Australia and the US have reached a resettlement deal for asylum seekers held in offshore detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.
…“US authorities will conduct their own assessment of refugees and decide which people are resettled in the US,” he said.
…The agreement, to be administered with the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, is available only to those currently in the processing centres *
Source*The US has been sending vast numbers of illegal Mexican migrants home, a pattern expected to continue in the next administration, and there has been widespread resistance even to foreign refugees whose reasons for migration were not economic. So it seems unlikely that Washington is going out of its way to be altruistic, when Canberra can’t seem to extend the same generosity to these refugees.
I smell a quid pro quo, and I suggest one of two possibilities:[LIST=1]
*]Australia (or maybe Nauru) is soon to take a number of Guantanamo prisoners, moving Obama closer to his goal of closing Gitmo before he leaves office. I’ll guess maybe 7 to 10 prisoners, out of I think 61 currently held there.
*]The Australian Navy will now join the US in actively conducting freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea. I think this is less likely, as it’s a lower priority for Obama than Guantanamo, it’s been made slightly more complex by Duterte, and it’s unclear whether Trump wants to continue in the same way.