Trump Administration Scraps Leadership on Global Migration Crisis: Justice for All Deplores “Disappointing” Decision to Drop Agreement

December 4, 2017: Yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the Trump administration is withdrawing from the Global Compact on Migration, claiming the pact would undermine the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. His announcement of the U.S. withdrawal came just hours before the opening of a global conference on migration in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to strengthen international response to the 60 million people worldwide who have been forcibly displaced due to conflict, climate change, economic ruin and oppression.

Secretary of State Tillerson’s assertion that the compact would “undermine the sovereign right of the United States to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders” is false. The Compact, which is strictly voluntary, is still being formalized in discussions of UN members states and arises out of the 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which the Obama Administration helped to shape. The Trump Administration misrepresents the nature of the agreement, which is an effort to reach agreement on voluntary measures to prevent unsafe and irregular migration—a crisis that has challenged so many governments from the Mediterranean to the Mexican border. The Trump Administration’s “go it alone” approach will also hurt American interests, limiting U.S. capacity to influence critical international discussion.

Justice for All is deeply disappointed by the US decision to withdraw from multilateral agreements such as the Global Compact on Migration, along with reducing the numbers of refugees given safe haven in the US,” stated Malik Mujahid, Chairman of Justice for All, an NGO accredited at the United Nations. “I am just back from the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, and it is absolutely clear that human suffering at this scale requires international cooperation, not isolationism. Yet we see the current US government giving up its leadership responsibilities and withdrawing from treaty after treaty.”

President Trump has stated the US is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement as well as from UNESCO, the UN organization working to expand education and preserve cultural heritage worldwide. His administration has initiated a range of anti-immigrant and anti-refugee policies. Foreign Policy magazine has noted that these policies have “highlighted the enduring influence of Stephen Miller” but that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Attorney General Jeff Sessions “strongly backed a pullout.”

A spokesperson said U.N. General Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák regretted the decision to “disengage,” saying a multilateral approach is key to addressing international migration issues. Justice for All is a human rights NGO working to protect the most vulnerable. We host Burma Task Force, our most active program, advocating for the persecuted Rohingya minority on behalf of a coalition of 19 American and Canadian Muslim organizations.

For more information on Justice for All/ Burma Task Force please see: www.justiceforall.org
Contact: Hani Salhab Hani@justiceforall.org
Phone: +1 312 750 1178