Australian PM: Refugees will not be sent to US this year
Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull has clarified his stance on refugees i.e. 1200 asylum seekers being held in prisons on Papua New Guinea and Island of Nauru in Pacific. He stated that they will be sent to US only after inauguration of Donald Trump in January. The refugees were to go to US as per a deal reached with Obama administration; however President-elect Trump’s anti-immigrant outlook has brought up the possibility that Trump administration may not honour the deal. Trump had openly voiced in his election campaign that he will introduce a blanket ban Muslims from states ‘compromised by terrorism’ from entering United States.
Turnbull had reached a deal with Obama administration where the latter had promised to take up a good number of 1800 asylum seekers which were being held on Manus and Nauru islands. Most of these have fled the conflict zones in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Australia has some of the toughest border security laws and all the refugees and asylum seekers who try to slip in the country via boats are usually caught and sent to detention centres at Papua New Guinea’s Manus and Nauru Islands. The conditions in these centres have come under criticism of international human rights groups. Many former employees of these centres have also told media about the harsh conditions for the inmate which also includes violence against women and sexual abuse of children.
The resettlement deal with Obama administration had come after the Australian government had agreed to accept asylum seekers from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador under the annual intake plan of 18,750 asylum seekers in support of the Central America’s resettlement plan drawn out by Washington. If rejected by the Trump administration, the detainees will be faced with the dilemma of heading back to their home countries or stay at the detention camps. Turnbull will be faced with the challenge of looking for another country willing to take up the refugees as the international pressure mounts about the inhuman conditions at the camps.