By all accounts (from people I politically agree with!) Trump gave a great speech at the UN yesterday. And, although we stepped back from one of two new compacts related to refugees under construction in the world body, we participate in this one. (See here that Trump removed us from a second UN compact deliberation.)
Writing at the Center for Immigration Studies, Nayla Rush, tells us what is wrong with the deliberations that would actually expand the protection the 1951 Refugee Convention presently offers to supposedly only legitimate refugees.
(See wikipedia for more on the 1951 Convention and don’t miss the definition of who is a ‘refugee.’)
In my view, these negotiations are one more way to expand the definition of what constitutes a ‘refugee’ which then would allow more people from the third world to move to the first without them having to prove that they would be persecuted if returned home.
By the way, this discussion of a new refugee compact was launched at Obama’s UN pow-wow in the fall of 2016 when they all were assuming Hillary was moving to the Oval!
Here is the news and analysis at the Center for Immigration Studies:
U.S. Continues to Back UN Refugee Compact that Contradicts Administration Goals
Despite announcing a lower refugee-resettlement ceiling for the coming fiscal year, the Trump administration continues to support the UN’s Global Compact on Refugees, which is in total contradiction to the administration’s refugee policies.
The final text of the Global Compact on Refugees was released late July. This refugee compact was expected to be adopted by UN member states (including the United States) at the 73rd General Assembly in New York later this week; but the vote is now expected to take place in December. The UN refugee compact seeks for more resettlement places while using expedited processing modalities; facilitating access to family reunification for resettled refugees and encouraging complementary pathways for refugees through private sponsorship programs (such as student scholarships, employment opportunities etc.) that would be additional to regular resettlement and are harder to monitor.
The Trump administration, on the other hand, announced the FY 2019 refugee ceiling of 30,000***, down from 45,000 for 2018 (both ceilings count as the lowest ceiling determinations since the creation of the refugee resettlement program following the Refugee Act of 1980). The reasoning behind such low ceilings is two-fold: Improving the screening and vetting of resettlement candidates (which means slower admissions) and reducing the untenable asylum backlog by reassigning refugee officers to asylum cases.
The Trump administration’s continued commitment to the UN agreement is puzzling.
Beware COMPLEMENTARY PATHWAYS!
UNHCR’s Protection head, Volker Türk, insisted on the need for a new international agreement on refugees other than the 1951 Refugee Convention.
According to him, the 1951 convention, while focusing on rights of refugees and obligations of states, does not deal with international cooperation; it “does not specify how you share the burden and responsibility, and that’s what the global compact does. It responds to one of the major gaps we have faced for decades.” Türk added: “Also, we would aim [through the Global Compact on Refugees] to get more resettlement places and find more ways refugees can move to third countries – such as through family reunification, student scholarships, or humanitarian visas, so that refugees can travel safely (what we call ‘complementary pathways’).”
You can readily see how the UN wants an expansion of the definition of the 1951 definition of refugee protection to family members (who may not be legitimate refugees in their own right), students, and whatever that broad new category called humanitarian visas might allow.
Rush has many more details, click here to read it all.
I’m assuming the Trump Administration stayed involved in this series of meetings so they would continue to be informed. I guess we will find out in a few months how serious the President is about not letting the rest of the world dictate who the ‘new Americans’ will be.
***I’ve been arguing for a refugee cap of zero for the coming year. It would be the only way to force Congress to review the program with an eye to serious reform. I would argue that the United Nations should be completely removed from our decisions on who comes to America and who doesn’t.
At the present time the UN is dictating that we take the DR Congolese and the Burmese Rohingya. Before that it was the Bhutanese camps they wanted cleared and we said ‘yes master’ and did it! They pushed heavily for us to take the Syrian Muslims from their camps too, but Trump managed to stop that.
If we are going to take any refugees, we should demand that we pick only those we want!