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Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Activists Beg Congress for Refugee Status

July 23, 2021 (1 min read)

Phelim Kine, Politico, July 21, 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.”  The letter is signed by seven high-profile Hong Kong pro-democracy activists currently living in exile, including former lawmakers Ted ***, who has found refuge in Australia, and Baggio Leung, who now lives in exile in the U.S.  Eighteen foreign-based Hong Kong pro-democracy civil society organizations, including Hong Kong Watch, the Hong Kong Affairs Association of Berkeley and the UC-San Diego Hong Kong Cultural Society are also signatories.  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."