From Manus to Missouri
The refugee swap scheme complicating US/Australia relations
Australia's controversial treatment of refugees has left many thousands of lives in limbo. The Australia-US refugee swap deal may have attracted Trump's criticism, but it is a relief for many asylum-seekers.
After spending 4 years at the notorious refugee detention centre on Manus Island, Sudanese refugee Tirab is starting afresh in Missouri, his future decided by the Australia/US refugee swap deal. Memories of Manus haunt him: "We have been beaten, been killed, been tortured...surviving Manus Island". Although compensation has been allocated to detainees, Tirab still resents Australia. "I am happy that I didn’t go to Australia because of the treatment for us while we were in the detention centre." Matthew O'Brien of the Federation of American Immigration Reform, is a vocal critic of the swap scheme, arguing that it compromises US security: "We have been having so much trouble with terrorist groups from Sudan. It appears to be a dumb deal...if Australia doesn't want these folks, why do we?"