My colleagues Nayla Rush and Andrew Arthur and I have written more than once on the adverse impact that international organizations, treaties, and compacts can have on U.S. sovereignty when they bind our nation to courses of action that are not in our best interest.
To that end, Rush most recently posted a blog on the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a United Nations (UN) agency dedicated "to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society". (Of course, the question of which society actually benefits, and under what conditions, is unanswered in this feel-good postulate.) As Rush notes, although the United States is the biggest contributor to the IOM, the agency's member states recently went out of their way to snub our country in selecting a new director. And there may be repercussions to IOM for the snub when it comes time to ante up for the next round of financial commitments later in the year. Perhaps U.S. generosity will be less forthcoming.
But there is a disturbing interlocked web of anti-American bias, combined with thinly disguised open-borders platforms, that goes beyond the IOM and infects a number of international institutions of which the United States is a prime contributor. Take, for instance, the World Bank, which the United States has underwritten to the tune of between $1.5 and $2.5 billion yearly for a very long time. (See, e.g., here, here, and here.)
The World Bank has been a major sponsor and supporter of the developing UN Global Compact on Refugees and its companion Global Compact on Migration. Were the United States to sign on, each of these compacts would substantially inhibit America's sovereign ability to define its own immigration future. Both Rush and Arthur have written authoritatively about the problems inherent in each of these developing compacts (See here, here, here, and here).
Fortunately, the United States has formally withdrawn from the migration compact, although the work has gone on. Indeed, a "final draft" was developed and published on July 11 of this year. Even the most cursory examination of this final draft reveals some of the reasons our country chose to withdraw. For instance, item 20 of the "Objectives for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration" contained in the document posits as a goal:
Promote faster, safer and cheaper transfer of remittances and foster financial inclusion of migrants.
If jobs are a major magnet for illegal immigration to our country — and they are — one of the reasons those jobs are desirable is that aliens working illegally can send remittances back in their home countries. However admirable on a personal level, remittances are a huge economic problem for the United States. The money that flows outward is gone forever, and unavailable to our economy to better the lives of the underprivileged, underemployed citizens, and legal residents living here.
We aren't talking about minor sums. The Pew Research Center has estimated that, in 2016 alone, remittances flowing outward from the United States, never to be seen again, amounted to $138.165 billion. Tally that amount year after year, and you get a sense of what a black hole remittances have become.
It seems counterintuitive to the goals of a compact ostensibly dedicated to orderly, legal migration to encourage a free flow of remittances outward from countries like the United States: countries that are recipients of large inward flows of illegal border-crossers and visa overstayers, who then seek unlawful employment, displacing native workers and in the process sending huge sums abroad, sums lost to our economy.
This isn't the only mismatch between theoretical goals and ground-truth outcomes in regulating immigration in a humane, lawful way. There are so many, in fact, that one has to question the entire document and the intent of its drafters. It would seem that the true goal is not to slow down the pace of mass migrations taking place throughout the world, but rather to find ways to "regularize" them via quasi-legal means so as to deceive the receiving populations into believing that all is well.
Consider, for instance, this language in item 21 under Objective 5 ("Enhance availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration"):
We commit to adapt options and pathways for regular migration in a manner that facilitates labour mobility and decent work reflecting demographic and labour market realities, optimizes education opportunities, upholds the right to family life, and responds to the needs of migrants in a situation of vulnerability, with a view to expanding and diversifying availability of pathways for safe, orderly and regular migration.
Reduced to its essence, this statement says, "We commit to adapt[ing] options and pathways for regular migration ... and respond[ing] to the needs of migrants ... with a view to expanding and diversifying the availability of pathways."
It is a singularly migrant-centric point of view that has nothing to say about native displacements resulting from inflows. It isn't a stretch to conclude that what in fact the authors seek is not to regulate pathways so much as to oblige signatory nations to "flexibly" redefine existing legal and international mechanisms in such a way as to interpret migratory floods as legal and acceptable to the maximum extent possible.
To figure out how this state of affairs came to pass, it's worth examining the organizational infrastructure used to develop this final draft. It reads like a classic shell structure of companies whose sole purpose is to obfuscate ownership of assets, usually for illegal purposes like evasion of taxes.
Although prepared under the auspices of the UN, the actual compact drafting work was farmed out to the Development Center of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UN Development Program (UNDP).
Those organizations, in turn, further farmed out the drafting to an organization known as KNOMAD (the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development), which describes itself as "an initiative coordinated by the World Bank that has been established and envisaged as a platform for synthesising and generating knowledge and policy expertise around migration and development issues". Quite a mouthful.
(By the way, what is it with this creepy use of the letter "K" in various acronyms these days? As I noted recently, Amazon has done the same thing with its facial "Rekognition" software.)
The alliance between the World Bank and KNOMAD, which has ostensibly been working under the aegis of the OECD, is confirmed by substantive remarks that can be found in an "Experts Meeting" paper from April 2018 discussing the global migration compact, with an overview presented by Dilip Ratha, who is simultaneously a senior economist at the World Bank and KNOMAD's chief executive officer.
Dilip Ratha is described in an OECD document touching on migration affairs as "Manager, Migration and Remittances Unit and Head, Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) in the Development Prospects Group of the World Bank. He is the focal point for the World Bank's Migration Working Group and the Diaspora Bond Task Force, and a co-coordinator of the (G8) Global Remittances Working Group".
Thus you have the UN, the World Bank, the OECD, and KNOMAD all wrapped tightly together, with Ratha being one of the main threads holding this collaborative effort together. Ratha's predisposition toward migrants and in favor of massive use of remittances can be found in some of his work for the World Bank, including a blog he writes for the World Bank called "PEOPLE MOVE: A blog about migration, remittances and development". (See, e.g., this posting, "Record high remittances to low- and middle-income countries in 2017".)
Despite views that tilt so clearly and heavily in favor of migrants, migration, remittances, and the like, if one examines the official website of the U.S. Mission to the OECD, it says this:
The United States is a founding Member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The U.S. Mission to the OECD provides policy analysis and information to the U.S. Government based on the work of the OECD. It also ensures that the decisions taken by the OECD reflect the priorities of the U.S. Government." [Emphasis added.]
And yet, this avowed mission statement of ensuring the alignment of OECD and U.S. priorities is very obviously not true where the Global Compacts on Refugees or Migration are concerned. Our nearly $80 million 2017 contribution to the OECD has been used to advance the migration and refugee proposals contained in the compacts that are decidedly not in the U.S. national interest. And these out-of-balance compacts are not the only areas in which anti-U.S. bias is exhibited in OECD projects and programs.
If you follow the money, it's clear that even though we have declared our national intention not to participate in the global migration compact, we have simultaneously continued to underwrite it through this interlocking directorate of international organizations of the IOM, World Bank, OECD, and KNOMAD.
There is also the troubling possibility that this interlocking "directorate" among and between international agencies with an anti-American or anti-sovereignty bias — agencies that we fund in significant part — has been seeded and populated, at least in part, by nongovernmental organizations with open-borders aims — organizations like George Soros's various "Open Society" foundations, which operate much like the interlocking directorate of international agencies I've described. Funding flows from one foundation to the next to the next, until its origins are hard to trace. Certainly when we look at specific participants in the many working groups, symposiums, and forums that have taken place in and around development of the migration compact, we see names connected with movements and organizations that lean toward the goal of a "borderless" world. How ironic that our government continues to underwrite such efforts with massive infusions of taxpayer dollars.
Given all of this, what should be done?
- It's past time that our government formally withdraws from the Global Compact on Refugees, as it has from the Global Migration Compact.
- The administration should carefully consider whether the United States has so substantially parted ways with the aims of the IOM, and possibly the OECD, as to merit simply dropping out, as we recently did with the UN Human Rights Council, another organization rife with hypocrisy and anti-American bias.
- As to the World Bank — and perhaps the IOM and OECD, if the decision is to maintain participation and membership — the United States should debit against every future contribution, dollar-for-dollar, the amounts expended by these organizations on projects antithetical to our interests. Surely there are better ways and places to invest our taxpayer dollars.