Trump withdraws U.S. from UN migration pact


Over the weekend, the Trump administration formally withdrew the United States from the Global Compact on Migration, a proposed agreement through the United Nations that is meant to help countries manage the “global flows of migrants and refugees.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson claimed the decision was made because such an agreement would subvert the “sovereign right of the United States to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders.”

Last year, the United States joined every member nation of the UN in committing to protecting migrant and refugee rights, as well as the mission of safe resettlement. Globally, upwards of 60 million people are currently displaced. Talks began in April, with the United States’ participation, but the withdrawal seems to coincide with the Trump administration’s hardline immigration stance, alongside the travel ban and the president’s proposed border wall.

Critics of the decision to withdraw, such as Human Rights Watch’s Bill Frelick, call the new approach “simplistic” and “head-in-the-sand denial of a basic reality.” Others believe the United States’ withdrawal will undermine the global effort and may even worsen the problem. They charge President Trump with appeasing his base at the cost of supporting human rights efforts.