The United States through a statement read by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has now formally notified the United Nations that it no longer plans to be involved in the global pact on migration.
“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.”
Under the initiative of the Obama administration, the United States became a member of the U.N’s New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants since it was established in 2016.
The objectives of the declaration are to protect the rights of migrants, assist in their resettlement, provide them access to education and procurement of jobs. The declaration hopes to negotiate for a global pact on migration which is scheduled to be in place by 2018.
The decision of the U.S. to pull out of the pact comes a few days before a scheduled global conference on migration in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Tillerson stated the position of the United States which viewed some of the provisions contained in the pact were not aligned with the nation’s immigration policies:
“The US supports international cooperation on migration issues but it is the primary responsibility of sovereign states to help ensure that migration is safe, orderly and legal.”
US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, echoed the sentiments shared by Tillerson:
“Our decisions on 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.”
According to Haley, U.S. President Donald Trump made the decision to withdraw from the global pact of migration citing the need for America to follow its own policies on immigration.
U.N. General Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák expressed regret at the U.S’s decision to leave the group:
“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. As such, it has the experience and expertise to help ensure that this process leads to a successful outcome.”