Ambassador warns in resignation letter that Haiti ‘has collapsed’ and cannot provide basics for returning refugees.
Ambassador Daniel Foote, the United States special envoy for Haiti, has resigned in protest of mass deportations by the US of Haitians gathered on the US border with Mexico.
“I will not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti,” Foote said in a resignation letter.
Haiti is “a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs in control of daily life” and US policy is “deeply flawed”, Foote wrote.
Racked by earthquakes and hurricanes, Haiti is struggling with a political crisis following the July 7 assassination of Prime Minister Jovenel Moise by a group of commandos who stormed his private residence. A transitional government is being formed until elections, scheduled for November.
As many as 15,000 Haitian migrants had congregated on both sides of the US border with Mexico at Del Rio, Texas. On Thursday, Department of Homeland Security officials said 1,400 migrants have been returned so far and 3,200 have been moved for processing away from the encampment.The “collapsed” Haitian state “is unable to provide security or basic services and more refugees will fuel further desperation and crime”, Foote wrote in his resignation letter, complaining top State Department officials had dismissed or ignored his recommendations.
“Surging migration to our borders will only grow as we add to Haiti’s unacceptable misery,” Foote said.
Foote criticised a recent statement of support for “the unelected, de facto Prime minister Dr. Ariel Henry” and said Haitians need the opportunity “to chart their own course, without international puppeteering and favored candidates but with genuine support for that course”.