29 Nov 2016

Nauru refugees don't want to go to US - journalist

3:12 pm on 29 November 2016

An Australian journalist given access to Nauru says there is strong opposition to an offer from the United States to accept refugees from the island.

Earlier this month, Australia and the US reached a resettlement deal for refugees who are being held in offshore prisons after having tried to reach Australia by boat.

Few journalists have had access to Nauru since the re-establishment of Australia's detention camps there but Sky News journalist Laura Jayes and a cameraman were able to get on the island earlier this month.

She says she was stunned to hear that refugees did not want to take the American deal, with one Muslim saying he did not want to go to President-elect Donald Trump's America.

An Australian refugee advocate, Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition, said there were a number of people ambivalent about the United States offer.

But he said there were also several hundred who at least were trying to find out more about the offer.

"But one of the problems, however, is that there is still precious little detail about what the US resettlement means, what it means for re-united families, the possibility of re-united families, how quickly the whole things is going to proceed and whether there are any options," he said.

Canberra has placed a lifetime ban on the refugees ever entering Australia.