Immigration Minister: The 157 Tamil Asylum Seekers Have 'Squandered' Their Chances To Return Home

Photo: Scott Fisher/ Getty

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is sending the 157 Tamil asylum seekers to Nauru after they refused to interviewed by Indian officials at Curtin detention centre in Western Australia.

The Tamil people will no longer have the option of returning to India and according to Morrison certainly won’t be allowed to stay in Australia.

Morrison told The Weekend Australian: “Should they be found to be a refugee, they will be resettled on Nauru, not Australia. If they are not found to be a refugee, they will go back to Sri Lanka, not India.”

In order to maintain his 7-month-no-boats streak the Immigration Minister had struck a deal with Indian authorities who agreed that if the asylum seekers were brought to Australia, India would take back their citizens and possibly others.

Now, Morrison says, “This opportunity has been squandered.”

Many have criticised the minister for his hard-line approach to the situation, in particularly Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who claimed the minister was hiding somethingafter she was refused access to the Curtin detention centre.

“This is a political move by the Immigration Minister. What is he hiding? What doesn’t he want me to see?” she said.

Others including a group of prominent Christian religious leaders have also accused the Immigration Minister of poorly handling the situation which involves 50 children.

The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce said the government had committed “state-sanctioned child abuse” through the tough border security measures.

Read more here.

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