you’ll get to ride is a desk.
Chalk up one more inconsistency to our make-believe immigration policy.