This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Sunday, December 3, 2017

U.S. Pulls Out of Global Compact on Migration

Thanks to Rubèn Rumbaut for pointing me to the sad story that the United States has pulled out of the United Nations Global Compact on Migration. This was a non-binding political declaration agreed to a little more than a year ago by all 193 member states of the United Nations. The Telegraph in the U.K. notes that the motivation behind the agreement was that migration (especially forced migration) is a growing global issue and success in dealing with this is probably greater if all nations can help "to to uphold the rights of refugees, help them resettle and ensure they have access to education and
jobs."

The withdrawal by the U.S. comes the day before the start of a UN-sponsored meeting on global migration to be held this week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Although the Compact on Migration is voluntary, CNN notes that a statement from the U.S. State Department indicates that it "undermines the nation's sovereignty."

"While we will continue to engage on a number of fronts at the United Nations," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement Sunday, "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." 
The US supports "international cooperation on migration issues," the statement added, "but it is the primary responsibility of sovereign states to help ensure that migration is safe, orderly, and legal."
Of some interest is a report by Foreign Policy magazine that U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was opposed to pulling out:
White House chief of staff John Kelly, who previously led the Department of Homeland Security’s crackdown on illegal immigrants, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions strongly backed a pullout, according to diplomatic sources familiar with the deliberations. The State Department initially opposed the withdrawal, but its policy planning chief, Brian Hook, who represented Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the principals’ meeting, reversed course and recommended ditching the negotiations.
The meeting ended in deadlock, with Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, expressing the lone dissent. Haley had argued that the United States would have a better shot at influencing the outcome of the negotiations if it participated in the process.
She was ultimately overruled by the president, according to diplomatic sources.

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