Fifth group of refugees leave Nauru for the US

| March 4, 2018 | Reply

The fifth group of refugees will leave Nauru today (Sunday, 4 March) to be resettled in the US.

The group of 29 refugees (21 adults and 8 children) comprises four families (two Sri Lankan, one Rohingyan and one Afghan), and single men from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

The departure of this group brings the total number of refugees resettled from Nauru to 139, since US resettlement began in September 2017. (Full list below.)

Although Australian Border Force officials have denied that any nationalities are banned from US resettlement, it is remarkable that no Iranian, Somalis, or Sudanese have been accepted this year.

US officials are expected to remain on Nauru until mid-March, but there are no appointments being scheduled for a new round of acceptances. Current interviews by US Department of Homeland Security officials are either first interviews of those who expressed an interest in being resettled or re-interviews of some people first interviewed months ago.

“Despite the glaring problems with the US deal, Malcolm Turnbull returned from his trip to the US with no better undertakings from Trump about the numbers or timing of refugee resettlement in the US, “ said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “Yet, Border Force officials have admitted for the first time that hundreds of people, refugees and asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru may be excluded from the deal.

“Turnbull has also repeated that New Zealand’s offer to accept 150 refugees a year will not be considered until the US deal ‘has run its course’. This is a formula that will condemn hundreds on Nauru and Manus Island to an uncertain fate, without safety or security.”

Meanwhile Australian courts are still ordering Border Force to bring sick refugees, deprived of treatment in Nauru, to Australia.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

US Resettlement figures:

(i) Manus – (a) 27 people left PNG on 27 September 2017; (b) 40 left on 23 January 2018; (c) 18 on 13 February

(ii) Nauru (a) 27 people on 27 September 2017; (b) 22 left on 11 February 2018. (c) 35 on 18 February; (d) Sunday 25 February: 26 refugees, including two Sri Lankan families with three babies; (e) 4 March, 29 refugees (21 adults, 8 children) mostly single men (Afghan, Pakistan, Rohingyan, Sri Lanka), but two Sri Lankan families, one Rohingya and one Afghan family (8 children altogether).

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