Australia’s borders are stronger than ever

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Media Release

14 November, 2016

Australia’s borders are stronger than ever

The success of Operation Sovereign Borders in stopping the flow of people smuggling boats to Australia means our borders are now stronger than ever.

The recent reinforcement of our maritime assets and surveillance capabilities will ensure that any boats that attempt to come to Australia in the future will be intercepted and turned back.

Since OSB commenced, more than 740 people from 29 people smuggling vessels have been intercepted and turned back to their country of departure.

Today, the Australian Government announced that the United States has agreed to consider resettlement of refugees in Nauru and Papua New Guinea who are endorsed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for referral to the existing United States Refugee Admissions Program.

The priority is the resettlement of the most vulnerable refugees, with an initial focus on women, children and families.

This is in addition to the permanent settlement arrangements already in place with Papua New Guinea and Cambodia.

It is a one-off, never to be repeated arrangement that will not be available to anyone who attempts to travel to Australia illegally in the future.

Australia’s border protection policy has not changed. We will continue to turn back boats to the country of their departure, and we will continue to use regional processing for the foreseeable future.

Settlement in Australia will never be an option for anyone attempting to travel illegally by boat.

The Government is confident to implement this arrangement now because we have reinforced our borders to ensure that future people smuggling boats that attempt to come to Australia will fail.

The Australian Border Force, supported by the Australian Defence Force, operates the largest and most capable maritime surveillance and response fleet in Australia’s history.

Media contact: Immigration and Border Protection (02) 6264 2244

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