Australia to send refugees to North America - report

12:54 pm on 2 November 2016

Australian media reports say refugees held on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and Nauru will be offered permanent resettlement in Canada and the US as part of an Australian government plan.

The Australian says the government is in the final stages of negotiations to offer permanent resettlement to most of about 1800 refugees.

The report said several countries would likely be involved, suggesting the US and Canada are among them.

New Zealand offered to take some of the refugees but Canberra has declined the offer.

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a recent press conference in Sydney.

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull is looking at plans to ban asylum seekers who arrived by boat Photo: SAEED KHAN / AFP

Speculation of a refugee swap with the US was rife in September after Australia's prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Australia would take refugees from Central America as part of its annual intake.

In April, PNG's Supreme Court ruled that detaining the people sent by Canberra to Manus was illegal but court action to force Australia to take its refugee back has stalled on a technicality.

At the weekend, Mr Turnbull said legislation was planned to ban asylum seekers who arrived by boat after July 2013 from ever being allowed to settling in the country.

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