Australia

Nauru president claims refugees resettled in US are trying to return

The Nauruan President Baron Waqa has said that some of the refugees resettled in the US have expressed their intention to return. Source: AAP

The President of Nauru Baron Waqa has reportedly claimed 40 out of 300 asylum seekers detained on the island and later resettled in the US wanted to come back.

Dozens of refugees who left Nauru to resettle in the United States want to come back to the Pacific island nation, Nauru's President claims.

President Baron Waqa says 40 of the 300 people sent to the US have contacted the government asking to return because life there isn't "easy".

But life in Nauru is cheap, warm and relaxed, Mr Waqa told The Australian in a report published on Friday.

"The US - it's a difficult place to live, a lot of competition for work and jobs," he said.

"They call America the land of the free and all that but (there are) a lot of catches and they soon find out that it's not that easy."

His comments come after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton last month said refugees resettled in the US have been complaining back to friends in Nauru about the conditions in their new country.

"We are seeing ... reports of people that have gone from Nauru to the United States saying it is harder than they thought because they need to find work in the United States," he told parliament.

"They are saying to people on Nauru now you would be better to go to New Zealand or Australia because they have a better welfare system."

The federal government has maintained nobody processed through Nauru will ever call Australia home, even if they are found to be genuine refugees.

But it has confirmed asylum seeker children will leave Nauru by the end of this year.

There are 22 asylum seeker children still on the island, refugee advocates after two families with a total of five children were evacuated in the past few days.

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