Immigrants in Manus Island prepare for deportation

Documents issued by Papua New Guinea say that migrants will be deported as soon as possible

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

According to documents issued by Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority, migrants who are being held on Manus island trying to reach Australia, and are not able to obtain refugee status, will be deported to their country of origin, “as soon as practicable.”

The  documents made it clear that the migrants can never settle in Australia.

"You will continue to be accommodated at the Regional Processing Centre. However you may be held in any location, including correctional institutions, while your removal is being affected," said the document.

In any case, the migrants have to be sent somewhere, as there are no alternatives. They can not stay in PNG.

The document said "Immigration and Citizenship Services (ICSA) has scheduled an interview with you to plan for your departure from PNG ... you must depart from PNG as soon as practicable."

If the migrants leave voluntarily with the International Organization for Migration, financial assistance will be provided for them.

“If you choose to depart voluntarily, you will be eligible for Assisted Voluntary Return and reintegration assistance from the Internal Organisation for Migration,” the document says. “If you are involuntarily removed, you will receive no financial assistance.”

The asylum seekers, who are referred to as “double-negatives” in the documents, will be forced to go back to have a second interview for their cases to be reconsidered.

"If ICSA assesses that you cannot be removed to your country of origin, you will remain in custody until you are able to obtain a visa to lawfully enter and reside in PNG or another country," it said.

The migrants are entitled to have legal representation during the interviews, provided that they will cover the expenses.

However, this is partially impossible, as there is only one lawyer on the island at the moment.

TRTWorld and agencies