Manus detainees granted asylum in US


The people on Nauru and Manus Island who will be heading to the United States will find out in the next few days whether they have passed the vetting stage.

About 50 refugees being held in camps on Manus Island and Nauru will be welcomed to start afresh in the United States.

Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul, an Australia-based advocate, said refugees in the camps were "a bit surprised" by the news that decisions were pending.

According to a report of the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection published in June, there were 1,174 asylum seekers detained on the islands, many of them for periods of over two years and the majority having refugee status. Back in November, the Australian prime minister saying the priority was going to be resettling the most vulnerable refugees.

Fifty-four men, women and children from Manus Island and Nauru have been told they have been accepted into the US Refugee Admissions Program, under a deal struck between Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and former US President Barack Obama.

The first group of refugees held by the Australian government are set to be resettled in the United States within weeks, signalling that a deal between the US and Australia once derided by President Trump is moving forward.

The detention centre on Manus Island has been progressively shut down in preparation for its closure on October 31.

The deal had angered US President Donald Trump, and Mr Turnbull described the resettlement news as a welcome development.

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"President Trump had some reservations about it, but nonetheless he is honoring the commitment made by his predecessor, and I want to thank you for doing so", Turnbull told the Seven Network news outlet.

Rohingya refugee Jalaluddin Mohammad is one of the men on Manus Island who has been approved. Australian authorities have yet to announce what kind of alternative arrangements it will make for the roughly 800 refugees who will remain there after that deadline. "It seems there had been some discriminatory selection".

It has been reported that the Manus group includes refugees from Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

"I hate taking these people". That is why they are in prison right now.

"We expect refugees to travel to the United States in the coming weeks", the official said. In geopolitical terms, this means that when the United States asked for some help with our quagmire in Afghanistan, Australia sacrificed 42 of its young people to our cause.

The White House has previously said the deal is to resettle 1250 refugees, if they pass the nation's vetting processes. This is the safe, responsible, and humanitarian approach.

The resettlement arrangement demonstrates the strength of Australia's relationship with the US.