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Australian Prime Minister Reopens Detention Centre, Blames Opposition For 'Weakened' Borders After Refugee Bill Passes

2019-02-13 07:02
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced to media on February 13 that he would reopen the controversial Christmas Island detention facility for refugee processing. The decision came after the government failed to prevent approval of a Bill to allow medical transfers for asylum seekers and refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to access healthcare on the mainland. According to Asylum Insight there have been 37 deaths in detention since 2010; 16 of those suicides and 12 deaths recorded on Manus Island and Nauru. The government believes the Bill will weaken border protection and increase the risk of deaths at sea by encouraging refugees to attempt boat crossings to Australia. The Bill passed after crossbenchers and independents sided with the [Labor] opposition. Border protection is expected to be a key issue in the lead-up to a federal election expected in May. Morrison held a press conference at 10am AEDT Wednesday saying the Bill would cause further arrivals to Australia, constituting a threat to Operation Sovereign Borders. “My job now is to ensure that the boats don’t come,” he said. “If they do come, you can thank the Labor party and Bill Shorten because he is the one who has led this process. He has led this process to weaken and compromise our borders.” Credit: Storyful