28 Nov 2017

US resettlement approved for Nauru refugees

5:47 pm on 28 November 2017

Immigration officials from the United States are on Nauru telling about 70 refugees they will be resettled in America.

Refugees protest on Nauru against offshore processing in defiance of a new law requiring 7 days notice of a protest.

Refugees on Nauru protesting on 7 April 2015 at Anibare camp against offshore processing in defiance of a new law that requires protesters to give seven days notice of any protest and gives the police commissioner sole power to allow a protest, or not. Photo: Supplied by Refugee Action Coalition

The Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul said the officials told about 35 refugees yesterday their applications had been approved and about another 40 would be notified today.

The resettlement is part of an agreement between Canberra and the Obama administration for the US to take up to 1250 refugees from Australian offshore detention.

The deal was struck in November 2016, but so far only 54 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru have moved to the US.

Mr Rintoul said the US officials would also finish conducting first interviews with about 200 refugees of the 800 that applied.

"Around 70 or 75, who have also had their second interviews, some of them have had their medical examinations, they are being told, 30-odd yesterday I think probably another 34-40 today, will be told they've been accepted to the US," he said.

Mr Rintoul said he knew of three families on Nauru who had their applications rejected.

He said about 200 asylum seekers were still in the Nauru detention centre awaiting their refugee status to be determined and had not been able to apply to the US.

A further 300 people detained on Nauru were currently in Australia following medical treatment, he said.