The United Nations Wants Nearly $8 Billion to Support Global Mass Migration
FAIR Take | January 2024
Last week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the immigration agency of the United Nations (U.N.), announced it was seeking to raise $7.9 billion for its global migration programs. In its appeal – which is directed to governments, corporations, and organizations – the IOM says it will use the money for three purposes: (1) “saving lives and protecting people on the move”; (2) “finding solutions to displacement, including reducing the risks and impacts of climate change”; and (3) “facilitating regular pathways for migration.”
Of the $7.9 billion, $1.3 billion would be spent in the Americas. A perusal of the 90-page appeal describes the kinds of assistance the IOM provides migrants, and specifically how it helps migrants “in-transit” with cash-based interventions, food vouchers, medical care, transportation assistance, and shelter.
The IOM has a history of providing funds to migrants in Latin America to assist them on their way to the U.S. In fact, the IOM, in conjunction with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), already plans to spend $1.6 billion in 17 nations in Latin America. The funds will be used to benefit Venezuelan and other migrants in the region with cash assistance. As one expert who has investigated and witnessed the problem first-hand writes, “is most often handed out (…) as pre-paid, rechargeable debit cards, but also hard ‘cash in envelopes’, bank transfers, and mobile transfers the U.S. border-bound travelers can use for whatever they want.”
A holistic review of the IOM’s fundraising appeal demonstrates just how migrant-centric the organization is. It unabashedly depicts mass migration as good for everyone: “Migration is a cornerstone of global development and prosperity…Well-managed migration has the potential to advance development outcomes, contribute to climate change adaptation, and promote a safer and more peaceful, sustainable, prosperous and equitable future.” Totally absent from the document, however, is any acknowledgment of the rights of sovereign nations to determine who may enter their countries and under what conditions. Indeed, the appeal actually blames countries that wish to secure their borders for the plight of migrants, saying “limited regular migration pathways and protection” leave migrants vulnerable to violence, exploitation and danger.
The IOM’s glowing description of migration, while not unusual for the United Nations, should probably be expected given the new leadership at the IOM. The IOM’s new Director General, Amy Pope, is a former Senior Advisor on Migration to President Biden and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor to former President Obama.
What is particularly frustrating for Americans who believe in limits and the enforcement of our immigration laws, is that we, as taxpayers, are underwriting these U.N. migration policies. The U.S. is the single largest donor nation to the United Nations, funding approximately one-fifth of its entire budget (or $12.5 billion in 2021).
In the recent past, FAIR and other organizations have written about the UN financing of mass illegal migration into the U.S. because the problem is, sadly, not new. The degree to which it works against American interests and sovereignty is illustrated by the fact that the IOM has greatly expanded its “cash-based interventions” program by a whopping 77 percent between 2019 and 2020. The official justification was the COVID-19 pandemic, but some have also argued that Trump Administration policies aiming to stem the 2019 border crisis – in particular, the “Remain in Mexico” program – were another motive.
The end result is that our funding to the U.N. directly helps migrants illegally enter the U.S. Without money, many migrants may not have even attempted the journey in the first place, or would have had to return home. By offering them money on their journey, the UN can be fairly accused of encouraging people who may otherwise remain in their home countries to make the trip north.