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Trump Administration Abandons Global Commitments, Betrays Displaced Women And Children

NEW YORK, NY – Just 15 months after 193 members of the UN General Assembly, including the United States, voted unanimously to support the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, the Trump administration announced Saturday it was pulling out of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, which is the part of the declaration focused on advancing the protections and rights of migrants.

In September of 2016, the New York Declaration put forward a set of non-binding commitments to help map out a set of global priorities advancing the human rights of displaced persons, which includes the Global Compact on Migrants slated for release at the UN in September of 2018.

“The U.S. has long been a leader in the integration of migrants and refugees from all over the world,” said Sarah Costa, executive director of the Women’s Refugee Commission. “The Trump administration’s refusal to collaborate with other nations in developing a unified, human, and secure approach to the global crisis is irresponsible and a betrayal of migrant women and children around the world.”

Included in the commitments of the Global Compact on Migrants is combatting gender-based violence—including trafficking—and addressing the needs of unaccompanied and separated children who do not qualify for international protections as refugees but may need assistance.

“Life for migrants and asylum seekers in the U.S. has been a nightmare under the Trump administration,” said Costa. “Withdrawing from the compact discussions is another example of the Trump administration’s determination to play political games that put the safety and legal rights of migrants around the globe in jeopardy.”

Under the Trump administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ramped up its targeting of migrant women, survivors of domestic abuse, unaccompanied children, and children fleeing violence from Central America.

In the brief press statement Saturday, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley stated that, “…our decision on immigration polices must always be made by Americans and Americans alone.”

The New York Declaration specifically addresses that “each State has a sovereign right” to determine its own immigration policies.