Australia has refused to resettle any refugee that has arrived by boat since the tough policy, widely criticised by rights groups, was announced in July 2013. It instead pays Nauru and Papua New Guinea to keep them in prisons and has been searching for countries that will resettle them.
Few refugees have accepted offers to resettle in Papua New Guinea and Cambodia. Any refugee who refuses to go to the US would be given a 20-year visa to stay on Nauru, a tiny impoverished atoll with a population of 10,000 people, immigration minister Peter Dutton said.
"It is fundamental that we ensure that any of those people that are not immediately the recipients of the US deal have had their cases fairly and properly reviewed because we know that if we get it wrong on decisions about refugees status, the consequence can be extra ordinarily grave."
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