As Global Compact on Migration is Adopted in Morocco, Humanitarian Crisis Plays Out at US-Mexico Border


For Immediate Release

As Global Compact on Migration is Negotiated in Morocco, Humanitarian Crisis Plays Out at US-Mexico Border

Sara McElmurry:
Yancy Nuñez:

CHICAGO—December 5, 2018—This week, governments across the world gather in Marrakech, Morocco to consider adoption of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, just as members of the United States Congress convene for a lame-duck session that will likely be dominated by high-stakes negotiations over a wall along the US-Mexico border. Oscar Chacón, executive director, issued the following statement in response:

“The Global Compact on Migration was proposed in 2016 as a joint response to the record levels of human beings displaced from their homes—68.5 million people across the globe. Two years later, the horrific images of children and families in flight  from Central America, among a growing number of current mass exodus worldwide, underscore the continued urgency of international cooperation for adequate humanitarian response and protections for migrants and asylum seekers, as well as systems for managing human mobility that respect human rights and leverage the benefits of migration for all parties.

There are at least 14,000 people on the move across Central America and Mexico right now. History tells us that regularizing their journeys to safety will not be achieved by the construction of border wall, the erosion of asylum rights, or the militarization of ports of entry. It will be accomplished only through national and international commitments to recognizing people’s’ rights to seek asylum.

The Compact being negotiated in Morocco, while imperfect, could mark an important step forward in ensuring that governments are invested in protecting migrants across borders, and addressing the systemic policy gaps that currently hold millions of people hostage to violence, impunity, and human rights abuses.

Alianza Americas, via the Global Coalition on Migration, has been proud to champion a migrant perspective over the months of negotiations that have shaped the Global Compact. Our participation, along with active engagement from other civil society organizations, has been critical, as the United States government withdrew from the Compact negotiations last year.  In recent days, several other governments have bowed to pressures from nationalist forces and followed suit.

We will continue to call on the governments of the Americas—including the United States—to champion protections in migrants’ home countries, along the migration route, and in destination countries. We unequivocally oppose the wasteful, inhumane militarization of borders. The recent incident along the U.S.-Mexico border that ended in children fleeing from tear gas and the heartbreak of thousands of asylum seekers waiting for months to be allowed into the US should remind us of the dangers of immigration and asylum policies that prioritize military force over human rights.”

Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more than 100,000 families across the United States. It is the only US-based organization rooted in Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities that works transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable way of life. Learn more at

Additional information & interviews:

  • From Morocco: Members of Alianza Americas’ board of directors and other leadership are currently participating in Global Compact negotiations.
  • From Mexico: Members of Alianza Americas’ national staff and member organizations are coordinating direct aid and legal supports to migrant families in shelters across Mexico and at the US-Mexico border. They are available to speak to the challenges facing families in the migrant “caravan.”
  • From the U.S. & Central America: Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, is available for analysis on legislative priorities for the U.S. lame-duck session and ongoing advocacy work with Central American governments and civil society. Alianza Americas stakeholders are also involved in an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) hearing on the Central American “Caravan” on December 6 in Washington, DC.