Greens want detail on U.S. refugee deal

06 February, 2017, 01:09 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Australia Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop looks to her counterpart Indonesia Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi after a meeting at the presidential palace in Jakarta

Tasmanian Greens Senator Nick McKim said Australians deserve to know the facts and trade-offs tied to the agreement.

Numerous refugees stranded in the Australian-run detention centers - and designated for resettlement in the US - came from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, and Somalia, countries included in Trump's order.

The deal sparked a rare diplomatic spat between the two staunch allies, with Trump berating Australia's prime minister in an angry phone call that led to quick moves in Washington to reaffirm the strength of the relationship.

She was asked about her background, including where her family is now, the reason she fled from Iran, and who financed her trip to Christmas Island, a remote Australian island off the continent's northwest that is targeted by many asylum seekers who make the perilous sea journey from Indonesia after paying people smugglers there.

Several thousand people demonstrated outside the USA embassy in London holding black banners with blood stains bearing slogans such as "No to Trump".

"I am completely supportive of the Government's efforts to see the refugee deal honoured with the United States", he said.

Both the United Nations and Amnesty International have condemned the camps for inhumane treatment and neglect and abuse of those being transfered. The prime minister insisted his country's relationship with the US remained strong, and that the refugee deal with the USA was still on.

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Mr Turnbull said he was disappointed details of the call, which he described as "very frank and forthright", had been made public. The Australian PM said despite Trump's tweet on Wednesday, the United States officials were already assessing the issue.

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In Australia, thousands of people are protesting in Sydney on Saturday, against U.S. President Donald Trump's order temporarily barring refugees and nationals from seven countries.

Under the refugee swap deal, agreed in the final months of Barack Obama's presidency late past year, the United States would take up to 1,250 asylum seekers.

The version of the story that first came out talked about the acrimony that was established as a result of the disagreement between the two countries over the refugee deal.

"We are back in limbo, and I am afraid if after four months they make up another thing to keep us here longer", said an Iranian woman with a small child. The US wasn't negotiating the refugee resettlement the way a self-interested business would. Why should the U.S.be the moral compass of Australia?

According to CNN, Australia launched Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) in 2013 after a previous liberalization of immigration policies resulted in a surge of the number of people arriving by boat from 161 in 2008 to 2,726 in 2009.

In April 2016, Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court ordered the Australian government to close the processing center there, calling the facility a violation of the migrants' rights. "That doesn't work, and the USA and Australia are now bailing each other out".

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