Sydney, Australia. It will not be much longer before the Trump administration responds to the Turnbull Australian leaders about just what America will do with a large number of migrants the Obama Administration promised to take from Australia.
US Immigration officials representing Homeland Security this week returned to Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, home to one of two Australian-administered detention centres in the Pacific, to conduct medical examinations on 70 men at the facility. It is not clear how many of the 70 men vetted will be accepted for resettlement in the US. The refugees include men from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Myanmar.
United States Immigration will let most of the refugees held in an Australian-run offshore detention center know whether they will be offered resettlement in US within six weeks, three sources in the USA told News Front on Friday.
This latest deadline marks the first concrete timetable for a US-Australia refugee swap arrangement that sparked tensions between the allies after President Donald Trump described it as “a dumb deal” for America.
Some of the men last month completed “extreme vetting” interviews that lasted up to six hours, with in-depth questions on associates, family, friends and any interactions with the Islamic State militant group. After completing medical tests, refugees are told to expect a decision on their resettlement applications within six weeks, two of the Manus Island detainees told News Front.
Obama agreed to a deal with Australia late last year to offer refuge to up to 1,250 asylum seekers, a deal the Trump administration said it would only honour to maintain a strong relationship with Australia and then only on condition refugees satisfied strict checks including the extreme vetting program.