Executive orders expected to be signed by US President Donald Trump, which would reportedly impose a temporary ban on most refugees and suspend visas for people from many refugee producing countries, have cast further doubt on the Turnbull Government’s already shaky US refugee deal.
Human Rights Law Centre’s, Director of Legal Advocacy, Daniel Webb, said:
“When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced he would be sending refugees to the US he was quite rightly acknowledging that Manus and Nauru are dead ends and that he couldn't just leave people languishing there forever. But it's now increasingly clear that the US deal won’t be enough to ensure safety for all,” said Mr Webb.
“Our government has already conceded that Manus and Nauru are unsustainable. It is our government’s responsibility to urgently find a humane way forward,” said Mr Webb.
Mr Webb said that the uncertainty and confusion surrounding Turnbull’s US deal was causing considerable distress on Nauru and Manus.
“We’re talking about 2000 people who have been in limbo for almost three and a half years. They are exhausted.”
“When the US deal was announced many felt hopeful and optimistic for the first time in years - finally the government was conceding it had to get them off Manus and Nauru. But the ongoing uncertainty, confusion and delay is seeing those faint hopes dashed and causing a lot of pain,” said Mr Webb.
“After three and a half years of limbo it’s time to evacuate the people on Manus and Nauru to safety in Australia and allow those already here for medical treatment to stay and continue rebuilding their lives in our communities.”
For further comments or queries please contact:
Daniel Webb, Director of Legal Advocacy, Human Rights Law Centre, 0437 278 961
Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law Centre, 0419 100 519