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The refugee deal with US in doubt

The refugee deal with US in doubt

US officials interviewing refugees held in an Australian-run offshore detention centre left the facility abruptly, three detainees told Reuters on Saturday, throwing further doubt over a plan to resettle many of the detainees in America.

Another muddle for Mr Turnbull’s troubles, whom, along with Donald Trump staged that wonderful peeing in each others pockets with sweet words of nothing. MM has always contended that Mr Trump only suffers Mr Turnbull for diplomatic reasons. Trump has a solid history of remembering who slights him and responds in spades. It could be safe to say that Obama and Turnbull are equal pests in the Don’s view.

Source: Reuters

Australia, US refugee deal again in jeopardy as officials exit Nauru

US officials halted screening interviews and departed the Pacific island of Nauru on Friday, two weeks short of their scheduled timetable and a day after Washington said the United States had reached its annual refugee intake cap.

Trump-backed bills on illegal immigrants passed

The US House of Representatives passed two bills that would crack down on illegal immigrants by applying tougher sentences.

“US (officials) were scheduled to be on Nauru until July 26 but they left on Friday,” one refugee told Reuters, requesting anonymity as he did not want to jeopardise his application for US resettlement.

In the United States, a senior member of the union that represents refugee officers at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a Department of Homeland Security agency, told Reuters his own trip to Nauru was not going forward as scheduled.

Jason Marks, chief steward of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1924, told Reuters his trip has now been pushed back and it was unclear whether it will actually happen. The USCIS did not respond to requests for comment.

The Australian Immigration Department declined to comment on the whereabouts of the US officials or the future of a refugee swap agreement between Australia and the United States that President Donald Trump earlier this year branded a “dumb deal”.

An indefinite postponement of the deal would have significant repercussions for Australia’s pledge to close a second detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus island on October 31. Only 70 refugees, less than 10 percent of the total detainees held in the camp, have completed US processing.

“The US deal looks more and more doubtful,” Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition said. “The US deal was never the solution the Australian government pretended it to be.”

Former US President Obama agreed a deal with Australia late last year to offer refuge to up to 1,250 asylum seekers, a deal the Trump administration said it would only honour to maintain a strong relationship with Australia and then only on condition that refugees satisfied strict checks.

In exchange, Australia has pledged to take Central American refugees from a centre in Costa Rica, where the United States has taken in a larger number of people in recent years.

The swap is designed, in part, to help Australia close both Manus and Nauru, which are expensive to run and have been widely criticised by the United Nations and others over treatment of detainees.

A State Department spokeswoman said on Friday that USCIS “has not yet concluded adjudications of any refugees being considered for resettlement out of Australian facilities in Nauru and Manus islands,” and referred questions on timing to USCIS.

The US government confirmed on Thursday that its refugee intake cap of 50,000 people had been reached with the new intake year not due to begin until October 1.

Exemptions could be made for those who have a “credible claim to a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States”, following a decision from the US Supreme Court last month reviving elements of Trump’s travel ban while it considers the legality of the order.

Given the risky boat journey the refugees in Manus and Nauru undertook to reach Australia, it is unlikely many of them have strong family ties to the United States, experts said. The majority of the detainees interviewed on both Manus and Nauru by US officials in April are from Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Australia’s hardline immigration policy requires asylum seekers intercepted at sea trying to reach Australia to be sent for processing to camps at Manus and on the South Pacific island of Nauru. They are told they will never be settled in Australia. Trump’s resistance to the refugee deal had strained relations with a key Asia Pacific ally, triggering a fractious phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this year.

Trump’s concession and a series of high-level visits by US dignitaries has since helped mend connections between the two countries.

Australia has already offered detainees up to $25,000 to voluntarily return to their home countries, an offer few have taken up.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Sod 16/07/2017, 7:26 am

    “The United Nations Human Rights Council has been silent on the death of Venezuelans at the hands of their democratic socialist government.”

    “There is a reason for that inaction, of course. About half of the council’s 47 member countries are dictatorships — including Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela — who defend one another against charges of human-rights violations. In fact, the UNHRC is a mutual protection society for the world’s worst dictatorships”


    • Joe Blogs 16/07/2017, 10:31 am

      The UN gets top Marx yet again.

    • Bushkid 16/07/2017, 10:44 am

      You’ve nailed it Sod, and it’s just another reason why Australia should withdraw from the UN altogether. The intentions may have been noble at the beginning, but it’s been all down hill from there, to where it is now, wallowing in a stinking mire of would-be world dictatorship, blatant corruption and dishonesty.

  • Topsy 16/07/2017, 9:26 am

    One has to ask – have the series of high-level visits by US dignitaries really helped mend the relationship? Maybe not. Maybe Trumble should have treated the President with a little more respect instead of smart-alec , undergraduate nonsense. After all Trump is important in the world, Trumble is not.

  • Botswana O'Hooligan 16/07/2017, 11:23 am

    Maybe Manus and Nauru are expensive to run but the alternative of letting them out, even to the USA, and they commit acts of terrorism the cost of running Manus and Nauru pales into insignificance. Why would they travel vast distances past countries of the own way of life to attempt entry into Australia. The end goal was Australia with abundant welfare and now there is an even better prize, America.

  • GTD 16/07/2017, 11:28 am

    Back on a plane and dropped back in the middle east shxt holes they come from.
    Take that Ian RinFOOL & 2dads with them.

    WHO gives a stuff what the UN says ..
    Irrelevant CORRUPT unelected shite

  • geoffey 16/07/2017, 5:45 pm

    why is there never any UN reaction to Saudi arabia et al not taking refugees in. arabia says they could be terrorists. fair enough. why doesn’t Australia say no to refugees as they could be terrorists, of course that would upset the UN and we couldn’t have that could we Malcolm ( UNloving) turnball. bring on the bollards!

  • Aktosplatz 16/07/2017, 7:54 pm

    Perhaps Trumble’s Mocking impersonation of Trump recently, with his MSM mates is now coming home to roost.

  • Penguinte 17/07/2017, 8:42 am

    The refugee deal with US in doubt. Best news I’ve heard today. I support “geoffey” above! Let the Saudi’s et-al take them. Or better still make them return to their origins and sort out the mess they conveniently left behind.

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