by Marguerite Telford –
Center for Immigration Studies –
Why hasn’t the “dumb deal” been stopped? Trump Moving Forward With Obama’s Australia Refugee Deal
WASHINGTON (June 13, 2017) – A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies finds that President Trump is moving forward with the deal made by the Obama administration to resettle illegal-immigrant boat people whom Australia will not accept.
The deal will bring to the U.S. nationals of countries on the administration’s list of countries with a history of security concerns – the “travel ban” list. The refugees are held in two Australian-run offshore detention centers on the island nation of Nauru and on Manus Island, part of Papua New Guinea. The refugees could arrive in the U.S. as early as October.
Nayla Rush, senior researcher at the Center and author of the report, said, “Early in his term, President Trump labelled Obama’s refugee resettlement agreement with Australia as a ‘dumb deal’. Many, including Australia’s offshore asylum seekers, assumed the deal would be terminated. The president should inform the public of the reasons for his change in course and explain why the agreement is in the best interest of the U.S.”
View the full report at: http://cis.org/Rush-US-Australia-Refugee-Resettlement-Deal-Is-Underway
• There are currently a total of some 1,250 asylum seekers (mainly men from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan) detained, with at least 850 of them being referred for resettlement in the U.S.
• A conflict of interest exists with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which is partially funded by the U.S. State Department, screening the refugees abroad and helping them build a case to submit to U.S. officials for resettlement, while at the same time getting paid per capita to receive and place them inside the United States.
• Extreme vetting is not so extreme. U.S. officials are relying on outside information; the U.S. screens the refugees using data which is transmitted from a private refugee-resettlement contractor (IRC in this case).
• United Nations experts concluded that the level of mental illness on both islands was alarming, with the majority suffering from serious mental health issues.
• The majority of the refugees are citizens of Iran, a country which refuses to take its nationals back. If any of these refugees commit a crime, they will be released back into the community, not detained or deported.
• Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has requested de-classification of the terms of the deal negotiated between the two nations. This has not happened.
• Obama’s negotiations appear one-sided, with Australia resettling 20-50 refugees from Costa Rica in exchange for the U.S. taking hundreds of Australia’s unwanted refugees.
Contact: Marguerite Telford