The United States has allowed entry of almost 1,250 refugees into the nation from Australia under the new refugee swapping deal. However, the nation has suggested applying strict vetting before the intake of the refugees. The White House confirmed the news on Tuesday.
It was in 2016 when the US agreed to the resettlement of migrants, especially from Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. US President Donald Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer declared the White House’s decision of allowing the refugee swapping with Australia.
“The deal specifically deals with 1,250 people, they’re mostly in Papua New Guinea, being held,” Spicer addressed a White House briefing. “Those people, part of the deal, is that they have to be vetted in the manner that we’re doing now. There will be extreme vetting applied to all of them as part and parcel of the deal that was made, and it was made by the Obama administration with the full backing of the United States government. The president, in accordance with that deal, to honour what had been agreed upon by the United States government … will go forward.”
The refugee swapping deal will also include Australia allowing the influx of asylum seekers from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. This will be done in return to the US allowing the intake of refugees from Aussie detention centers. Spicer, in addition to giving a green signal to White House’s decision to take in refugees from Australia, also stated that the asylum seekers must satisfy stricter immigration policies.
Effect of Trump’s “Muslim Ban” Orders on Refugee Swapping Deal
Trump made news last week after he announced a ban on the entry of Muslims to America on Friday. His announcement was considered as a “Muslim ban” but the president argued that it was not a Muslim ban. The executive order of Trump did not restrict all Muslims from entering the nation. Those belonging to seven Muslim-driven nations – Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iran and Iraq – will only be restricted to enter the US for a temporary period of 90 days.
Taking the new orders of the president into consideration, it was speculated that refugee swapping might face disturbance. Aussie Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull dismissed such speculations that claimed lack of commitment of Trump to the swapping deal.
“The Trump administration has committed to progress with the arrangements to honor the deal,” Turnbull told Reuters in Canberra on Wednesday. “That was the assurance the president gave me when we spoke on the weekend.”