Nauru refugees petition against delays and exclusion from the US

| January 22, 2018 | Reply

Around 500 Nauruan refugees have signed a petition (Nauru resettlement petition) directed to Australian Border Force demanding a timetable for refugee resettlement; to be immediately resettled in Australia pending any further resettlement options and to reunite families that have been separated by Border Force and offshore detention policies.

Around 130 refugees are expected to fly to the US later this month. Forty refugees are scheduled to fly from Port Moresby (via Manila) to the US tomorrow (Tuesday, 23 January). Refugees from Nauru are scheduled to fly in February.

But no Iranians or Somalis are amongst those flying from Nauru or Manus Island.

There has been no formal announcement, but Iranians and Somalis have been excluded from the flights because of Trump’s latest ban on entry of individuals from certain countries.

One Nauru refugee who enquired about their ban was told, “Under the Executive Order issued October 24, 2017, the United States government is currently undertaking an additional review of refugee resettlement from selected countries worldwide and we will temporarily prioritise refugee applications from other countries.”

“The longer the US deal drags out, the more obvious it is that the Australian government does not have any real plan to resettle all the refugees on Manus and Nauru,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Trump’s ban on Iranians and Somalis means that around a third of all the offshore refugees are still in limbo more than four years after they were sent to Manus or Nauru.

“Refugees are paying a high price for Peter Dutton’s policy failures. Each week sees more people brought to Australia for medical treatment they can’t get on Nauru. There are no excuses for offshore detention. New Zealand has repeated its offer for the Nth time to take 150 refugees.

“Yet, families have been deliberately separated. One of the separated families includes an Iranian husband and a Somali wife – both are affected by Trumps’s travel ban. Arash has never seen his baby daughter.

“It’s time that families were re-united, and time that all refugees and asylum seekers were brought to Australia were they can get the protection and security they need.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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