18/09/2016 7:24 AM AEST | Updated 18/09/2016 11:02 AM AEST

Turnbull Talks Up Australia's Immigration Policies At UN Leaders Summit in New York

Malcolm and Lucy paid their respects at the 9/11 memorial museum.


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull claims Australia has the "right response" to the biggest immigration crisis the world has seen since the end of World War II.

The PM has kicked off a week-long visit to the United States where we will attend the United Nations Leaders' Summit to discuss free trade, immigration and counter terrorism.

Visiting the 9/11 memorial museum on Saturday, Turnbull brushed off criticism from the United Nations human rights migration envoy that Australia's offshore processing scheme is in breach of international human rights law.

"We have one of the most generous humanitarian programs. Over 13,000 coming in through the humanitarian channel at the moment. Rising every year, substantially increased, up to over 18,000, plus 12,000 from the Syrian conflict zone," he said.

"We have a very strong record.

"But you cannot do that and, frankly, public opinion will not accept a generous humanitarian program, a substantial migration program unless the Government is seen to be in command of its borders.

The United StatesSunday commemorated the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks last Sunday.

"You have seen around the world the way in which uncontrolled migration flows start to destabilise countries and undermine support for migration, undermine support for multiculturalism, undermine the mutual respect which is the foundation of a successful multicultural society like ours."

The Prime Minister will also press an agenda of free trade and counter terrorism at the talks this week.

He spoke of the evolving nature of terrorism while at the 9/11 memorial.

"The 9/11 attack was an elaborately-planned attack many months in the making. We have to ward ourselves against attacks like that in the future as well.

"We also face the threat of these lone actors, rapid radicalisation, often preying on people with mental illness or other vulnerabilities as we have seen around the world and, of course, in Australia too.

"That's why we have to be relentless in our defence of our freedom and our citizens' security and safety, and we are."

Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy also rode the subway in New York after visiting the 9/11 museum.