Wednesday marks the 70th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the treaty that laid the groundwork for the asylum and refugee system we have now. Its terms originally applied only to people displaced by Nazi and Soviet aggression in Europe, but in 1967 those provisions were extended to the whole world by a sequel called the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.
Harry Truman did not sign the 1951 Convention because he felt it infringed on U.S. sovereignty, but in 1968, Lyndon Johnson reversed course and signed the Protocol, and the Senate ratified it, binding the U.S. to its terms. The treaty’s provisions were formally incorporated into U.S. law by the Refugee Act of 1980.
Truman was right. Although Joe Biden’s policies are the immediate cause of the current border crisis, the Refugee Convention lies at the root. It’s time to undo our mistake by withdrawing from the U.N. refugee treaty. . . .