Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that all remaining children on Nauru will soon leave the island for the United States.
Mr Morrison, alongside Immigration Minister David Coleman, said that there “were 109” children on Nauru when he became Prime Minister and that there were “now only four”, all of whom have been “approved for departure to the United States of America with their families.”
However, it is unknown when exactly the children and their families will depart the island.
In his announcement, Mr Morrison took aim at Labor’s proposed policy towards asylum seekers, saying that it would effectively “unravel” the existing framework.
He said that “Australia has one of the most generous humanitarian immigration programs in the world” and that it could only be maintained with “strong borders and insisting people come the right way”.
He added that the Government had “secured our borders”, “stopped the boats” as well as “the tragic drownings at sea”.
Mr Morrison ended by saying that the Government had “got the balance right” between “supporting children compassionately” without jeopardising border security.
This announcement comes after a large amount of pressure was placed on the Government to resettle refugee children who were reportedly suffering in detention on Nauru. In the House of Representatives, crossbenchers planned to use legislative measures to push for the Government to remove the children.
Labor and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten expressed satisfaction that the children were finally being resettled, commending progressive elements on all sides of politics for pushing for change.
Leader of the Greens Richard Di Natale said that while the news was positive, the policy that saw the children originally put in detention meant that they would “have years of counselling ahead of them” and that some would be “damaged for life”.