- Controversial immigration laws in Australia have been heavily criticized
- Donald Trump has hit out over a deal which would see 1,250 refugees in offshore detention centers into the US
- Australia introduced offshore detention in 2001, and expanded it in 2013
- The UN has branded the policy ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading’
Tough laws in Australia, which force migrants who arrive by boat into offshore detention centers, have been labelled ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading’ by the UN.
Australia’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull reportedly clashed with Donald Trump, in particular over what POTUS labelled a ‘dumb’ refugee deal made between the two nations under Barack Obama, as the pair spoke as leaders for the first time.
Yet while the Republican’s hard-line immigration policies has drawn criticism, Australia’s own system has been likened to ‘open-air prisons that have increasingly eroded the human rights’ of migrants.
Last week Mr Trump placed a temporary ban on refugees being admitted to the US and other strict border measures targeting seven countries
Unhappy: Donald Trump reportedly hung up on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (pictured) at the weekend after a particularly testy exchange
Trump reportedly fell out with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull over a deal made with the Obama administration, which will see 1,250 refugees currently in centers in Nauru and Manus Island accepted into the US.
Under the US-Australia agreement, which was reached in November, Australia would accept hundreds of refugees from South America who are currently in centers in Costa Rica.
WHAT IS THE AUSTRALIA-US REFUGEE DEAL?
The Obama administration and Turnbull government struck a deal to resettle some of the refugees being held offshore in Nauru and Manus Island in November last year
The Australian government has a ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards illegal boat arrivals and only genuine refugees are sent to Nauru and Manus Island
There are approximately 1,250 refugees being held in the Australian-funded offshore detention centres
A large majority of those refugees come from Iran, Iraq and Somalia – all countries on US President Donald Trump’s travel-ban
President Trump reportedly agreed to honour the deal, on the condition the refugees would undergo ‘extreme vetting’
The US President reportedly described it as the ‘worst deal ever’ in a heated conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Sunday
The same month as the deal was made, UN investigator Francois Crepeau visited the detention center on the island of Nauru, where he described conditions as ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading’.
Mr Crepeau said Australia’s policies ‘have increasingly eroded the human rights of migrants in contravention of its international human rights and humanitarian obligations’.
He continued: ‘Australia would vehemently protest if its citizens were treated like this by other counties and especially if Australian children were treated like this.’
Amnesty International said in October that the immigration center was an ‘open-air prison’.
Offshore detention in Australia has been in place since 2001, and in 2013 Australia’s mainland was excluded from its migration zone for people who arrive by boat.
Now migrants who arrive on Australian shores by sea are immediately sent to the island of Nauru or Papau New Guinea.
They stay in detention facilities while their applications to be accepted into Australia are processed.
Although 90 per cent are ruled to have valid claims, they are not allowed to settle in the Australian mainland, instead being allowed to stay in Nauru or Papau New Guinea.
President Trump reportedly ranted about the deal the Obama administration struck with Canberra to take 1,250 refugees being held on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island (pictured) and Nauru
The policy has come under heavy fire, with conditions in the camp branded ‘inhuman’ by a UN inspector in November.
Supporters claim it deters migrants from arriving in dangerous vessels, and ensures refugees enter the country through proper channels.
In 2015 Australia agreed to accept 12,000 refugees from Syria.
The previous year violence had erupted at a protest at the detention center on Manus Island, and a 23-year-old Iranian man was killed.
Turnbull has previously stated that Australians cannot be ‘misty-eyed’ about immigration, saying: ‘We must have secure borders and we do and we will, and they will remain so, as long as I am the prime minister of this country.’
The US president is claimed to have hung up on his Australian counterpart Turnbull 25 minutes into the conversation after furiously telling him: ‘I don’t want these people.’
He wrote on Twitter yesterday: ‘Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!’
Trump’s own record on accepting refugees has sparked protests all over the world after he barred people from seven predominantly Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – from entering the US for 90 days.
He also imposed a 120 day refugee ban, and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely.
Culled from Dailymail