Germany's AfD proposes following Trump's lead on UN migration pact

Published 09.11.2018 21:13

German anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) has demanded to join the U.S. and other Western countries in shunning a global compact to promote safe and orderly migration. Looking to follow President Trump's path, AfD brought a motion to the Bundestag on Thursday demanding to stay out of the United Nations Global Compact for Migration.

"Millions of people from crisis-stricken regions around the world are being encouraged to get on the road," said AfD leader Alexander Gauland, as reported by Deutsche Welle. "Leftist dreamers and globalist elites want to secretly turn our country from a nation state into a settlement area."

Railing against the newcomers, the AfD is now the biggest opposition party in the Bundestag, and after a strong showing in Hesse on Sunday now has seats in all of Germany's state parliaments.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her support for the U.N. pact, which is the subject of an adoption meeting set for Dec. 11-12 in Marrakech, Morocco. Germany worked intensively on the text, and it ensures the sovereignty of individual nations, she said during a meeting with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw last week. Merkel is fighting a battle at home and abroad against critics who accuse her of endangering European security with her welcoming approach to migrants. Her conservative coalition has long been under pressure from the far-right AfD.

In September 2016, all 193 U.N. member states, including the United States under President Barack Obama, adopted a declaration saying no country can manage international migration on its own and agreed to launch a process leading to the adoption of a global compact in 2018. But last December, the United States said it was ending its participation in negotiations on the compact, stating that numerous provisions were "inconsistent with U.S. immigration and refugee policies" under President Donald Trump.

Following a move by Austria, Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) earlier called on Berlin to follow Austria's lead and withdraw from the planned U.N. agreement. "While the German federal government prefers to concern itself with its own incompetence at a crucial time, action is being taken in Austria for the benefit of its people," AfD co-leader Joerg Meuthen said, according to German news service dpa. In Meuthen's view, the proposed U.N. pact is a "resettlement program for economic refugees fleeing poverty."

In July, Hungary said it would withdraw from the process.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that the pact was contrary to his country's interests because while it had some positive aims, like fighting human trafficking, overall it considered migration unstoppable and positive.

The compact has 23 objectives to boost cooperation to manage migration and numerous actions ranging from technical issues like the portability of earnings by migrant workers to reducing the detention of migrants.

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