Since 2001, the Australian government has housed refugees and asylum seekers in offshore detention camps.
Two camps particular, one on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island and another in the small island nation of Nauru, have drawn the attention of human rights advocates. At least 13 people have died in the camps, and the U.N. alleges widespread torture against the detainees.
But an Obama policy signed last year will take the burden off of Australia to resettle over 1,000 refugees. In return, Australia will take several central American refugees from U.S. detention. Twenty-two of Australia’s detainees arrived in the U.S. last week.
But President Trump calls it a “dumb deal,” and even though their arrival in the U.S. went ahead, the State Department has tried to keep it discrete.
To discuss Australia’s island refugee detention and their controversial resettlement to the U.S., we’re joined by Ian Rintoul, an activist and spokesman for the Refugee Action Coalition in Sydney.