02:37 GMT29 November 2020
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    US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee demanded that agreement reached with the government of Australia to resettle refugees was made available for the US Congress.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry should make available an agreement reached with the government of Australia to resettle refugees in the United States without Congressional notification, US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said in a letter on Tuesday.

    "The agreement and the number of refugees to be resettled has been deemed by your departments as classified, thus the American people are left in the dark as to the rationale for this agreement," the lawmakers said in the letter.

    The lawmakers asked Johnson and Kerry to make the agreement available to members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    Last week, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed media reports that the two nations had concluded a one-time deal to resettle refugees currently detained in Australian processing centers.

    Goodlatte and Grassley said they were concerned about national security implications, especially because some of the refugees are originally from countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism.

    The asylum-seekers will be vetted by the United Nations refugee agency, according to the State Department.

    Australia's refugee policies have been repeatedly criticized by rights groups. The Nauru detention center has come under increased media focus since August after The Guardian published over 2,000 leaked files documenting large-scale abuse, particularly of children, at the facility.


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