Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday announced the Trump administration is pulling out of a United Nations-led Global Compact on Migration (GCM), claiming it could undermine the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.  

“The United States has decided to end participation in the UN process to develop a Global Compact on Migration (GCM),” Tillerson said in a statement.

The U.S. has participated in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a 2016 agreement to manage international migration, which was in the process of being adopted as a global compact in 2018.


Tillerson, however, said that the compact, which aims to protect the rights of migrants as well as help them resettle, “contains a number of policy goals that are inconsistent with U.S. law and policy.”

“While we will continue to engage on a number of fronts at the United Nations, in this case, we simply cannot in good faith support a process that could undermine the sovereign right of the United States to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders,” he continued. He stressed  that it “is the primary responsibility of sovereign states to help ensure that migration is safe, orderly, and legal.”

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.
“The role of the United States in this process is critical as it has historically and generously welcomed people from all across the globe and remains home to the largest number of international migrants in the world,” the spokesperson, Brenden Varma, said in a statement.
“The President stresses that migration is a global phenomenon that demands a global response and that multilateralism remains the best way to address global challenges,” he added.

The decisions withdraw leave GCM comes one day before a global conference on migration is set to take place in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. 

President Trump has repeatedly pledged on the campaign trail and in office to strengthen the nation’s borders and crack down on illegal immigration.


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