A bipartisan group of US senators re-tabled a bill on Tuesday (9) to make life easier for Hong Kong people for fear of persecution after participating in anti-China protests to obtain refugee status in the United States .
The 12 members of Congress, led by Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bob Menendez, said the text was a response to the National Security Act, imposed by Beijing last year, which criminalizes secession, terrorism, subversion and collusion with foreign forces – all punishable by life imprisonment. .
The US bill, called the Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act, would make Hong Kong residents who “peacefully participated in the protest movement and have a well-founded fear of persecution” eligible for asylum in Hong Kong or elsewhere.
There would be no limit to the number of refugees, senators said in a statement. The proposed law makes it easier for dissidents to seek asylum and also provides that Hong Kong residents whose residency has been revoked can claim refugee status as victims of political persecution.
“The United States must do all it can to help these Hong Kong citizens who have courageously positioned themselves to defend the city they love from the CCP’s persecution. [Partido Comunista Chinês] and open the doors to them, ”Republican Rubio said.
Menendez said the goal was “to reiterate to the Chinese Communist Party that the United States is fully aligned with the people of Hong Kong” and to show that it will not “fall through the cracks of our broken immigration system. “.
The bill was resubmitted because its previous version expired when a new Senate took office in January.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken previously said the United States should accept those fleeing the Hong Kong crackdown. “If they are victims of the Chinese authorities’ crackdown, we must do something to provide them with shelter,” he told NBC TV in late January.