First wave of refugees to US from Pacific camps imminent

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SYDNEY: A first wave of refugees will leave remote Pacific detention camps and be resettled in the United States in coming weeks, Australian authorities said Wednesday, under a deal that has rankled President Donald Trump. Canberra sends asylum-seekers who try to enter the country by boat to processing facilities on Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, with those found to be refugees barred from resettling in Australia. The Australian government struck a pact with Washington under former president Barack Obama to resettle some of them in the United States in return for taking an unspecified number of asylum-seekers from Central America. Doubts over the arrangement surfaced after Trump took office and attacked it as a “dumb deal” in a heated phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, before begrudgingly agreeing to honor it. But Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the first group were expected to depart PNG and Nauru “in coming weeks.”

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AFP

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