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Issue #1764      February 8, 2017

Bring them here

The White House statement that the US resettlement deal with Australia is still “under consideration” has blown Malcolm Turnbull’s re-assurances about the deal out of the water.

Turnbull’s report of his phone call with Trump obviously fell short of the truth.

“Not only has Turnbull refused to condemn Trump’s ban; he has got no guaranteed deal to show for his sycophancy,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

It is now clear that refugees on Manus and Nauru are potentially caught by Trump’s extreme executive order banning Muslims and refugees.

The announcement from the White House created further confusion and anxiety.

There were already doubts about the deal following White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s statement that the refugees would be subjected to “extreme vetting” procedures. This seems to put the lie to previous Australian government statements that refugees on Nauru were already subject to such vetting.

Even before the latest “correction”, White House press secretary Sean Spicer had created other doubts. His statement that the deal referred “mostly to PNG” when US officials are on Nauru, could give no confidence that the White House even knew what it was talking about.

“In any case, the number of 1,250 is not enough to ensure all refugees on Manus and Nauru will get a place in the US. There are already around 1,800 refugees on Manus and Nauru. Who is going to miss out? It is obvious that hundreds of people are going to be left behind by the deal, even if it goes through, and even if refugees survive the extreme vetting,” said Rintoul.

“Trump’s Muslim ban has brought outrage around the world. It is equally outrageous that Turnbull gone along with Trump, boasting that Trump is emulating Australia’s policies.

“It is outrageous that Turnbull has been short of the truth about a US deal that gives no certainty to the people that the Australian government has dumped offshore. Turnbull should say no to Trump’s ban. All the refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus should be brought to the mainland.”

Next article – Mine lock-out

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