A few dozen refugees held in offshore detention centers run by Australia have left to be resettled in the U.S.
They are the first of up to 1,250 asylum-seekers the Obama administration agreed to accept in a deal with the Australian government in exchange for Australia accepting refugees from Central America.
It’s the same deal that was the subject of a contentious phone call between President Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in January. “I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made,” Trump said, according to The Washington Post. “As far as I am concerned, that is enough Malcom [sic]. I have had it.”
Despite the president’s response — and the Trump administration’s announcement Wednesday that it plans to lower the total number of refugees that the U.S. will accept next year to 45,000 — the White House appears to be sticking to the agreement with Australia.
“I thank the president and the United States for honoring the deal,” Turnbull said in a video message last week. “Around 50 refugees from [Papua New…