US will take up to 1,250 refugees under Aust deal

White House says US will take up to 1,250 refugees under Australian deal

Ben Doherty – The Guardian – 1 Feb 2017

Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer says Obama-era plan to take refugees from Australia’s offshore detention centres is still in place, but with ‘extreme vetting

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The US government has publicly said it will resettle up to 1,250 refugees from Australia’s offshore detention islands of Manus and Nauru, but stressed they will all undergo “extreme vetting” before being accepted.

Sean Spicer, White House spokesman for the new president, Donald Trump, confirmed the deal – brokered by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama – would be honoured, and for the first time, confirmed the number that could be accepted under the plan.

“The deal specifically deals with 1,250 people, they’re mostly in Papua New Guinea, being held,” Spicer told a White House briefing. “Those people, part of the deal, is that they have to be vetted in the manner that we’re doing now.

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Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition said the US resettlement deal was a “bandaid solution” for Australia’s offshore processing problem.

“On the one hand we now have some detail on the deal that the Australian government has refused to release. But it is only 1,250 people, far short of what’s going to be needed to resettle the people on Nauru and Manus. This has raised as many questions as it’s answered.

“There will be many, many people left behind by the US resettlement deal, the ball is squarely in the Australian government’s court.”

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