Published: Mon, February 06, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

United States officials delay interviews with asylum seekers in Australian camps, report says

United States officials delay interviews with asylum seekers in Australian camps, report says

Reuters reported that there are about 1,200 refugees, mostly single men, being held on Manus Island and Nauru.

"The rhetoric coming out of the United States and from Trump is that even though he'll comply with the letter of the deal, the practicality may mean that they settle zero people." she said.

"My understanding is that interviewing and vetting is still taking place", she said.

Bishop said both countries were still working through the details of the agreement, which sparked a rare diplomatic spat between the two staunch allies, with Trump berating Australia's prime minister in an angry phone call.

Although negotiations between the two governments were ongoing for months, President Obama did not announce the agreement until just a few days after the USA presidential election. It was doing so to address a pressing humanitarian need; there wasn't much to ask for Australia, or the refugees, for in return, although Australia did agree to help the U.S. with the relocation of some Central American refugees held in Costa Rica.

Trump reportedly called it a "dumb deal" and incorrectly referred to the refugees as "illegal immigrants".

Though Turnbull declined to confirm the report, he also didn't deny it, apart from rejecting one detail - that Trump had hung up on him.

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Despite his misgivings, Trump later agreed to honor the initial agreement, according to Turnbull and the White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer. "It doesn't make sense for the U.S.to take them".

According to the Australian government, around 80 percent of people in the offshore detention camps have been determined to be legitimate refugees.

"I can assure you the relationship is very strong", Turnbull said.

Detainees said interview dates on their applications were removed on Saturday, hours after Trump signed his executive order.

In the case of US-Australia however, the exact opposite has happened.

She was asked about her background, including where her family is now, the reason she fled from Iran, and who financed her trip to Christmas Island, a remote Australian island off the continent's northwest that is targeted by many asylum seekers who make the perilous sea journey from Indonesia after paying people smugglers there.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten criticised the Government's handling of the deal, but today said Labor would back the Government "100 per cent" as it worked to get refugees to the US. There was no specific timeline attached to the resettlement, and though United States officials have visited the camps to interview potential candidates, there's no clarity as to when these people would be able to leave the detention centers-that was even before Trump was going to study the agreement.

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