It has been reported that Donald Trump is signing for a temporary ban on refugees.

Mr Trump, who tweeted earlier today that a "big day" was planned on national security, is expected to order a multi-month ban on allowing refugees into the United States except for religious minorities escaping persecution, until more aggressive vetting is in place.

The Obama administration signed a refugee resettlement deal with Australia for refugees settled in Papua New Guinea and the tiny South Pacific island nation of Nauru last year. How would this temporary ban affect this deal?


2 Answers 2


Absent specific statements about the deal, the refugees are subject to the same rules as "normal" refugees, since the Nauru isn't some special source of refugees, but merely an offshore detention center where Australia sends all boat-bound refugees trying to get to Australia.

As such, how they are treated visavi Trump's order, would depend on where they are from. Current reporting (which isn't based on the actual order, so may change) lists the order as being restricted to refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

As such, if the refugees detained by Australia in Nauru and Papua New Guinea are from those 7 countries, they would be subject to the new order. Otherwise no.

There's no exact statistics on Narau refugee origins but my impression is that many would fit the ban, but not all - for example, the original crisis that led to narau detentions (MV Tampa) was about refugees from Afghanistan that isn't on the list. Wiki has very vague:

Many detainees have since been returned to their countries of origin, including Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan and "unknown" destinations

Caveat: Obviously, the whole thing is entirely within Executive Branch. So, there's nothing that says the administration can't say "Oh, and this order doesn't apply to Australia deal, at all". I'm not aware of anything like that happening at the moment, and it's unlikely based on general ideas behind the order; but only time will tell conclusively.

  • Trump has grudgingly stated that he will abide by the deal, apparently. Feb 3, 2017 at 16:53
  • @PoloHoleSet - last news I saw was highly confusing and inconclusive, from 1 day ago.
    – user4012
    Feb 3, 2017 at 17:24
  • yeah, that's why I chose to add "apparently" at the end there. Heck, I still don't know what's going on with the Palestinian Authority funding kerfluffel. Feb 3, 2017 at 18:31

The ban applies only to a few countries, notably missing in thTt list is Syria. It is also not clear if it applies to refugees currently in a 3rd country. That is, someone has to define thee word "refugee" before the executive order can be implemented.

That's a long way of saying "only time will tell".

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