Select Page

Senate Bill Would Grant Refugee Status to Hong Kong Protestors

Hong Kong Refugee

Five senators introduced a bill Tuesday that would grant priority for refugee status to Hongkongers fleeing government persecution or arrest.

The Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act was sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.), Todd Young (R–Ind.), Robert Menendez (D–N.J.), Benjamin Cardin (D–Md.), and Jeff Merkley (D–Ore.). 

In addition to granting priority status for visa applications, the legislation would allow Hongkongers to get nonimmigrant visas even if they plan to immigrate and would keep applicants eligible even if their Hong Kong residency is revoked. More notably, Hong Kong residents would be exempt from the existing visa quotas, which ordinarily create fierce competition among visa applicants.

The bill’s beneficiaries are currently limited to Hongkongers actively involved in recent protests. Specifically, it covers protest organizers, first-aid responders, journalists, lawyers, and members of their direct families.

The bipartisan bill comes in response to Hong Kong’s new “national security” law, passed on Tuesday, which introduced a slew of restrictions on activists’ rights to assemble and protest.

The United States “must help Hong Kongers preserve their society at home and find refuge for those who face persecution,” Rubio said in a statement. “Through the Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act, our nation would offer a safe-haven to many Hong Kongers who have tirelessly fought against tyranny.”

Rep. Tom Malinowski (D–N.J.) introduced a companion bill in the House on Tuesday. It would expedite the immigration process for skilled Hongkongers and the residency process for Hong Kong already here.

In addition to helping Hongkongers flee political persecution, a relaxed visa policy could initiate a massive “brain drain” that would see Hong Kong’s skilled labor force flee totalitarian rule for U.S. soil en masse, argues Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake. Similar policies have bolstered economic growth in the past. According to Forbes contributor Scott Beyer, the Mariel boatlift revitalized Miami through increased entrepreneurship while accelerating the Cuban regime’s decline.

The bill’s scope pales in comparison to the measures taken by the United Kingdom, which announced this week it would grant up to 3 million Hongkongers residency and a path to U.K. citizenship. But the legislation marks a promising first step toward a more comprehensive plan to help Hongkongers caught in a brutal crackdown.

Bonus video: Check out Reason’s documentary on letting Hongkongers come to America:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajgia1FdjkU?feature=oembed&w=500&h=281]

This post has been republished with permission from a publicly-available RSS feed found on Reason. The views expressed by the original author(s) do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of The Libertarian Hub, its owners or administrators. Any images included in the original article belong to and are the sole responsibility of the original author/website. The Libertarian Hub makes no claims of ownership of any imported photos/images and shall not be held liable for any unintended copyright infringement. Submit a DCMA takedown request.

-> Click Here to Read the Original Article <-

About The Author

Max Dunat

Founded in 1968, Reason is the magazine of free minds and free markets. We produce hard-hitting independent journalism on civil liberties, politics, technology, culture, policy, and commerce. Reason exists outside of the left/right echo chamber. Our goal is to deliver fresh, unbiased information and insights to our readers, viewers, and listeners every day. Visit https://reason.com

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Welcome

Bringing together a variety of news and information from some of today’s most important libertarian thought leaders. All feeds are checked and refreshed every hour and pages auto-refresh every 15 minutes. External images are deleted after 30 days.

Time since last refresh: 0 second

Publish Your Own Article

Follow The Libertarian Hub

 

Support Our Work

Support the Libertarian Hub by tipping with Bitcoin!

Weekly Newsletter

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!

Weekly Newsletter SignupTop 5 Stories of the Week

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a weekly email report of the top five most popular articles on the Libertarian Hub!