U.S. Delays Meetings With Refugees Despite Australia Deal

U.S immigration authorities have indefinitely postponed meetings to interview asylum-seekers who had been heading for Australia. Refugees held on the island nation of Nauru were part of a resettlement deal between Australia and the United States, but the deal—made toward the end of President Obama’s term—has sparked an argument between Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Trump tweeted Thursday that he believes the deal is “dumb.” Those on Nauru are applying to settle in the U.S. under the agreement, but have told Reuters reporters that their second round of interviews with U.S. authorities were postponed and seem less likely by the day. The U.S. had planned to take as many as 1,250 asylum-seekers. In exchange, Australia—which enforces a blanket ban on accepting asylum-seekers who arrive by boat—would take refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras seeking to come to the U.S. Advocates say that most of those living in the Australian camp are from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sudan. “We are deeply concerned about the U.S. deal,” said Imran Mohammad, 22, a stateless man from Myanmar. “We don’t know what to believe and the uncertainty is getting worse and worse.”