US’ withdrawal from migration pact shows callous disregard of need to protect rights of migrants: Trump wants perpetration of exploitation and forced displacement
Reference: Ms. Eni Lestari, IMA Chairperson
4 December 2017
The recent US government’s pronouncement of withdrawing from the process of creating the United Nations Global Compact on Migration is a callous disregard of the need for the international community to address pressing concerns of the millions of displaced peoples. It reeks of arrogance just so it can ensure the unchecked implementation of anti-immigrant policies within the US while maintaining the current global migration design of forced migration and exploitation of migrants.
In a statement signed by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the US government stated that the provisions of the GCM are “inconsistent with the US Immigration and refugee policies and the Trump administration’s immigration principles.”
Clearly, what the US government meant was that challenges thrown to the GCM process by migrants and advocates to make the said compact address human rights, labor issues, gender concerns, and the root causes of migration – even while States drumbeat resources gained from migration – are not consistent with Trump’s immigration policy directions.
The Trump immigration policies include massive cuts in the number of immigrants allowed in the US, widespread crackdown – arrest, detention and deportation of undocumented migrants – and further exploitation of immigrants allowed to stay in the country. As President, Donald Trump has pushed for the construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border and implemented a travel ban on six Muslim majority countries.
The International Migrants Alliance (IMA) believes that such withdrawal is a total disregard of the importance and principles of international cooperation and solidarity, and an arbitrary reneging from commitments reflected in the New York Declaration that resulted from the UN Summit on Migrants and Refugees held in September last year.
Even before the non-binding global compact is negotiated and its implementation providing no assurance for drastic and concrete changes, the Trump administration is already afraid to be put accountable to the intensifying displacement of people due to neoliberal policies and the multiple wars that are both championed by the US. The twin measures that the US upholds perpetuate massive poverty and unemployment, environmental degradation, constriction of social services, and a host of other grave impacts that force people to leave their countries of origin only to be trapped in further vulnerable and exploitative conditions in countries of destination.
IMA believes that such decision made by the Trump administration to withdraw from the GCM process can create a bandwagon effect especially on the commitments that major receiving countries of migrants and refugees will pledge. The GCM that is already in a tenuous position to resolve issues of migrants will end up as another shallow pact of UN Member States.
The International Migrants Alliance, the global alliance of migrants, immigrants and refugee organizations is calling its members in more than 30 countries including its allies to remain vigilant in this on-going process of crafting a global compact on migration and refugees.
IMA will continue to expose and oppose the root causes of forced migration and the exploitation of migrants. IMA will pursue the building of the global movement of migrants to resist neoliberal dictates and agenda on migration. It will continue to advance changes in all levels – national to international – that will uphold the rights and wellbeing of migrants and bring about a more democratic and pro-people system where migration is a free exercise of right and not an instrument and result of an exploitative and oppressive capitalist system.