The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has discussed the tragedy surrounding the asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru.

“The controversy over whether or not the United States accepts the asylum seekers currently stuck on Manus Island and Nauru misses the point,” Mr Wilke said.

“The simple fact is that these people are legally and morally Australia’s responsibility and they should be brought to Australia. They should not be used as pawns in international relations. Among other things it’s a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute to forcibly transfer anyone to a third country.

“Yes, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull assures us that the deal with the US will go ahead. But in fact this is far from certain because it appears the US has only agreed to consider accepting any person. And who would trust Donald Trump anyway?

“The effect of all of this on Australia is heartbreaking. Not only is the Australian Government prepared to kowtow to Washington, but Malcolm Turnbull is also left looking impotent as he puts his support for Trump ahead of his duty to the Australian people.

“You would think that the election of Trump would herald an independent Australian foreign and security policy. But alas that is not going to be the case.”