News National Refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to hear if they’re moving to the US
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Refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to hear if they’re moving to the US

Manus Island
The UNHCR says dealing with refugees on Manus Island and Nauru should be a priority for Australia. Photo: AAP
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After years in limbo on Manus Island and Nauru, refugees will soon know whether they will be moving to the US to start a new life.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed on Wednesday that US authorities would begin handing out resettlement decisions over the coming days, with the first group of refugees to leave in coming weeks.

He says the processing of other individuals continues and further decisions by US authorities are expected in due course.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said there would be about 25 refugees from each centre to leave for the US in the first wave, with more extreme vetting to follow.

“President Trump had some reservations about it but nonetheless, he is honouring the commitment made by his predecessor and I want to thank you for doing so,” he told the Seven Network.

Some refugees received appointment slips on Tuesday afternoon.

refugee deal US Nauru and Manus
Some refugees received appointment slips on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: Supplied

“People are a bit surprised, some people had given up hope that it would happen,” Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul told AAP.

“Right now they’re experiencing anxiety and anticipation.”

A document on a notice board on Manus Island warns refugees every case is different and moves through the required process at different speeds.

“Please be patient,” the US Resettlement Support Centre document says.

It says more decisions will be issued over coming months.

The United Nations has warned of "deteriorating conditions" on Manus Island as water and electricity is cut off
Refugees and asylum seekers have peacefully protested every day for more than six weeks. Photo: Supplied / Amir Taghinia

The agreement, struck with the Obama administration, involved the US accepting up to 1250 refugees in limbo in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, in return for Australia taking asylum seekers from Central America.

More than 1600 refugees have expressed interest in the US resettlement deal.

The agreement was the subject of a heated phone call between Donald Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in January where the new US president characterised the deal as dumb.

In the phone call, Mr Turnbull told Mr Trump he had no obligation to settle a single one of the refugees.

The detention centre on Manus Island has been progressively shut down in preparation for its closure on October 31. Refugees and asylum seekers have peacefully protested every day for more than six weeks over fears for their safety at the East Lorengau Transit Centre.

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