The announcement by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last September was a surprise — Australia would help the US by taking refugees from Costa Rica.
Today there is the not-so-surprising news that the intake of Central Americans will depend on the US abiding by its deal to accepting refugees from Manus Island and Nauru.
The Australian government had consistently denied a link between the two projects and rejected talk of a “people swap.”
The difference appears to be Donald Trump and the possibility his “extreme vetting” of refugees will see none taken from Australian detention centres.
The new rules were outlined by Immigration minister Peter Dutton who told Sky News the government “wouldn’t take anyone until we had assurances that people are going to go off Nauru and Manus.”
“We want an outcome in relation to Nauru and Manus,” said Mr Dutton.