CANBERRA, Australia – Officials say the United States has agreed to resettle an unspecified number of refugees languishing in Pacific island camps in a deal that is expected to inspire more asylum seekers to attempt to reach Australia by boat.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Sunday would not say whether he had discussed the deal with President-elect Donald Trump during their telephone conversation on Thursday. The Obama administration had agreed to resettle refugees among almost 1,300 asylum seekers held at Australia's expense on the island nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
Trump has called for a moratorium or tight restrictions on Muslim immigration. Most of the asylum seekers are Muslims from the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Australia refuses to resettle any refugee who has arrived by boat since July 19, 2013.