Australia and the United States have reached an agreement on resettlement of refugees being held on Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Currently, asylum-seekers intercepted while trying to reach Australia by boat are sent to Australian-funded detention camps on these Pacific islands (Reuters 1). The agreement states that almost 1,300 refugees currently being held would be resettled in the United States (AP). Some of these refugees have been held in detention for more than three years, and human rights groups have heavily criticized the conditions in the detention camps (Reuters 1, AP).
The plan is to resettle the refugees after U.S. president-elect Donald Trump takes office. Some officials are concerned that Trump will not honor the deal due to his anti-immigration stances. Trump has previously advocated a ban on Muslim immigration, and many of the Australian detainees are Muslims from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan (Reuters 2). Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated he had not told Trump about the deal last time they spoke (AP).
Tags: small countries, refugees, United States, Box, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Nauru