The Trump administration says it is a matter of principle. “We decide who is allowed to come into our country. The approach in the New York Declaration is not compatible with U.S. sovereignty,” the administration says. Nonsense. The New York Declaration is a vague description of intentions, a “disappointment” for all the nongovernmental organizations that work with refugees and immigrants, the least effort that the United Nations has dedicated to the subject since its inception.
Nonsense. The declaration does not decide anything for the United States; it does not require any country to receive a determined number of people or comply with any concrete directives. The final version will embarrass its promoter, Ban Ki-moon. Abandoning this pact is a stubborn act, an uncontrollable insistence on undoing everything that Barack Obama signed; in this case, a document that allowed all of the signatories to act on their conscience, to face the 65 million refugees and dislocated people in the world. Too little, too late to be considered worthy.
For many, it’s a matter of principle. The country that bombed Syria, Yemen, and Niger, that unleashed the current madness in the Middle East. The Trump administration says, “We don’t want to know the consequences of any of this for other people.”
In fact, the current administration says, “We’ve already prevented people from crossing the borders based on their origin or religion. We, who wanted to be a beacon, now want to undo everything that would allow us to serve as a good example, no matter how small the impact.”
To many, it’s just a way of the Trump administration saying, once again: “We don’t act on principle.”