Australia Could Take More Than A Year To Resettle 12,000 Syrian Migrants

Syrian migrants
Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

CANBERRA, Australia — Officials say the Australian government remains committed to resettling 12,000 Syrian refugees, but painstaking security checks could take more than a year.

The government announced in September that the 12,000 refugees would be resettled as quickly as possible.

Lawmaker Cory Bernardi said Monday that the Cabinet should rethink that commitment in light of the risk that terrorists could pose as refugees.

Cabinet ministers including Treasurer Scott Morrison and Counterterrorism Minister Michael Keenan stood by the government’s decision.

Peter Shergold, Coordinator-General for Refugee Resettlement in New South Wales, told Australian Broadcasting Corp. the resettlement process could take from 12 to 18 months due to careful screening.