WASHINGTON, 27 SEPTEMBER 2017 (THE AUSTRALIAN) —Los Angeles will be the first destination for refugees from Nauru and Manus Island when they arrive today to begin their new life in the US as the State Department seeks to play down the event.

US officials tell The Australian that the Trump administration does not want to draw public attention to the first arrivals under a deal that sparked an argument between Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull.


The Australian understands that the group of 24 asylum seekers will arrive in LA from Manila today where they will be quietly handed over to non-government refugee resettlement contractors.

A further 30 refugees from Nauru are expected to arrive in the US in the next day or so.

The groups will then be dispersed to around eight states, the names of which have not been publicly disclosed, although one is said to be Georgia. There they will begin the process of adjusting into US society after living in sparse conditions for years on remote Manus Island or Nauru.

More groups of refugees are expected to be transferred to the US in the months ahead as the US continues its ‘extreme voting” process on those still held on Manus Island and Nauru. The US is under no obligation to take a certain number of refugees, just those who pass its vetting process.

Although the Trump administration is going ahead with the refugee deal, which was struck by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, the president does not like it and US officials do not want to publicise it further.

The deal received international headlines when it was leaked that Trump and Turnbull had exchanged harsh words over the deal which Trump derided as ‘stupid’ and ‘horrible.’

“Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?”Trump said to Turnbull according to a leaked transcript on their January phone call.

Turnbull has said the resettlement of those found to be refugees into the US was a once off event and that no-one asylum seekers on boats would be allowed to enter Australia.

“Anyone who comes by boat will be turned back.” He said. “They will not be settled in Australia, and they will not be resettled in the United States. Those in PNG and Nauru who’ve been found not to be refugees should return to their country of origin.”…PACNEWS [/restrict]