Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Second Group of Immigrants Rejected by Australia Fly to U.S.

A second group of asylum seekers from Australia's offshore detention centers are en route to their new homes in America as part of the controversial deal. The fifty-eight left Papua New Guinea on a Philippine Airlines flight on Tuesday bound for New York, according to the Refugee Action Coalition.

The men, mostly from Afghanistan and Pakistan, will be resettled in groups and as individuals across the country in locations including North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Georgia as part of a deal struck in 2016 with then president Barack Obama to resettle 1250 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru detention centers. Donald Trump has described the whole thing as a "dumb deal".

Australia refuses to resettle refugees who arrive by boat, and instead follows a policy of mandatory offshore detention. Some have been held on Manus Island and Nauru for more than four years. Tuesday's flight transported the men from Manus Island, and another group of around 130 on Nauru has been accepted for resettlement in the US and are expected to leave the island in the next few weeks. There’s still no clarity around how many people will come to the US, and how long before they are resettled here. The whole deal has been shrouded in secrecy.

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