Daniel Foote, President Biden’s special envoy to Haiti, announced his resignation on Wednesday, citing the poor treatment of Haitian migrants by U.S. authorities as the reason for his departure. It’s the latest sign that the sudden arrival of thousands of Haitian migrants at the border — even separate from the already tense overall immigration picture — is creating not only a humanitarian crisis, but a political mess for the Biden administration.
In his resignation letter, Daniel Foote told Secretary of State Antony Blinken that he “will not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti,” adding that “our policy toward Haiti remains deeply flawed and my recommendations have been ignored or dismissed.”
The U.S., facing a surge of around 14,000 Haitians in a small Texas town, has been deporting many back to a country they hadn’t seen in years. However, the U.S. is also releasing thousands of migrants within the U.S., and requesting that they show up at immigration offices in two months.
Images of U.S. Border Patrol agents treating Haitians at the border harshly in recent days have also drawn condemnation from many lawmakers, as well as organizations like the ACLU. The Department of Homeland Security has said it will open an investigation.
Foote was appointed to his post in July, following the assassination of Haiti’s president. The country also endured a powerful earthquake in August.