The US-Australia deal to settle refugees held on Manus Island and Nauru appears to be under threat. Texan Congressman Brian Babin said that President-elect Donald Trump would do ‘everything in his power’ to prevent the deal from going ahead. Immigration minister Peter Dutton has refused to comment; however, a spokesman for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expressed confidence that the deal would proceed. Labor’s immigration spokesman Shayne Newman voiced ongoing support for the deal, but urged the government to reveal more information about the progress of negotiations.
A global report released this week by human rights advocacy organisation Human Rights Watch described Australia’s asylum seeker policies as ‘draconian’. A spokesperson for the organisation said that ‘[i]f Australia wants to be a global human rights leader, then it should take immediate steps to end these unlawful policies.’