Obama Administration’s Secret Refugee Deal with Australia

Dec 5th, 2016 | By | Category: News Posts

Obama-Paris-terrorAlmost 2,500 refugees from terrorism hot spots around the world are making their way to the U.S. after being denied refugee status from Australia.

The U.S. State Department has classified information on refugees to be resettled in American via a secret deal made with Australia. This bilateral agreement, and unprecedented move, involves 2,465 people, who are currently being held in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, to be transferred to U.S. soil.

Center for Immigration Studies fellow Don Barnett told Fox News, “This is a backroom deal, wheeling and dealing with another country’s refugee problem. I don’t believe for a moment it’s a one-time deal. That’s for public consumption.”

Screeners from the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services are set to leave for Papua New Guinea and Nauru in January to being the vetting process.

Fox News reports, “When staffers probed the number of individuals being considered for resettlement, they were told it was ‘classified,’ even though refugee admissions are traditionally public. Officials, however, did confirm countries of origin to be Iran, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Sudan, as well as some deemed ‘stateless.’”

Barnett believes the “stateless” category poses the most threat to the United States, despite the fact that Iran, Sudan and Syria are on the U.S. current State Sponsors of Terrorism list: “These could be Burmese Muslims, who have posed assimilation issues for every nation which has taken them… It’s a dangerous precedent which says, ‘We’ll take any ethnic group with which you don’t get along.”

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The State Department and the Obama administration made a statement expressing that they are proud of its role in taking in refugees, even refugees that other nations don’t want: “The United States is proud of its long history as the largest refugee resettlement country in the world… As the President has announced, our refugee resettlement program has grown substantially in the last year. The United States has agreed to consider referrals from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of refugees now residing in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. These refugees are of special interest to the UNHCR and we are engaged on a humanitarian basis, as we are in other part of the world.”

This transfer isn’t settling well with many Congressional oversight members. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry, complaining about the lack of transparency.

The letter mentions that one of the reason the “situation is concerning” is because the “departments negotiated an international agreement regarding refugees without consulting or notifying Congress.”

The letter also asked why Australia and other countries refuses to take the refugees. “If they’ve been vetted and deemed inadmissible, the U.S. can’t say, ‘You don’t want them, so we’ll take them,” added Barnett.

Nazarene_Pin_Ad_300pxWhile speaking at a press conference on November 14, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, “Nobody is taking any more refugees, but what the Americans are doing is assisting these individuals on Nauru and Manus by bringing them in within their existing quota.”

During his press conference, Turnbull said that he country would be “taking more refugees from Central America,” as part of a “commitments at President Obama’s Refugee Summit.”

Fox News reports; “In July, Costa Rica agreed to set up a detention center for those wishing to enter the United States through a program the administration established initially for children to reunite with U.S.-based parents. The program has been expanded to include those fleeing gang violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. It also created a special category for female heads of households.”

The Office of the UNHCR estimates that 146,000 individuals will apply for refugee status to the United States through the Costa Rican Center.

In a press released from July 16, 2016, the State Department laid out the logistics in which after pre-screening and transferring to Costa Rica, “they will undergo refugee processing before being resettled to the United States or another third country.”

Representative from the Grassley-Goodlatte committee are set to receive a classified briefing on the Australian refugee deal next week. There are still questions that could remain shielded from public view including cost, timing, benefit to the U.S. and why it was done in secret.

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