Biden grants Hong Kongers in US 2-year reprieve of deportation

The White House has also increased the number of people eligible for the DED by allowing all Hong Kong residents present in the United States today, January 26, to apply for the program.

“With this action, we again demonstrate President Biden’s strong support for the people of Hong Kong in the face of the PRC’s growing crackdown,” the National Security Council said in a statement.

US-based pro-democracy activists who have lobbied the White House for months to extend the DED welcomed the White House’s decision. Hong Kongers in the United States “can breathe a sigh of relief,” said Samuel Chu, president of the nonprofit The Campaign for Hong Kong. The expanded eligibility criteria mean “even more lives will be preserved and protected from persecution, rigged trials, long prison sentences and loss of freedom,” Chu said.

The Chinese government has bristled at the deportation protection offered to Hong Kong residents in the United States

“The United States has provided a so-called ‘safe haven’ for anti-China insurgents fleeing overseas under the guise of democracy and human rights, further exposing its sinister intent to undermine Hong Kong peace and ‘use the ‘Hong Kong map’ to contain China’s development,” Chinese Embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu said in a statement earlier this month.

The Biden administration first granted the stay of deportation in August 2021, over concerns about the “significant erosion” of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong. It granted approximately 3,860 Hong Kong citizens present in the United States on that date the right to live and work in the United States for 18 months.

But repression in the territory has worsened during this period, with government authorities launching a protracted crackdown to silence pro-democracy activists and muzzle the media. Police enforcement of the National Security Law, which imposes harsh penalties for ambiguously defined crimes, including “subversion” and “collusion with foreign countries”, has led to the arrest of more of 160 people since June 2020 for crimes, including the organization of informal opinion polls. Lawyers who represent victims of human rights abuses flee the territory in the face of threats and intimidation.

The NSC said in its statement that Beijing is using the national security law to “deny the people of Hong Kong their human rights and fundamental freedoms, undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy, and undermine Hong Kong’s remaining democratic processes and institutions.” “.

Earlier this month, House Foreign Affairs Committee member Gregory Meeks (DN.Y.) urged the White House to “take immediate action” to extend the program. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) called for an extension of the DED for “an additional 18 months at a minimum,” in a letter the last week .

Hong Kong pro-democracy activists are seeking Congressional support to grant temporary protected status to Hong Kongers to eliminate the uncertainty of DED extensions.

Renewing the DED is “the bare minimum”, said Anna Kwok, executive director of the non-profit Hong Kong Democracy Council. It “resets a countdown for Hong Kongers in the United States until the next wave of uncertainty and anxiety inevitably hits.”


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button