The Latest: UN migration agency rejects Trump-pitched leader

June 29, 2018 - 7:58 am

GENEVA (AP) — The Latest on the U.N. migration agency's rejection of (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

The U.N.'s migration agency has rejected the Trump administration's proposed candidate to head the body, a post previously held by Americans since 1951.

Diplomats who took part in three rounds of voting Friday told the Associated Press that American Ken Isaacs was eliminated in the still-ongoing contest, now being led by Antonio Vitorino, a Portuguese Socialist, and the remaining candidate, IOM deputy director-general Laura Thompson of Costa Rica.

Senegalese diplomat Youssoupha Ndiaye, upon leaving the voting in Geneva, said: "the American is out."

Isaacs' candidacy had been clouded by U.S. policies like travel bans and migrant family separations — and his own comments that critics have called anti-Muslim.

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10:00 a.m.

The U.N.'s migration agency is electing its next director-general, a post long held by Americans. But the ambitions of the Trump administration's favored candidate could be clouded by U.S. policies like travel bans and migrant family separations.

Dues-paying, ballot-casting members among the 172 in the International Organization for Migration are deciding among American Ken Isaacs, an executive with Christian humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse; IOM deputy director-general Laura Thompson of Costa Rica; and Antonio Vitorino, a Portuguese Socialist.

The winner will succeed longtime U.S. diplomat William Lacy Swing, who leaves in September.

An intergovernmental body that became a U.N.-related agency in 2016, IOM has had only one director-general who wasn't American since its creation in 1951.

Aside from concerns about Trump policies, critics say Isaacs has made anti-Muslim posts on social media.

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