UN Urges Govts to Release Illegal Migrants, ‘Provide Access to Healthcare, Housing’

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The United Nations (UN) is urging countries around the world to release illegal migrants from detention in response to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, and highlighted steps towards giving them “access to healthcare, housing, and other services”.

Already under scrutiny over the supine posture of its health agency, the World Health Organization (WHO), towards the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the UN may now be in for another wave of criticism as it uses the pandemic to push for open borders — highlighting states’ “responsibilities” under the contentious Global Compact for Migration as it does so.

“Yesterday, the United Nations Network on Migration released urgently needed practical recommendations with guidance for States and stakeholders on preventing and responding to COVID-19 in the context of immigration detention,” announced the UN Migration Agency, or International Organization for Migration (IOM), in an official press release.

“[T]he brief highlights steps that several governments have already taken to swiftly release migrants from detention and to provide access to healthcare, housing and other services regardless of migration status,” it continued approvingly.

“The Network’s Working Group on Alternatives to Detention – co-led by UNICEF, UNHCR and the International Detention Coalition – has developed this guidance in partnership amongst UN agencies and civil society… The Network calls on States to introduce a moratorium on the use of immigration detention; to scale up and implement non-custodial community-based alternatives [and] to release all migrants in detention into alternatives,” it added, suggesting that illegal aliens should only be detained as a “last resort”.

The UN and its subsidiary agencies, are funded for this sort of activism through large fees and voluntary contributions from member countries — countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, disproportionately.

Like the activists and politicians pushing for the release of illegal aliens and prisoners, however, the global bureaucracy has failed to explain why it is better, in terms of controlling the coronavirus, to release criminals and migrants into the general population rather than keep them in detention — making them less likely to infect each other, but more likely to infect the public at large.

The UN’s remark in its press release that it “reminds States of their commitment in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration to prioritize alternatives to immigration detention, using detention as a measure of last resort only and working towards ending child immigration detention” may also raise eyebrows, given many governments refused to sign it.

These included the Trump administration in the United States, the government of Australia, and many populist or populist-influenced governments in countries like Austria, Hungary, and Poland, which believed the “legal framework” provided by the supposedly “non-binding” pact would result in activists using lawfare and other mechanisms to enforce open borders policies by the back door.

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