Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is seen during an event at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, May 13, 2016 during campaigning before the July 2 federal election. AAP/Lukas Coch/via REUTERS
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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, in the midst of a tight election campaign, came under fire Thursday for backing his immigration minister over claims resettling "illiterate and innumerate" refugees would strain the social safety network.Opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten labelled Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's comments "xenophobic", while refugee advocates such as an Ian Rintoul, a spokesman for the high-profile Refugee Action Coalition, condemned the comments. Labor says it will continue the government's immigration policy of offshore detention, but Turnbull is seeking to portray the party as weak on immigration and border security.Refugee advocate Rintoul said Dutton's comments were a reaction to the government's slipping voter support, but added immigration and border security was unlikely to play as well as in the past.
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