25 Apr 2017

US commitment to refugees leaves 'big question' unanswered

8:53 pm on 25 April 2017

A refugee advocate says the commitment made by the United States vice president, Mike Pence, to honour a deal to resettle refugees detained offshore by Australia has left questions unanswered.

Manus Island detention centre

The Manus Island detention centre. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

Mr Pence visited Australia last weekend and made the commitment to the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, despite reservations held by president Donald Trump.

The Refugee Action Coalition's, Ian Rintoul, said it was unlikely all offshore detainees will be taken in by America.

"There's nothing that Pence has actually said which gives anyone any confidence that we are going to see substantial numbers of people resettled from Manus or Nauru, or deals with the big question," said Mr Rintoul.

"And that is, we know that even if (the deal) is fulfilled, there will be hundreds of people still left behind on Nauru and Manus island."

Mr Rintoul said it had been almost six months since detainees were interviewed by US officials and there was no indication as to when they would be resettled.

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