July 23, 2021
A coalition of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists in exile has issued an urgent public plea to the U.S. Congress to pass legislation that will grant refugee status to Hong Kong citizens with “well-founded fears of persecution” by the territory’s authorities.
The letter obtained by POLITICO calls on Congress to grant Priority 2 Refugee Status to Hong Kong’s peaceful pro-democracy protesters seeking resettlement, Temporary Protection Status to Hong Kong citizens already in the U.S. and an extension of visas “to high-skilled Hong Kong residents with an associate degree or above.”
Those protections echo those granted by then-U.S. President George H.W. Bush in an executive order issued in 1990 after the Tiananmen Massacre that allowed Chinese students in the U.S. to remain in the country if they feared state persecution back in China. Congress followed up on that executive order with the Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992.
The letter asks Congress to act quickly, warning that the Hong Kong government is “closing travel routes” for citizens fearful of government reprisals for peaceful protest. Hong Kong’s restrictive new immigration law takes effect on Aug. 1, which has the potential to impose “exit bans” on government critics. Hong Kong police already have a “wanted list” of individuals subject to arrest if they try to leave the territory.
Edited by：【Himalaya London Club UK】