The federal government continues to review the cases of refugees currently being reviewed for admission to the United States. Gillian Christensen spoke for the Department of Homeland Security Department today to say that the process of screening people held by Australia on the Pacific island of Nauru is ongoing. Earlier today, the immigration minister of Australia said that processing had been halted.
The issue gained more immediacy because of the decision by the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the decision of a lower court that halted President Donald Trump executive order that put a hold on refugees and banned travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries. Trump tweeted combatively, "See you in court. The security of our nation is at stake!"
Christensen said applicants for refugee status "will be interviewed and undergo security vetting consistent with the law, including any executive orders and court orders."
President Donald Trump suspended the admission of refugees through his January 27 executive order that also limited immigration and travel from seven majority-Muslim countries. A federal judge in Washington state temporarily blocked the executive order last week, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today against reinstating the executive order. As a result, previously approved refugees have been arriving in the United States.
The stay imposed by the 9th Circuit Court does not mean Trump's travel ban is unconstitutional. It does prohibit, however, the enforcement of the executive order until the courts determine the legality of Trump's executive order. The decision will almost certainly land in the laps of the justices of the Supreme Court, which are currently tied 4-4 along partisan lines. A decision in favor of the Trump administration now hinges on the confirmation of the current nominee -- Neil Gorsuch -- to replace the deceased Antonin Scalia.
In 2016, the Obama administration agreed with Australia to review the applications of approximately 1,300 asylum seekers and the refuge requests of about 370 other people who came to Australia seeking medical treatment but then refused to leave for possible resettlement in the US. Most of them hail from Muslim Middle Eastern or African countries. They are being held on the island nation of Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Australia, which is reeling from the admission of thousands of immigrants seeking relative wealth and peace, will not admit the abovementioned refugees and is paying for them to stay in Nauru and New Guinea.
Trump has called the Obama-era agreement with Australia "dumb."
Earlier today, Australia’s Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said American officials had ceased to screen detainees at Nauru but would return to the island detention camp. The State Department said, however, that the federal government will honor its agreement to consider some of the hundreds of migrants held on Nauru for admission to America. Trump has said they be subjected to "extreme vetting."
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