Trump’s Pick for UN Migration Job Voted Down

Trump’s controversial pick for top UN migration job voted down in Geneva

BY: Zachary Cohen and Elise Labott

Washington (CNN)–The UN migration agency on Friday voted down Ken Isaacs, the Trump administration’s candidate to lead the International Organization for Migration, a US official told CNN, leaving it without an American at the helm for the first time since 1951.

He was eliminated from contention after the second round of voting, a UN source told CNN.
“This was a very competitive election with three highly qualified candidates,” a State Department official told CNN.
“We congratulate the winner and look forward to working with him/her. IOM is an important partner for the United States around the globe, and we are committed to working with IOM to address root causes of migration and to promote safe and legal migration,” the official said.
 
Isaacs, who works in relief efforts for the Christian nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse, was nominated in February to serve as director general of the 169-member group whose mission is to promote “humane and orderly migration” through assistance to both governments and migrants.
 
But the agency decided Friday that it will choose a non-American leader for the first time in decades — a move that comes as the Trump administration continues to reduce the number of refugees it accepts into the US every year and push a controversial immigration agenda.
 
Isaacs himself has also come under scrutiny after a report from CNN’s KFile earlier this year and one from The Washington Post in February revealing he shared anti-Muslim and anti-refugee views on social media.
KFile previously reviewed more than 140 previously unreported tweets from before Isaacs was nominated that provide a wider window into his views of refugees, Islam and climate change — issues that would have been central to the position with IOM.
In several of the unearthed tweets, Isaacs shared a post that called climate change a “hoax,” shared a story from the conspiracy-peddling website InfoWars about the “Clinton body count,” and wrote “#Islam is not peaceful.”
 
After the February Washington Post report, Isaacs apologized in a statement, saying he “deeply” regretted his comments and adding, “I pledge to hold myself to the highest standards of humanity, human dignity and equality if chosen to lead IOM.”
According to The Associated Press, he told reporters, “I have retweeted many things to stimulate conversation. But at the same time … have never shown discrimination against anybody, for anything.”
 
But like President Donald Trump, Isaacs has said he supports more restrictive measures on refugees and migrants, once writing on Twitter that Austria and Switzerland should consider building a wall in the Alps to keep refugees out.
“#immigration #wall #Austria #Switzerland consider#buildingawall in #Alps to control their borders from refugees,” the tweet said.
 
Trump’s road to the White House was paved in part with hardline promises such as building a “great, great wall” along the US-Mexico border and outright banning immigration from any nations “compromised by terrorism.”