The U.S. has agreed to resettle refugees held by Australia in two offshore detention centers, although the number of people to be offered resettlement was not revealed.
Under Australia's strict border protection laws, any person who attempts to reach the country by boat is sent to the centers on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island and the small South Pacific island nation of Nauru, while their claims for asylum are processed.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed the U.S. deal on Sunday, saying, "This opportunity will be only available to those accepted by the United States on Nauru and Manus now."
"It will not be available to anyone who seeks to come to Australia by people smuggler in the future," Turnbull added.
The U.S. would decide which refugees it took, and would cover the cost of resettlement, according to reports, while no time-frame was given for the resettlements.
It was unclear on Sunday how the deal with the U.S. may be impacted by the policies of President-elect Donald Trump, who took a strict stance on immigration issues during his campaign, including proposing to implement a complete ban on Muslim immigration.
According to reports, Australian PM Turnbull was questioned about the potential impact of Trump's election win, but refused to be drawn on the issue, saying that the deal had been done with the current U.S. administration. Trump will be inaugurated on Jan. 20