Turnbull confirms deal signed with U.S to resettle refugees

UPDATE: PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed that refugees on Manus Island and Nauru detention centres may be resettled in the United States under a one-off deal. 

U.S Secretary of State John Kerry also confirmed the deal when speaking to media in New Zealand on Sunday morning. 

The deal is part of a larger policy Australia has reached with several countries, who have agreed to resettle refugees that Australia has refused to resettle. 

Department of Immigration and Border Protection statistics show there were 872 people in the Manus Island processing centre and 390 people in the Nauru centre as of October 31. 

Only those people currently in the centres will be eligible under the deal, which was signed before the election of anti-immigration President-Elect Donald Trump. 

Mr Turnbull was asked if he had spoken about the deal with Mr Trump and told reporters the Australian government dealt with one administration at a time. 

He would not release information on the number of refugees that would be resettled in the U.S. 

EARLIER: THE controversial offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island could close within three years.

Fairfax Media claimed on Saturday morning the Federal Government was soon expected to announce a deal with multiple countries to resettle refugees currently housed in the centres.

The deal would mean the centres would close by 2019. 

On Friday, The Australian reported the United States was one country involved in the deal.

The anticipated deal comes just days after the House of Representatives passed legislation banning refugees who tried to reach Australia by boat from ever coming to Australia.

If passed by the Senate, the legislation would mean that all refugees currently on Manus Island and Nauru would not be able to visit Australia even as tourists.

Fairfax reported the countries that could resettle refugees in the two centres included New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Pressure to close Manus Island and Nauru has been increasing over the past few years after a number of revelations of abuse and mistreatment.

More than 2000 incident reports from Nauru were leaked to The Guardian earlier this year, alleging incidents of child sexual abuse, assault on refugees and asylum seekers and self-harm.

On August 12, The United Nations called on Australia and Nauru to end offshore detention.

At the time, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said the leaked documents were consistent with findings from their visits to Nauru.

Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton has defended the centres throughout the growing controversy.

In a statement released on October 10 announcing there had been no asylum seekers arriving by boat for 800 days, he said the Coalition policies had put a halt on the people smuggling trade.

"I pay tribute to the men and women who protect our borders and help prevent vulnerable people risking their lives at sea," he said in the statement.



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