Over the weekend, the Trump administration closed the door on participation in the Global Compact on Migration, an intergovernmental agreement designed to address emerging issues and crises pertaining to migrant rights.
At last year’s inaugural U.N. Summit for Refugees and Migrants, the General Assembly unanimously decided to start creating the global compact with heads of state from around to world to ensure “safe, orderly and regular migration.”
But, arguing for “U.S. sovereignty,” the administration has withdrawn from developing the agreement, of which none of the provisions would even be mandatory.
Ambassador Nikki Haley, U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, stated that even though the U.S. takes pride in its immigrant heritage, “immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone.”
“We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country. The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty,” Haley said in a statement.
Now, more than ever, waves of migrants are seeking refuge from life-and-death circumstances. As a once-recognized leader in humanitarian efforts, the U.S. is suffering another blow to its reputation as a global force of compassion.
Building on Trump’s overly isolationist foundation after pulling out of the Paris Climate accord, the administration is demonstrating a dangerous aversion to even engage in talks, let alone taking the required bold action needed to adapt to the modern era.
Estimating that more than 60 million people have been displaced around the world, the United Nations aimed to reach consensus on the agreement next year.
“An unwillingness even to negotiate international principles for safe, regular and orderly migration is a head-in-the-sand denial of a basic reality of human history,” Bill Frelick, refugee rights program coordinator at Human Rights Watch, told The New York Times. “Simplistic solutions like walls will not solve the complex problem of unsafe, irregular, disorderly migration, demonstrating a callous disregard for the lives of migrants and jaw-dropping irresponsibility toward the community of nations.”