A bipartisan group of United States senators introduced a bill again on Tuesday so that people from Hong Kong can obtain US refugee status easily.
The 12 senators, led by Marco Rubio (Republican) and Bob Mendez (Democrat) have stated that the bill is being brought up as a response to an oppressive national security law introduced by China in Hong Kong that leads to massive street protests in the last year.
Hong Kongers who have their residency annulled will also be eligible to get the status of a refugee as victims of political persecution if the proposed law is passed.
HONG KONG AND CHINA
China passed a new security law comprising of sixty six articles which will make it easier to punish protesters and reduces the autonomy of the city.
The law criminalizes any act of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign or external forces.
The capital of China, Beijing has been granted unprecedented powers to shape life in Hong Kong. It has been criticized that freedom of speech and protest has been curtailed by the law.
WHAT ARE THE DETAILS?
Hong Kong is fearing persecution after it has joined protests against China, and the bill had to be reintroduced because the previous version expired after a new Senate was seated.
The Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act would make the people of Hong Kong who participated in the protest movement peacefully and have a well-founded fear of persecution qualified for processing as refugees in Hong Kong or a third country.
Senators also made a statement that there will no numerical limitation as to the refugees from Hong Kong.
It would also be easy for the protesters to seek asylum by waiving provisions that make suspected aim to immigrate or a criminal record barring factors for non-immigrant visas if the law proposed is passed.
Antony Blinken, secretary of state has said that the United States shall accept people absconding from the Hong Kong situation.
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