President Donald Trump has greatly reduced the amount of refugees pouring in from third-world countries. This is impacting a deal set up by former President Obama with Australia to funnel more refugees into the United States. Australian officials are finding this process to be much more difficult while dealing with the Trump administration.
The third iteration of Trump’s travel ban restricts immigration from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, North Korea and Yemen. It is currently under consideration by the Supreme Court, but remains intact in the mean time. This is affecting 150 refugees currently held in offshore processing by Australia on the island of Nauru who they hope to place in the United States.
“Iranian refugees account for around a third of all refugees on Nauru,” Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition told The Guardian. “It is just not possible for all Iranians to be rejected on any legitimate basis.
“While Trump says there is no official ban on Iranians and Somalis, it is now very clear that the US administration is imposing an unofficial ban. It is not a coincidence that all Iranians are being rejected.”
These Iranians and the Somalis apparently feel entitled to be resettled into the United States, but the island of Nauru is desperate to rid themselves of the refugees.
“They can’t stay on Nauru forever, we’ve made that clear right from the start,” said Baron Waqa, who serves as the Nauruan president.
President Trump is making similar sentiments clear by enacting various policies including the so-called Muslim ban in order to slow down the demographic displacement currently taking place in the US. Rintoul, the refugee advocate, blames the Australian prime minister for enabling Trump with his flippant comments.
“Turnbull’s phone call to Trump is coming back to haunt him. Turnbull told Trump that he didn’t have to accept anyone; now Trump is taking him at his word,” Rintoul said.
Australia is currently looking at other options in regards of where to send the refugees.
“We will continue to look at third-country arrangements… Our department have been working on this for a number of years. People aren’t jumping out of their skin to provide places and that’s the reality,” Australian home affairs minister Peter Dutton said.
Refugee resettlement watchdog Ann Corcoran points out that although this news is an indicator that the US will no longer be an unrequited dumping ground for third-world migrants, Trump is not going far enough and needs to reject refugees from more countries as well.
“[Trump] is setting a terrible precedent with this highly unorthodox arrangement for refugee resettlement, plus he isn’t keeping us safe by simply blocking the Iranians and Somalis while taking the Afghans, Pakistanis and Rohingya Muslims!” Corcoran proclaimed in a blog post.