News National Govt begins assessing refugees

Govt begins assessing refugees

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The government is currently assessing 1000 potential refugees from persecuted minority groups in Syria.

The Federal Government announced in September it would accept a one-off intake of 12,000 refugees displaced due to conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

This number is on top of the 13,750 places pledged for 2015.

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Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the screening process would be stringent and take some time.

“We are working through those applications including, importantly, the security and health checks that will need to be applied,” he said.

“We want to make sure we are providing people who are legitimately in need the opportunity to come to our country.”

Those who have suffered the most persecution are understood to be being given first preference, although religion is said not to be a specific assessment factor, according to an ABC report.

According to the Mr Dutton, the influx would be comprised mainly of families, women and children, with unaccompanied minors presenting more difficulty.

In September, there were 630,000 Syrians registered by the UN as refugees in Jordanian camps, with numbers in Turkey and Lebanon less forthcoming.

Possible refugees will undergo health tests and assessment via video link from camps and speaking English will not be a requirement.

Refugees will not be allowed to have a previous criminal record.

It was hoped the first Syrian refugees would arrive in Australia by Christmas, although this is looking less likely.

A conservative estimate for the cost of the extra 12,000 refugees was put at $700 million, according to the ABC.

Germany has pledged to take in 800,000 Syrian refugees.

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