Immigration and Border Protection

Get the latest news


August 04, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull needs to come clean and release details of the US-Australia refugee resettlement agreement.

Labor strongly supports the US resettlement agreement but we are very concerned about the ambiguous and uncertain comments made by Malcolm Turnbull in his reported phone call with President Trump.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: “You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1,000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process.”

Labor questions Malcolm Turnbull's lack of judgement and whether his actions put the US agreement at risk, including his comments indicating that the US did not need to take any refugees under the deal that had been reached.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: “It does not require you to take any.”

To date no refugees have been transferred from Manus Island or Nauru to the US.

Malcolm Turnbull's comments also raise concern that Australia will simply take anyone the US wants as part of the Costa Rica agreement. His comments make clear that the two agreements are linked.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: “We are taking people from the previous administration that they were very keen on getting out of the United States. We will take more. We will take anyone that you want us to take.”

Anyone who resettles in Australia must pass strict health, character and security checks that apply to any person applying for a visa to resettle in Australia.

Labor wants eligible refugees off Manus and Nauru and resettled in third countries as soon as possible but Malcolm Turnbull’s mismanagement has called into doubt the credibility of the agreements and the Government’s ability to execute them.