US diplomat in Haiti resigns over Biden administration policy

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US diplomat in Haiti resigns over Biden administration policy

A senior US diplomat overseeing Haiti policy has resigned, with two US officials submitting a letter to the State Department calling the Biden administration’s “inhuman, unfavorable decision” to deport Haitian migrants back to a country that Incited, which was ruined this summer. Deadly earthquakes and political upheaval.

The diplomat, Daniel Foote, was appointed special envoy to Haiti in July, just weeks after President Jovenel Mosse. He was killed in his bedroom during night raids at his residence. Mr Foote, a former ambassador to Zambia and Acting Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, did not respond to messages for comment on Thursday morning.

In his stinging resignation letter on Wednesday, Mr Foote criticized the Biden administration for deporting some of the thousands of Haitian migrants who traveled to the Texas border from Mexico and Central America in recent days.

“I will not associate with the inhumane, adversarial decision of the United States to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where American officials in control of daily life are confined to secure premises because of the threat posed by armed gangs. Mr. Foote wrote in the letter, which was First reported by PBS NewsHour. Its authenticity was confirmed by a senior State Department official and a Congressional official.

Mr Foote also demystified the “cycle of international political interference in Haiti” which has “produced continuing disastrous consequences,” and he warned that the numbers Migrants on US borders “will only increase if we add to Haiti’s unacceptable misery.”

In May, the Biden administration extended temporary protected status to 150,000 Haitians already living in the United States. The order was again extended to Haitians living in the United States before 29 July. But thousands more Haitians have since attempted to cross into the United States, despite not qualifying for the program.

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Mr Foote is said to have pushed for more oversight and responsibilities in his job as envoy to Haiti, efforts that were dismissed by senior State Department officials. Department spokesman, Ned Price, on Thursday described the proposals, including those of Mr Foote, that “were determined to be detrimental to our commitment to promoting democracy in Haiti and were rejected during the policy process.” “

“No idea is overlooked, but not all ideas are good ideas,” said Mr. Price. He was responding to Mr Foote’s claim in his resignation letter, that his recommendations were “ignored and rejected.”

“Our policy approach towards Haiti is very flawed,” wrote Mr. Foote.

The increase in Haitian migration began in the months after President Biden took office, when he met with former President Donald J. Trump’s strictest immigration policies began to reverse, which was interpreted by many as a sign that the United States would be more welcoming of immigrants.

The US Border Patrol said more than 9,000 migrants, mostly from Haiti, were being held in a temporary staging area under the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas as agents worked as quickly as possible to process them.

According to US Customs and Border Protection, about 1,400 Haitians have been deported since Sunday, with more flights scheduled for each day. As of Thursday, there were still about 4,050 migrants on the Del Rio bridge, most of whom were Haitians.

14,000 migrants are expected to return to Haiti over the next several weeks. Haitian officials have urged the United States to grant a “humanitarian adjournment” amid widespread instability.

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But the Biden administration, facing the highest levels of cross-border cross-border violence in decades, has implemented policies aimed at slowing the entry of migrants. On Monday, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Meyerkas said newly arrived Haitians would not be covered by the temporary residence orders that were extended earlier this year.

“We are very concerned that Haitians who have taken this irregular migration path may be receiving false information that the border is open or that temporary protected status is available,” Mr. Meyerkas said during a news conference in Del Rio, Texas, on Monday. “I want to make sure it’s known that this is not the way to come to the United States.”

Haiti’s embassy officials in Washington did not respond to messages Thursday morning for comment.

In a statement, the State Department thanked Foote for his service and said “the United States remains committed to supporting safe, orderly, and humane migration throughout our region.”

The United States and the United Nations immigration agency were trying to ensure that the deported Haitians were met at Port-au-Prince airport and given food, a hygiene kit and $100, the statement said.

“In the long term, the US government is committed to working with the Haiti government and stakeholders in Haiti to strengthen democratic governance and the rule of law, enhance inclusive economic growth and improve security and protect human rights in Haiti. ” The statement of the department said.

Eileen Sullivan Contributed to reporting.

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