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US special envoy for Haiti RESIGNS amid ‘inhumane decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees’

The U.S. special envoy for Haiti resigned on Wednesday because he didn’t want to be involved with the ‘inhumane’ deportation of Haitian migrants.

‘I will not be associated with the United States [sic] 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 fo daily life,’ Ambassador Daniel Foote wrote in his resignation letter, first shared by a PBS reporter on Twitter.

In the letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Foote said another reason for his resignation is that his recommendations to help Haiti have been ‘ignored and dismissed.’

The resignation comes as the U.S. migration crisis surged in the past few weeks when up to 15,000 mostly Haitian migrants set up an encampment near the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas.

U.S. Special Envoy for Haiti Daniel Foote resigned on Wednesday, claiming: ‘I will not be associated with the United States [sic] inhumane, counterproductive, decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti’

HAITIAN MIGRANT CRISIS IN NUMBERS:

Number of migrants in Del Rio at peak of crisis: 14,600 

Number of migrants as of Tuesday evening: 8,600 

Number deported to Haiti Sunday: 327

Number deported Monday: 233

Number deported Tuesday: 523

Total deported since flights began Sunday: 1,083

Number of deportation flights scheduled for Wednesday:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki promised during her press briefing on Wednesday to share later in the day the exact number of illegal immigrants released into the U.S. this year – including those part of the massive Haitian migration.

When asked Wednesday evening when the figures would be made available after they were still not released, Psaki told DailyMail.com: ‘As soon as it is available form [sic] DHS.’

By Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at least 5,000 of these mostly Haitian migrants had been removed from Del Rio – whether they were moved to other centers, deported back to their homeland or released into the U.S. He could not give exact figures during a congressional hearing on how many were released into the country.

Deportation flights ensued on Sunday and continued through the week as planes full of Haitian migrants arrived back in the island capital city of Port-au-Prince.

People are fleeing Haiti and seeking refuge in America after a devastating earthquake and the assassination of their president, which has thrown the country into even more chaos.

Foote only served in his post for two months after becoming the U.S. Special Envoy for Haiti in July. Before taking on that role he previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Haiti and as the U.S. Ambassador to Zambia. 

An officer in Haiti blocks Haitian removed from the U.S. on Tuesday from boarding the same plane they were just deported on in an attempt tp return to America

An officer in Haiti blocks Haitian removed from the U.S. on Tuesday from boarding the same plane they were just deported on in an attempt tp return to America

Psaki still hasn’t revealed how many Haitian migrants are in the US – despite vowing to release the figures YESTERDAY 

Jen Psaki said the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] has still not made the numbers available on how many migrants were released into the U.S. this year after a massive mostly Haitian caravan arrived over the last few weeks.

The White House press secretary vowed during her press briefing Wednesday that she would release the figures later in the day, but no such numbers were shared.

When asked Wednesday evening when they would be made available, Psaki told DailyMail.com: ‘As soon as it is available form [sic] DHS.’

Up to 15,000 mostly Haitian migrants camped out under the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas and as of Tuesday, according to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, that number dropped to 10,000.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told DailyMail.com that she still does not have the figures from DHS on how many Haitian migrants were released into the U.S.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told DailyMail.com that she still does not have the figures from DHS on how many Haitian migrants were released into the U.S. 

Several removal flights have taken planes full of these migrants back to their homeland as DHS ramped up deportation efforts – but thousands of others were released into the U.S.

This year alone, around 1.3 million migrants were apprehended by Customs and Border Protection, but it is still unclear what the fate of these illegal border jumpers is.  

At Psaki’s daily press briefing on Wednesday, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy confronted her on the yet-to-be-released numbers after Mayorkas revealed during a Senate hearing on Tuesday that he did not know the figures.

‘So who else can we ask?’ Doocy asked.

When the press secretary attempted to direct him back to DHS, Doocy replied, ‘He says he doesn’t know.’

‘I am confident that he wanted to have the most up-to-date numbers and we will venture to get you those – I promise, this afternoon,’ Psaki vowed.

In a follow-up question Doocy asked if the issue is that the administration doesn’t know or if they don’t want to reveal figures because ‘a lot more people are being released into the U.S. than are being sent out.’ 

‘That is certainly not the issue,’ Psaki said.

It is still not clear when those figures will actually become public. 

White House STILL won’t reveal how many Haitians have been released into US: Del Rio Border Patrol repeatedly asked for extra resources in June but were ignored

Border Patrol agents in Del Rio, Texas were so concerned about the escalating situation at the U.S.-Mexico border that they requested additional resources three months ago – but their concerns were not acted on by superiors.

Jon Anfinsen, National Border Patrol Council local president told CNN that the union on June 1 suggested improvements to the system.

Anfinsen said that they wanted agents to be sent to the border with tablets to start the intake process when a large group crosses the river, instead of having the group wait there while space is cleared in the station.

‘This way, we can at least get part of the process finished before they even get to the station instead of wasting that time,’ said the email.

The union followed up on June 3, and also suggested placing a trailer in the area for additional staff, to deal with a predicted surge.

On June 17, the union received a one-sentence response: ‘This is being explored, several other platforms are being considered which are more efficient.’ 

The revelation came as Jen Psaki, the White House spokesman, promised to provide precise data on the number of Haitian arrivals released into the country – yet by 10pm had failed to do so.

Migrants, many of them from Haiti, are pictured wading back and forth between Texas and Mexico on Wednesday. At the weekend an estimated 14,000 migrants were sheltering in Del Rio

Migrants, many of them from Haiti, are pictured wading back and forth between Texas and Mexico on Wednesday. At the weekend an estimated 14,000 migrants were sheltering in Del Rio

A photo from September 22 shows migrants being routed out of a makeshift border camp after being processed by US officials. The White House has pledged to deport most of the migrants back to Haiti under Title 42, but reports indicate that's not the case for some being released

A photo from September 22 shows migrants being routed out of a makeshift border camp after being processed by US officials. The White House has pledged to deport most of the migrants back to Haiti under Title 42, but reports indicate that’s not the case for some being released

Jon Anfinsen, National Border Patrol Council local president, pictured testifying before Congress, said on Wednesday that they had warned back in June about the need for more resources on the U.S.-Mexico border

Jon Anfinsen, National Border Patrol Council local president, pictured testifying before Congress, said on Wednesday that they had warned back in June about the need for more resources on the U.S.-Mexico border

At her daily press briefing on Wednesday, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy confronted Psaki on the numbers – which he said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas didn’t know. 

‘So who else can we ask?’ Doocy asked.

When Psaki attempted to direct him back to DHS, an incredulous Doocy replied: ‘He says he doesn’t know.’

She replied: ‘I am confident that he wanted to have the most up-to-date numbers and we will venture to get you those – I promise, this afternoon.’

Doocy told Sean Hannity on his 9-10pm show on Fox that Psaki was yet to provide the figures. 

Mayorkas, meanwhile, was at the Capitol on Wednesday for his second day of back-to-back Congressional hearings.

Republican Florida Rep. Carlos Gimenez asked Mayorkas today about how many of the migrants apprehended at the border this year were detained, returned or ‘dispersed.’

‘I would be pleased to provide you with specific data subsequent to this hearing, congressman,’ Mayorkas answered. 

Gimenez accused Mayorkas of being unprepared for the hearing, to which the DHS chief snapped about his long work hours.

‘I work 18 hours a day, OK? So when I returned from yesterday’s hearing, I actually focused on mission. We will get that data, both to the senator who posed it yesterday and to you, congressman, today,’ he said.

It follows on from Tuesday’s hearing before the Senate when Mayorkas still could not provide migrant data.

‘I want some numbers here,’ said Ron Johnson, a Republican senator for Wisconsin. 

‘Of the 1.3 million people that we’ve apprehended, how many people have been returned? How many people are being detained? How many people have been dispersed to all points around America?’  

DHS Secretary Mayorkas was grilled by lawmakers in back-to-back hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday. He was at the border on Monday

DHS Secretary Mayorkas was grilled by lawmakers in back-to-back hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday. He was at the border on Monday 

‘Senator, I would be pleased to provide you with that data — ‘ Mayorkas said before he was cut off.

‘I want them now,’ Johnson demanded. ‘Why don’t you have that information now?’

‘Senator, I do not have that data before me,’ Mayorkas replied.

‘Why not? Why don’t you have that basic information?’ the senator asked.

‘Senator, I want to be accurate,’ Mayorkas said. 

On Wednesday, Johnson wrote to Mayorkas formally requesting the figures.

‘At yesterday’s Senate hearing you failed to answer my questions about basic information on apprehensions at the U.S. border,’ he wrote. 

‘Of the approximately 1.3 million apprehensions, how many people have been returned, how many people have been detained, and how many people have been dispersed into the U.S.?’ 

Johnson said he would like a response within a week. 

The secretary revealed Tuesday that around 5,000 migrants have been removed from the encampment surrounding the Del Rio International Bridge, as the Department of Homeland Security launches a probe into agents on horseback using what appeared to be whips against the mostly Haitian migrants.

‘How many migrants have crossed into the United States in Del Rio over the past week?’ Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley asked Mayorkas.

‘So last week, I think the high point was 13,000-15,000 – it is now well below 10,000. We continue to move individuals from Del Rio to other processing centers to facilitate their repatriation,’ the DHS secretary responded.

‘We have increased the number of repatriation flights to Haiti and to other countries,’ Mayorkas added.

It was revealed this week DHS is aiming to send out several deportation flights per day. 

Kamala Harris tells Mayorkas to order Border Patrol to treat migrants with ‘dignity’

Kamala Harris demanded that Border Patrol agents treat the thousands of mostly Haitian migrants gathered in Del Rio, Texas with ‘dignity’ after images emerged of officers on horseback using what appeared to be a whip to wrangle the illegal border hoppers.

‘Yesterday, Vice President Harris spoke to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to receive an update about his trip to Del Rio,’ Harris’ chief spokesperson Symone Sanders said in a statement on Wednesday.

‘During that call, the Vice President raised her grave concerns about the mistreatment of Haitian migrants by border patrol agents on horses, and the need of all CBP agents to treat people with dignity, humanely and consistent with our laws and our values.’

However the VP failed to come up with a solution to the migrant crisis and simply heaped blame on overstretched Border Patrol agents. 

Mayorkas also refused to say whether he felt he and the Biden administration bear any responsibility for the influx of Haitian migrants over the last few weeks or the broader border crisis in general. 

The DHS chief visited the border after increasing pressure to do so as images of mostly Haitian migrants in a tent city under the Del Rio bridge spurred accusations the Biden administration was enabling a humanitarian crisis.  

The White House is facing sharp bipartisan condemnation. 

Republicans say Biden administration policies led Haitians to believe they would get asylum. 

Democrats are expressing outrage after images went viral this week of Border Patrol agents on horseback using aggressive tactics against the migrants. 

Many of the 8,600 who remain there have resorted to fashioning makeshift tents using discarded clothing and tree branches in order to provide at least some shelter from the elements.

The heat has been punishing over the last week with temperatures soaring into the high 90s. Families have resorted to bathing in the grimy water of the Rio Grande river to cool off. 

The squalor is more reminiscent of a Developing World country than the land of the American dream, which thousands of migrants have fled to in the hopes of claiming asylum and building a better life.  

Empty water bottles, food containers and other litter is strewn around while mountains of garbage tower up high into the air.

An aerial photo shows the huge piles of garbage from above, which are seen just steps away from the places young children call home. 

In another image, women and young children are seen lying among plastic bottles and an empty Oreo packet, on the ground which is covered in the remnants of trees that have been used to fashion the shelters. 

Another photo shows a Haitian passport in a pile of trash including empty aluminum cans, an old shoe and discarded clothing.  

The cramped conditions have also fueled fears of a COVID-19 outbreak – especially given that the migrants crossing the border are not required to be vaccinated before entering the US.    

Women and young children are seen lying on the ground of the camp among plastic bottles, empty Oreo packets and food containers

Women and young children are seen lying on the ground of the camp among plastic bottles, empty Oreo packets and food containers 

A young girl stands in the place that she currently calls home in a makeshift camp under the Del Rio bridge in Texas

A young girl stands in the place that she currently calls home in a makeshift camp under the Del Rio bridge in Texas 

Almost 15,000 mostly Haitian migrants were camped out under the bridge at the weekend after crossing into the US from Mexico. 

Many fled Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and have been living in South American countries including Brazil and Chile. 

But since these nations have been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, many Haitians have traveled up through South America and Mexico to seek asylum in the US. 

Biden has been blamed after a May proclamation that Haitians in the US would not be deported for 18 months because of instability in their home country, and could apply for documentation to work in the US. 

That only applied to Haitians already in the US at the time, but thousands have since made the trip to the border in a bid to take advantage of it.

Most of them live in Chile and Brazil, having moved there after the devastating 2010 earthquake that killed 200,000. 

Border Patrol agents struggling to process the vast numbers of people quickly enough set up the makeshift camp under the bridge as a temporary home. 

Last week, concerns rose that there would not be enough food, water and basic supplies to provide for the thousands of migrants living at the site. 

Meanwhile, Mexico has begun busing and flying Haitian migrants away from the U.S. border, authorities said Tuesday, signaling a new level of support for the United States. 

Mexico has helped at key moments before. 

It intensified patrols to stop unaccompanied Central American children from reaching the Texas border in 2014, allowed tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration courts in 2019 and, just last month, began deporting Central American migrants to Guatemala after the Biden administration flew them to southern Mexico.

A migrant walks past a pile of garbage at the camp under the Del Rio bridge in Texas on the US-Mexico border Tuesday night

A migrant walks past a pile of garbage at the camp under the Del Rio bridge in Texas on the US-Mexico border Tuesday night

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign relations secretary, said Tuesday he had spoken with his U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, about the Haitians’ situation. 

Ebrard said most of the Haitians already had refugee status in Chile or Brazil and weren’t seeking it in Mexico.

‘What they are asking for is to be allowed to pass freely through Mexico to the United States,’ Ebrard said.

In Haiti, dozens of migrants upset about being deported from the U.S. tried to rush back into a plane that landed Tuesday afternoon in Port-au-Prince as they yelled at authorities. 

A security guard closed the plane door in time as some deportees began throwing rocks and shoes at the plane. 

Several of them lost their belongings in the scuffle as police arrived. 

The group was disembarking from one of three flights scheduled for the day. 

‘Word went out – we’re not going to deport you’: Ted Cruz says migrant crisis grew from 900 in early September to 15,000 just weeks later after Biden CANCELED flights back to Haiti: Hundreds seek asylum in Mexico after crackdown

Ted Cruz has slammed Joe Biden‘s chaotic management of the migrant border crisis, saying thousands of desperate Haitians rushed to Texas after the president canceled deportation flights.

Up to 15,000 migrants have been living in squalid conditions in an impromptu camp that sprang up under a bridge spanning the Rio Grande from the Texas town Del Rio to Mexico‘s Ciudad Acuna. 

The Department of Homeland Security say they have removed 4,600 people in recent days from the site but have not revealed how many have been released into the US.

The White House has also refused to answer when, if ever, Biden has visited the border, even in his previous roles as vice president and senator.

Following the recent crackdown in response to the huge influx, hundreds of migrants have instead headed to Mexico’s refugee agencies and shelters amid the chaotic scenes.  

Speaking to Fox News‘ Laura Ingraham, Cruz, a Republican Texas senator, said: ‘What’s happening in Del Rio really illustrates the cause-and-effect of the Biden border disaster. To really understand it, you have to go back to September 8.

Ted Cruz has slammed Joe Biden's management of the migrant border crisis, saying thousands of Haitians rushed to Texas after the president canceled deportation flights

Ted Cruz has slammed Joe Biden’s management of the migrant border crisis, saying thousands of Haitians rushed to Texas after the president canceled deportation flights

Up to 15,000 migrants have been living in squalid conditions in an impromptu camp that sprang up under a bridge spanning the Rio Grande

Up to 15,000 migrants have been living in squalid conditions in an impromptu camp that sprang up under a bridge spanning the Rio Grande

‘On September 8, under that bridge, there were, on any given day, between 700 and 1,000 illegal immigrants, mostly from Haiti.

‘On September 8 there were roughly 900 Haitians that were scheduled to be on airplanes to go back to Haiti and the Biden administration canceled those flights. 

‘They said, ‘We’re not gonna deport you. You can stay here. You can remain in America.’

‘And what happened was simple. Those 900 Haitians, they pulled out their phones. And they got their phone and they called their families, they called their friends. They texted their family and friends.’

Migrants have been using Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp to share detailed instructions with friends and family back home on how to cross the border into the US, it was recently revealed.

The White House has refused to answer when, if ever, Biden has visited the border, even in his previous roles as vice president and senator

The White House has refused to answer when, if ever, Biden has visited the border, even in his previous roles as vice president and senator

Cruz continued: ‘You had 700 people on September 8. I was down in Del Rio eight days later on September 16. The day I was there, 700 people had become 10,503. It took eight days for that to happen.

‘Within a couple of days that 10,000 had become 15,000 and it was straight cause-and-effect. The word went out that the Biden administration is not going to enforce the law.

‘And if you’re from Haiti, come to Del Rio because that means you get to stay, and that’s what’s produced this disaster.’ 

Biden initially suspended repatriation flights to Haiti after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people and damaged more than 100,000 homes.

But he has since stepped up the deportation blitz in order to curb the number of undocumented migrants flooding into Del Rio as thousands continued to arrive. 

The official line is that Haitians are being expelled from the US back to the crisis-stricken Caribbean nation under a Donald Trump-era rule.

Under Title 42, migrants can be repatriated to their home nations without the possibility of requesting asylum due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some 523 Haitians have since been deported to their homeland on four flights, with repatriations set to continue on a regular basis, the Department of Homeland Security said.

But thousands of migrants have also been freed into the US on a ‘very, very large scale’ rather than being flown out as the Biden administration promised, according to officials. It’s estimated as many as 5,000 migrants have been allowed in.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been forced to use ‘unprecedented’ methods to prevent more from entering his state by creating a ‘steel barrier’ of hundreds of vehicles at the border.  

Migrants exit a Border Patrol bus and prepare to be received by the Val Verde Humanitarian Coalition after crossing the Rio Grande on Wednesday

Migrants exit a Border Patrol bus and prepare to be received by the Val Verde Humanitarian Coalition after crossing the Rio Grande on Wednesday

They are lined up outside Del Rio in Texas, which has seen an influx of 14,600 migrants who crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into the US. An estimated 8,600 remained in the town of 35,000 people as of Tuesday night, with 1,083 so far deported back to Haiti

They are lined up outside Del Rio in Texas, which has seen an influx of 14,600 migrants who crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into the US. An estimated 8,600 remained in the town of 35,000 people as of Tuesday night, with 1,083 so far deported back to Haiti

Abbott visited the site on Tuesday and praised DPS and Texas National Guard for creating the barrier by using hundreds of state-owned vehicles, almost all of which appear to be bulky SUVs.  

Unlike Abbott, Biden is yet to witness the scenes of chaos firsthand, where migrants are living in squalid conditions and forced to sleep on the ground under makeshift tents from discarded clothing and tree branches in searing heat.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was pressed on whether Biden had visited the southern border at all in his life but she said she could not provide a date.

The president has frequently visited areas affected by natural disasters but is yet to make a trip to the current crisis emerging in Texas.    

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said: ‘Has Joe Biden ever been to the border? It’s a question that needs to be answered by the president, who is presiding over the most disastrous border crisis in decades.

‘The RNC Research team investigated and has been unable to find a single example of Biden visiting the border in at least a decade, even when he was Obama’s border czar. Biden created a humanitarian crisis at the border and refuses to take responsibility for it.

‘The buck stops with him, and it is long past time for Biden to make the trip, see the devastating impacts of his open border policies for himself, and address the crises his failed policies created.’ 

Filippo Grandi, the head of the UN refugee agency, has warned that US expulsions to such a volatile situation might violate international law.

The chaotic scenes at the border and news of the expulsion flights convinced some Haitian migrants transiting through Mexico that it would be better to petition for legal status there, rather than risk crossing the U.S. border.

‘My thinking is to find a better life, wherever I find it… I never said it had to be in the United States,’ said Wilner Plaisir, a Haitian asylum seeker waiting outside the offices of the Mexican refugee agency COMAR in Mexico City on Wednesday.

John Rourke on Wednesday night told of the distressing scenes he saw in Del Rio, Texas

John Rourke on Wednesday night told of the distressing scenes he saw in Del Rio, Texas

‘If I can find work, I’ll stay here with my family,’ said the construction worker.

Statistics published by COMAR show that 18,883 Haitians applied for asylum in Mexico in the first eight months of this year, the second-highest nationality after Hondurans.

Border Patrol agents were so concerned about the escalating situation at the border that they requested additional resources three months ago – but their concerns were not acted on by superiors.

Jon Anfinsen, National Border Patrol Council local president told CNN that the union on June 1 suggested improvements to the system.

Anfinsen said that they wanted agents to be sent to the border with tablets to start the intake process when a large group crosses the river, instead of having the group wait there while space is cleared in the station.

‘This way, we can at least get part of the process finished before they even get to the station instead of wasting that time,’ said the email.

The union followed up on June 3, and also suggested placing a trailer in the area for additional staff, to deal with a predicted surge.

On June 17, the union received a one-sentence response: ‘This is being explored, several other platforms are being considered which are more efficient.’ 

Meanwhile an Army veteran who organizes annual clean-ups of American cities has told of his shock at the squalid conditions along the border.

John Rourke, founder of the Great American Clean-Up, said that he and his team were taken aback at the scenes.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security Secretary, was in the city on Monday but Rourke told Fox News‘ Tucker Carlson that more needed to be done. 

‘Let me tell you what I saw,’ Rourke said. 

‘I saw people washing babies in the Rio Grande.

‘I saw ladies breastfeeding babies, sleeping in dirt, 107 degrees outside, red ants everywhere, real coyotes – the ones that have four legs walking around.

‘It’s like Naked And Afraid: the southern border edition, out there. 

‘People are literally knocking down trees and setting up lean-tos and teepees and sleeping under those.’

He said he and his colleagues ‘picked up thousands of pounds of garbage along the southern border.’  


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