WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. special envoy for Haiti, Ambassador Daniel Foote, has resigned, a senior State Department official said on Thursday, amid mass deportations of Haitians who fled recent political turmoil and natural disasters at home.
The U.S. government has continued to fly hundreds of people, including families, back to Haiti, with conditions deteriorating in migrant camps on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I will not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs in control of daily life,” Foote said in his resignation letter, first reported by PBS.
Foote said U.S. policy on Haiti remained deeply flawed and that his recommendations had been ignored and dismissed.
The Haitian state has collapsed and is not providing security or even basic services, he wrote. “Surging migration to our borders will only grow as we add to Haiti’s unacceptable misery.”
Haitians need the opportunity “to chart their own course, without international puppeteering and favored candidates but with genuine support for that course.”
The State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, thanked Foote for his service, but said the ambassador had overstepped his remit.
“He’s consistently sought a greater oversight, greater responsibility in a way that we did not think was appropriate or prudent at the time,” the official said.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Giles Elgood and Philippa Fletcher)