Catholic bishops, agencies criticize Trump decision on global compact

President Donald Trump is seen at the White House in Washington Aug. 14. -CNS photo | Jonathan Ernst, Reuters

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The chairmen of the U.S. bishops’ committees on international policy and on migration urged President Donald Trump Dec. 5 to reconsider his decision to withdraw the United States from the U.N. process to develop a global compact on migration.

“Participation in that process allows the U.S .to draw on our experience and influence the compact,” said Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, who is chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace.

Catholic Relief Services and Jesuit Refugee Service were among other groups criticizing Trump’s decision, announced Dec. 2 by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The move came two days before the opening of an intergovernmental conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to adopt a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

The negotiation process on the compact is based on the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a nonbinding document adopted by the United Nations in 2016 that lists commitments on refugee and migrant assistance, immersion, education and jobs.

The Trump administration cited American sovereignty as the reason for withdrawing from the migration compact process.

“With a growing global concern about protracted forced migration situations, the U.N. process provides an opportunity for the United States to help build international cooperation that respects such rights and protections on behalf of those seeking safety and security for their families,” Archbishop Broglio said.