The Obama administration plans to limit public access for its controversial new resort, the Oceania Country Club, which is designed to be a sanctuary for the homeless and “opportunistic tourists.”
But some critics are calling for the ban to be lifted.
“I think we need to move to a better place,” Ocean Club President Mike Vachon told NBC News.
“If you want to be able to see the ocean and the ocean view and all the wonderful places that you can’t see, and if you want people to feel safe and secure, then it’s a place that is a great place to be.”
Vachon said the club will remain open for members to visit but that he does not expect the public to be allowed to swim or swim in the ocean.
“We have a great ocean view, but I do think we’ve got to get some serious thinking going here,” he said.
“The beach is a place where we can have fun,” he added.
“But it’s going to be very difficult for me as a swimmer to be swimming on the beach when the beach is closed.”
The Oceans Country Club has been under scrutiny since the announcement of the plans to create a sanctuary on the oceanfront island of Manus Island, the location of the largest refugee camp in the world.
It has also been criticized by rights groups for allowing “cruel” living conditions, including the use of solitary confinement, in its “homeless and vulnerable” shelters, where detainees are locked up for hours at a time.
The Oceans Country Club is one of two privately run resorts on the island of Nauru, which houses about 4,000 people.
Vacho said he believes the government can provide a safe environment for visitors, but that it would be up to the private owners to decide whether or not they want to take part in the resort.
The island has been plagued by the worst Ebola outbreak in the Pacific since it began in the summer of 2014, and the U.S. government has taken steps to reduce the number of people who arrive there by sending hundreds of migrants to Nauruan, as well as temporarily closing its border with PNG.
The move has been criticized for creating a “chillingly similar” atmosphere to the camps that have been used by refugees fleeing violence in neighboring countries, including Burma.
In March, the U,S.
Supreme Court struck down a U.N. treaty to limit the numbers of refugees who could be brought to N.A.C.E.O.R., which was a U-turn from the original goal of resettling 2,000 refugees on the islands.
In February, the island’s government declared that it could no longer house any refugees in its prisons or detention centers.