2018 was the year that the United Nations made it first attempt at the global governance of migration — a move rejected by patriotic countries like the United States, Hungary, Israel, and Australia.
On December 19th, 152 countries at the UN General Assembly in New York City voted in favour of adopting the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration.
A dozen countries abstained, including Australia and Italy, and five countries voted against it, three in the European Union — the United States, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Israel.
— Mama Merkel: from migrant crisis to migration management —
The UN began drafting the document in response to Europe’s migrant crisis of 2015, fuelled by German Chancellor Angela Merkel unilaterally suspending the EU regular asylum rules and throwing open the gates to more than one million migrants from the Third World.
In a robust defence of the migration document in November, Chancellor Merkel launched an attack on European nations considering rejecting the compact, calling them “nationalists” in the pejorative, claiming such countries were not “patriotic.”
Later that month it was revealed that Merkel, the architect of Europe’s migrant crisis, had been the main driving force for the international document and had been working on it as early as 2016 and while the document could not assert itself to be legally binding, Germany sought for it to be considered “politically” binding.
Supporters of this major piece of “global governance” claimed that it will stop illegal migration, will set out a “cooperative framework” for dealing with global mass migration, and aims to protect the “human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants” — however, the document does not acknowledge in one instance the existence of illegal migration, the word “illegal” not appearing at all.
Likewise, the word “stop” — as in “stopping” illegal immigration or mass migration — and its derivations only appear once: in reference to UN nations committing to “stopping” the allocation of public funding or material support to media outlets deemed to be promoting “intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants” in their reporting.
Exclusive: German Populist Leader Slams Merkel For UN Migrant Pact Deception https://t.co/YcgI1xbZkm
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 26, 2018
— “Not legally binding” —
A factor which may have persuaded so many nations to back the document were the assurances that the compact is “non-legally binding”; in fact, that phrase appears only twice in the document, while “we commit to,” “commit,” or “commitment” appear a total of 86 times.
Despite assurances from liberal progressives that signing the international compact would not infringe on a country’s rights to determine immigration policy, experts have noted the UN compact occupied a “legal grey area” which “gives the impression of [state] liability” and could be used by open borders activists and civil society groups to interpret national immigration law.
Dutch MEP and Co-President of the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group Marcel de Graaff warned that the compact is “still the legal framework on which the participating countries commit themselves to build new legislation.”
Calling it “a legalisation of mass migration,” the Dutch populist said, “It’s declaring migration a human right,” and said he believed the compact could be used as a basis for making criticism of mass migration illegal.
“One basic element of this new agreement is the extension of the definition of hate speech… Criticism of migration will become a criminal offence. Media outlets that give room to criticism of migration can be shut down,” he claimed.
‘Hypocritical’ UK Govt to Sign UN Migration Pact Despite Pledge to Control Borders https://t.co/feAvK9DoII
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 25, 2018
— “Trump First”: the United States rejects the compact —
The United States was the first country to say that it would not support the migration compact, a full year before it was signed in December 2017.
U.S. officials said that the pact “contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with U.S. immigration and refugee policies and the Trump Administration’s immigration principles.”
The move was consistent with President Donald Trump’s America First policies and he was criticised by the establishment media and global elite; but the move broke the spell and gave leave to other patriotic nations to put the rights of their citizens first and ensure the continued sanctity of their national borders.
Addressing the UN General Assembly in September 2018, President Trump reiterated his rejection of the compact, saying “Migration should not be governed by an international body, unaccountable to our own citizens.”
“Ultimately, the only long-term solution to the migration crisis is to help people build more hopeful futures in their home countries,” President Trump said. “Make their countries great again.”
Belgian Government Collapses Over UN Migration Pact https://t.co/i64qum7i6V
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 10, 2018
— Hungary rejects “unbalanced, biased and pro-migration document” —
Hungary told the UN lats week it reserved the sovereign right to decide on migration and security measures, but was the first country to back President Trump in rejecting the compact.
“This document is entirely against Hungary’s security interests,” Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in July.
“Its main premise is that migration is a good and inevitable phenomenon … We consider migration a bad process, which has extremely serious security implications,” Mr Szijjártó added.
Hungary’s partners in the Viségrad group of eastern European nations — Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia — later joined in rejecting the compact.
In October, Poland’s Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski said the draft agreement did not adequately guarantee sovereign border rights, “[nor does it] distinguish legal and illegal migration.”
“We want Poles to be safe in their country,” the minister added.
In November, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš called the pact dangerous because it “defines migration as a basic human right” while Slovakia’s Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini said Slovakia “consider[s] economic migration illegal, harmful, and a security risk.”
Fellow eastern European countries Bulgaria, Latvia, and Romania also abstained.
EU, UN Back Illegal Mass Migration, Says Hungarian Govt https://t.co/z5XqV6kfPR
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 21, 2018
— Austria’s new Conservative-Populist government defends “sovereignty of our country” —
While the establishment in Brussels held the eastern Europe in contempt for rejecting the compact, it should have come as hardly a surprise given that conservative, patriotic countries like Hungary and Poland have long clashed with the bloc in the past over its progressive agenda.
The rejection of the migration pact by western European Austria, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, however, may have come as more of a surprise.
In October, the conservative Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said his government was “seriously concerned about the content and objectives of the UN Migration Compact” and that his country would continue to determine for itself who could enter.
Following the migrant crisis, the entire power structure in the country and its position on immigration flipped after the ten-year rule of the Social Democrats supported by the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) was replaced in October 2017 elections with a government lead by the ÖVP supported in coalition with the right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), the new government enacting tough new immigration policies.
He had previously called unlimited mass migration to Europe "inevitable" https://t.co/LNKntX5q01
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 20, 2017
— Israel “will continue” to protect her borders —
In November, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed he had “instructed the Foreign Ministry to announce that Israel won’t participate [in the Marrakech gathering] and won’t sign the migration pact.”
“We have a duty to protect our borders against illegal infiltrators. That’s what we’ve done, and that’s what we will continue to do,” Prime Minister Netanyahu added.
Likud party Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely welcomed the decision, saying the government must “stand up for a clear migration policy that protects our borders from illegal infiltrators.”
The small Jewish state is an oasis of liberal democracy in a Middle East where there are few friendly states and many hostile, fundamentalist Islamic ones.
Australia Leaves UN Migration Pact — Won’t Risk ‘Hard-Won’ Border Control Success https://t.co/qOpvX2Zjeo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 21, 2018
— Australia will not risk her “hard-won” victory against illegal migration —
“The compact would risk encouraging illegal entry and reverse Australia’s hard-won successes in combating the people smuggling trade,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement in late November.
Adding that the migration compact was “not in Australia’s interests,” the antipodean government said, “We do not believe that adopting this agreement will add anything to enhancing our capacity to control our borders and manage our successful migration programme.”
Prime Minister Morrison was an influential architect of the country’s very successful Operation Sovereign Borders which brought an end to asylum seeker arrivals at sea by turning boats back and processing claims in centres off-shore.
— Tropical Trump Jair Bolsonaro “does not want this for Brazil” —
One man who wants to roll back his country’s pledges to the migration pact is conservative president-elect of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro.
Called the ‘Trump of the Tropics,’ the anti-establishment populist crusader has pledged to root out government corruption, get tough on crime, and take back control of his country’s borders.
“Unfortunately, Brazil, with the current foreign minister, has signed the pact … It has to be rigorous criteria to enter Brazil, we will denounce and revoke this pact for migration,” President-Elect Bolsonaro said last week, according to The Rio Times.
Incoming foreign minister Ernesto Araújo called the compact “an inappropriate instrument” to deal with illegal migration and said countries should make their own policies.
“Immigration shouldn’t be treated as a global issue, but rather in accordance with the reality of each country,” Mr Araújo said.
Brazil may be the first to pull out of the compact after having committed to it, but it may not be the last.