Deportation of Haitians intensifies criticism of Biden

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A Haitian immigrant crisis in Texas followed yesterday scratching the president’s image Joe Biden. US Special Envoy to Haiti Daniel Foote handed over the post in a letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. In the message, he says he does not want to be associated with the government’s decision to deport refugees en masse in an “inhumane” and “counterproductive” manner.

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“I will not join in the inhumane and counterproductive decision to deport thousands of refugees to Haiti, a country where US authorities are confined to secure complexes because of armed gangs. Our approach remains wrong, my recommendations have been ignored and rejected, if not edited to project a narrative different from mine,” wrote Foote.

This week, the US government intensified the deportation of Haitians arriving seeking asylum. At the end of last week, authorities estimated that more than 10,000 immigrants had crossed the border on the stretch of Rio Grande that separates the cities of Del Rio, Texas, and Ciudad Acuña, in the Mexican state of Coahuila. More than 29,000 Haitians arrived in the US in the last 11 months, according to data from the US Customs and Border Protection (CPB).

Earlier this week, some 15,000 people were sheltering in makeshift camps under the international bridge between Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña, while agents worked to process asylum requests. According to authorities, access to drinking water and food is scarce and hygiene conditions are precarious.

GettyImages 1342162194 Deportation of Haitians intensifies criticism of Biden

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The crisis made the American government intensify the number and capacity of deportation flights for Haitians. Since Sunday, an estimated 500 people have been sent back to Haiti – the plan is to dispatch seven flights a day in a mass deportation campaign.

“The people of Haiti, mired in poverty, hostage to terror, kidnappings, robberies and massacres by armed gangs and suffering under a corrupt government, cannot bear the forced return of migrants without food, shelter and money. It is an avoidable human tragedy. The collapsing state is unable to provide security and basic services. More refugees will fuel even more despair and crime,” Foote wrote in the letter.

Amid the pressure caused by immigration, the reaction of the American authorities provoked criticism. On Sunday, cameramen and photographers recorded footage of CPB agents on horseback trying to hunt down refugees. An investigation was opened by the Department of Homeland Security.

After the scandal, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Republican, sent a fleet of official cars to be lined up for miles, forming a barricade along the border. The “steel wall” was the solution found by the governor – who advocates the construction of a wall on the Texas border – to prevent the crossing of more migrants.