In a rare snub of the Trump Administration, the United Nations failed to approve an American pick to head an international migration group.
After a third round of voting on Friday, Trump nominee Ken Isaacs was removed from the list of potential candidates to lead the International Organization for Migration.
This is only the second time that an American won’t lead the IOM since the organization’s founding in 1951. Portuguese politician and European Union diplomat Antonio Vitorino earned the necessary two-thirds majority and will become the IOM’s next leader.
Isaacs, the vice president of the evangelical Christian non-profit Samaritan’s Purse, had faced criticism for derogatory statements about Islam that were discovered on his Twitter page. He wrote “#Islam is not peaceful,” “Muslims fast, they also blast,” and “All #Islamic #terrorists literally follow #Islam.”
His Twitter account has now been made private. In a statement, Isaacs apologized, saying that he “deeply” regretted his comments and that “I pledge to hold myself to the highest standards of humanity, human dignity, and equality if chosen to lead IOM.”
CNN’s reporting also uncovered that he had once tweeted that Austria and Switzerland should consider building a wall in the Alps to solidify their border against refugees. “#immigration #wall #Austria #Switzerland consider#buildingawall in #Alps to control their border from refugees,” he tweeted.
The Obama Administration’s ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council tweeted “Yet another sign that US power, authority and prestige has been so drastically diminished. IOM Director is seen as an ‘American seat’ and Trump was unable to place an American in it.”
The International Organization for Migration was created after World War II to aid countries as they faced mass displacement in Europe. Ever since, it has supported migrants by dictating international norms about immigration and refugee status and occasionally provided emergency assistance to refugees. Its mission is to foster “humane and orderly migration.”
The decision came as the Trump Administration’s has continued with a “zero tolerance” policy towards people caught crossing the U.S. border, which resulted in the separation of over 2,300 migrant children from their families at the U.S. border until President Trump ended a family separation policy.