U.S.-Australia Refugee Deal Is ‘Worst’ in Decade, Says Expert

manus island riot
Facebook/Behrouz Boochani

An Obama-era refugee deal that will resettle more than 1,200 Middle Easterners in the U.S. and tens of thousands of their foreign family members in years to come is an apparent departure from President Donald Trump’s promise of putting “America First.”

The Australian-U.S. refugee deal was first agreed to in former President Obama’s last months in office, promising to take 1,250 mostly male Middle Eastern refugees off Australia’s hands.

The refugees are being held in detention centers on Manus Island and Nauru Island. Despite Trump’s original statement calling the deal “a dumb deal,” the President has now broken two long campaign promises: Throwing out deals that don’t benefit Americans and stopping the flow of foreign refugees.

While the U.S. will have to resettle the 1,250 refugees across communities, Americans will see no benefits to the deal. In exchange for resettling the refugees, roughly 50-60 Central Americans who are currently residing in Costa Rica will be resettled in Australia.

Refugee expert Ann Corcoran says Trump’s acceptance of the refugee deal is one of the worst decisions the administration has made thus far.

“On the surface, this is a purely insane thing,” Corcoran told Breitbart Texas. “We have never done anything like this.”

“This is probably the worst deal I’ve seen within the last 10 years by the refugee resettlement program,” Corcoran continued.

The so-called refugees are actually illegal aliens in Australia who traveled to the country under the previous government which enforced a strict immigration policy that made sure the refugees would never be released from detention.

According to extensive research from migration expert Nayla Rush, 850 refugees on Manus Island are men, while more than half of the refugees on Nauru Island are men as well.

Rush’s research concluded that the refugees are primarily from Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iran.

Although some of these countries are included in Trump’s travel ban, the Australian government has confirmed that the refugee deal will be exempt from the travel ban guidelines.

Corcoran said the refugees the U.S. will have to resettle in American neighborhoods have a history of rioting and violence.

In 2016, after Faysal Ishak Ahmed died of an illness at the Manus Island detention center, the refugees started a riot, Reuters reported at the time.

Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani posted a picture of what he and other refugees had done to the Manus Island facilities.

This was not the first time the refugees rioted and became violent at the detention centers. Back in 2014, the Manus Island refugees led a riot that left one dead and another 60 injured, as ABC News reported at the time.

An independent report that investigated the refugees’ riots found that the destruction occurred after the groups of mostly Middle Eastern men were angered over their detention, despite being warned not to enter Australia illegally:

They began on Sunday, February 16 when asylum seekers were given answers to their questions about how soon their claims would be processed, and where they would be resettled if deemed refugees.

“The transferees’ frustration and anger following that meeting resulted in disruption and violence in Oscar compound that evening and noisy protests,” the report said.

That night, about 35 asylum seekers tried to escape from the Oscar compound when the gates were opened for dinner delivery, but were caught by guards.

Corcoran said that unlike what mainstream media reports claim, the refugees are not vulnerable foreign nationals fleeing destruction, but in fact, destructors themselves that could wreak havoc on the U.S. region where they are resettled.

“Some unfortunate communities in America are going to get single men who have been in detention for years,” Corcoran said. “They will be literally free when they get here.”

“An American community is going to get 20 of these young Muslim men who illegally crossed into another country and we get nothing from this,” Corcoran said.

On the Nauru Island, about 125 refugees went as far as to burn down the majority of the detention center where they were being housed by the Australian government, as the Guardian reported at the time.

In this incident, the refugees started a fire that took out $55 million worth of damage, destroying medical centers and accommodation blocks after attempting to break out of the detention center. The majority were from Iran, Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon.

Most recently, a Sri Lankan refugee on Manus Island was charged with raping a 19-year-old Australian native, taking her to a local hotel and raping a total of three times, according to ABC News.

At the time of the incident, Manus Island Police spokesman David Yapu said “the victim suffered pain and was heavily bleeding.”

After the refugees are resettled in the U.S. in the next fiscal year, the families of those refugees will get priority migration status to either come to America as refugees as well, or come as legal immigrants through the current immigration system which is based on family chain migration.

If the refugees’ family members were to try to come to the U.S. as refugees, they could potentially be immune from being included in the 50,000 refugees per year cap that the Trump Administration has set up, as close relatives are exempt.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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