On Thursday, Sept. 23, U.S. Special Envoy for Haiti, Daniel Foote, handed in his resignation to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, saying the U.S. policy approach to Haiti remains “deeply flawed.”

He further noted in his letter, that he would “not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees” from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Foote’s sudden departure comes as the Biden administration continues to wrestle with a surge in the thousands of migrants, including a large percentage of Haitians living in limbo at the border in Del Rio, Texas.

Public statements from the White House maintain that migrants will be denied entry into the U.S. – a decision that has human rights groups and many Democrats criticizing the move and saying it’s inhumane to return Haitian migrants given the humanitarian crisis which continues to plague the Caribbean nation.

Foote contends that Haiti remains overwhelmed with poverty, crime, government corruption and far too few humanitarian resources, telling Blinken the “collapsed state is unable to provide security or basic services and more refugees will fuel further desperation and crime.”

He also concludes that as Haiti struggles with more negative impacts, the effect will be calamitous not only for the island nation but for the U.S. and its neighboring countries in the hemisphere.

On Wednesday in response to Foote’s resignation and comments, a spokesperson for the State Department, Ned Price, said Foote “has both resigned and mischaracterized the circumstances of his resignation.”

“He failed to take advantage of ample opportunity to raise concerns about migration during his tenure and chose to resign instead,” Price said in a statement. He also said he was “not going to parse the contents of his resignation letter,” but disputed a number of the points in that letter.

“There have been multiple senior-level policy conversations on Haiti, where all proposals, including those led by Special Envoy Foote, were fully considered in a rigorous and transparent policy process,” Price said. “Some of those proposals were determined to be harmful to our commitment to the promotion of democracy in Haiti and were rejected during the policy process. For him to say his proposals were ignored is simply false.”

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, agreed with Price on Thursday, saying the former U.S. envoy to Haiti “never once” raised concerns about migration during his tenure before his departure.

“I would note that Special Envoy Foote had ample opportunity to raise concerns about migration during his tenure. He never once did so. Now, that wasn’t his purview,” she said while responding to reporters during a White House briefing.

“His purview was, of course, being the special envoy on the ground. His positions and his views were put forward. They were valued. They were heard. Different policy decisions were made in some circumstances,” she added.

Meanwhile, some Democrats have pleaded with Biden to stop deporting Haitians who fled their country and sought refuge in the U.S. They have also voiced their anger and concern after seeing how poorly many Haitian migrants have been treated including videos of Border Patrol officers using aggressive tactics when coming in contact with them.

So far, 12 flights have left the U.S. with 1,401 Haitians having been returned to Haiti since Sunday, according to the Department of Homeland Security. An estimated 5,000 migrants remain in the Del Rio region over 3,200 Haitians have been moved from the Del Rio camp to CBP custody or other processing facilities along the border to be expelled or placed into removal proceedings.

And despite conditions that can only be described as “dire” awaiting Haitians as they are forced to board repatriation flights, flights have continued on a seven-day schedule.

On Wednesday, nine members of the Congressional Black Caucus met with several Biden administration officials at the White House and reiterated that they plan to respond with congressional action.

“I’m pissed. I’m unhappy with the administration. We are following the Trump policy,” said California Rep. Maxine Waters, who didn’t attend the White House meeting during a news conference on Wednesday. “What we witnessed is worse than what we witnessed in slavery: Cowboys with their reins whipping Black people, Haitians, into the water.”

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