Australian minister says 'economic refugees' headed for US

CANBERRA, Australia — An Australian government minister says "economic refugees" fleeing poverty rather than persecution are among the first asylum seekers to be resettled in the United States, adding that an Australia-run immigration camp on the Pacific island nation of Nauru has "the world's biggest collection of Armani jeans and handbags."

Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton was commenting on Sydney Radio 2GB on Thursday after Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper published a photograph taken on Tuesday of some of the first 25 refugees from a male-only camp on the Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea about to board a flight to the United States.

The U.S. State Department expects 54 refugees from Nauru and Papua New Guinea to arrive in the United States in the coming days.

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