Australia to reopen Christmas Island for migrants
Australia will reopen a controversial detention center for asylum seekers on Christmas Island, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said after the defeat in parliament.
The opposition Labor party and independents voted to amend strict immigration laws to give medics the right to transfer some 1,000 men and woman from two Pacific detention centers if they need treatment.
The amendment, approved by the Senate on January 13 dealt a blow to the ruling conservative coalition which is trailing heavily in polls ahead of an election due in May.
The Christmas Island immigration detention camp, south of Jakarta, Indonesia, was a favorite target of people smugglers who brought asylum seekers from Asia, Africa and the Middle East in dinky boats from Indonesian ports before the trade virtually stopped in recent years.