Recently we reported that US security screening agents had been called home and took that as a sign that the US government was coming to its senses and that we were not going to honor Obama’s “dumb” deal with the Aussie government.
I guess my optimism was premature. Here, at the PostCourier, we learn that US agents have gone back to screen the MEN.
Staff from the United States Department of Homeland Security have returned to Manus Island to interview refugees about resettlement in the US.
Refugees in Australia’s offshore detention centre on the island have been told that interviews will resume this week.
Immigration authorities at the centre provided a notice to the men telling them only some will be interviewed.
“Don’t worry if you do not receive an appointment slip,” the notice said.
“Further visits are anticipated in the coming months.
“All cases are different and will move through the resettlement process at different speeds.”
There are almost 700 refugees on the island who are eligible for resettlement in the US, but the US Government still has not said if any of them will eventually be taken there.
Refugees inside the centre said a total of 70 men have been interviewed by Department of Homeland Security staff in their previous visits.
All of this is happening because Obama was mucking around in Australia’s immigration policy!
From the Sydney Morning Herald:
Obama administration lobbied to change Australia’s asylum seeker policy
The Obama administration lobbied Australia to change its asylum seeker policy, actively disagreeing with the Australia’s off-shore detention and “Stop the Boats” mentality.
Former deputy secretary of state Heather Higginbottom has given an insight into how the secretive refugee-swap deal between the two allies came about, while revealing the United States, under former president Barack Obama, wanted to “bring relief” to asylum seekers held on Nauru and Manus Island. [Asylum seekers are NOT refugees!—-ed]
The deal was the subject of a tense first phone call between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, with Mr Trump labelling it “stupid”, “rotten”, “horrible” and “disgusting”.
But Ms Higginbottom, writing for Time magazine, said it was struck with humanitarian solutions in mind, by an administration uncomfortable with Australia’s stance.
“While the last administration strongly pressed the Australian government to change its policy toward asylum seekers, we also sought to immediately relieve the suffering of these refugees and agreed to resettle up to 1200 after they went through the US government’s rigorous refugee screening processes,” Ms Higginbottom, who now serves as the chief operating officer of CARE, wrote.
[Most have not even been determined to be legitimate refugees yet—ed]
Much, much more here.
My whole ‘Australia deal’ archive is here.