The Trump administration announced this weekend it is withdrawing from a United Nations nonbinding pact that was looking into ways of addressing the global flow of migrants.
In a statement released Saturday, United States Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said the country’s participation in the Global Compact on Migration was incompatible with President Trump’s immigration policies.
"[Our] decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone," the statement reads. "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."
According to a report in Foreign Policy, Haley had wanted the U.S. to stay in the pact but was “overruled by the president,” diplomatic sources said.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended the administration’s decision, arguing it was not an isolationist move but a defense of the U.S.’s power to determine who crosses its borders.
“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 said in a statement on Sunday.
The global pact in question was birthed September 2016, when the 196 U.N. member countries voted unanimously to adopt the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a nonbinding declaration with a goal to enhance international cooperation in dealing with present and future waves of immigration.
The declaration was made up of commitments designed to protect migrants’ human rights, enhance international border security cooperation and further prevent governments from detaining child immigrants. (Newsweek)
U.N.'s President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcák expressed regret over the U.S.’s decision, saying in a statement that no country "can manage international migration on its own."
"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 statement reads. "As such, it has the experience and expertise to help ensure that this process leads to a successful outcome."