Sydney: Refugees held in Australia’s detention centre on Nauru do not want to be transferred to the US under Donald Trump’s administration, reports said on Tuesday.
Although many refugees agreed to the resettlement plan agreed upon earlier by the US and Australian authorities, several other expressed their unwillingness, Xinhua news reported.
According to this plan some refugees held in Australia’s remote offshore detention facilities on Nauru and Manus Island would be resettled in the US.
Several held on Nauru, especially Muslim men, told a news channel crew that they had no interest in going to the US.
“The President-elect Donald Trump doesn’t like Muslims in his country as a migrant,” Aziz Khan, a member of the persecuted Rohingya minority group from Myanmar, said.
Authorities on Nauru have expressed concern about a possible outbreak of violence and acts of self-harm among the asylum seekers when the agreement would be implemented.
As of October 31, there were 872 migrants in the centre on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, and 390 on Nauru, in the Pacific Ocean, including men, women and children from conflict zones of Iraq, Syria and Somalia.
Australia was negotiating with Nauru for a 20-year visa in the Pacific for those who may not be accepted by the US or decide not to apply.
Australia was using the Manus and Nauru centers since 2012 to process applications for asylum from migrants intercepted at sea while trying to reach its coasts.
However, instead of accepting them, they resettle them to the third countries.
In mid-2013, Australia passed a law whereby asylum seekers and refugees would not be relocated to its territory.
It was currently considering radicalising the measure by attempting to ban them from entering for life.
In 2014, Australia signed an agreement with Cambodia to resettle these refugees to the Southeast Asian country under a controversial multimillion dollar deal.
However, just six refugees took up the resettlement offer.