Supporters of the deal say it will promote cooperation and improve the treatment of millions of migrants, but critics fear it will further promote illegal immigration. The agreement does not distinguish between illegal and legal migrants, but it repeatedly distinguishes between regular and irregular migrants, reaffirms the right of states to distinguish between regular and irregular migration status  and commits to „preventing irregular migration”.  The text does not distinguish between economic migrants and refugees.  Criticism has increased in Europe as the date of the signing of the agreement approaches. On December 17, 2018, UNGA adopted the Global Compact for Refugees. In 2015, an estimated 1.5 million people walked the Balkan route between Greece and Western Europe. The Schengen Agreement, which allows passport-free travel within a large part of the EU, has been called into question when refugees return to the most prosperous European nations. In the face of growing anti-immigration sentiment in Europe, governments are still struggling to find consensus on how to deal with the current refugee crisis. Attempts to introduce quotas for the distribution of refugees among EU member states have largely failed. Conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere are showing no signs of ending and the number of victims of refugee crossings is increasing. To support the regular review, UNHCR will use three separate but interconnected initiatives referred to in the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), namely the GCR Indicator Framework, progress in implementing the commitments and initiatives announced at the World Refugee Forum (WEF), and measures to measure the impact of reception protection and assistance to refugees. In the media following the adoption of the pact, Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees, said that the United States and Hungary had rejected the UNGA resolution containing the pact. He added, however, that UNHCR had received the highest contribution of all time from the United States in 2018.
The three governments that abstained were Eritrea, Liberia and Libya. The agreement stresses that all migrants agree on universal human rights and strives to eliminate all forms of discrimination, including racism, xenophobia and intolerance towards migrants and their families. The pact was presented to UNGA in September 2018 as part of the 2018 annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and then discussed at a high-level ministerial meeting organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). On 17 December 2018, UNGA considered the Global Compact for Refugees to be part of a resolution on the UNHCR office, adopted by 181 votes in support, 2 against and 3 abstentions. Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Chile Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Italy,[3 0 Israel  Latvia, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland did not attend an international conference in the Moroccan city of Marrakech to adopt the agreement. On The orders of President Trump, the United States was not involved in the negotiations of the agreement.  Estonia: the Estonian government remained divided on this issue and the country`s position was to be decided by Le Riigikogu.  On 26 November, Riigikogu adopted a declaration supporting the Covenant. According to the Estonian Prime Minister, this declaration would form the basis of the governments` decision to support the Global Compact on Migration.
 On 27 November 2018, a foreign ministry spokesman announced that no Estonian officials would be present in Marrakech.