The Ripon Advance: House advances Kinzinger’s bipartisan bill providing refuge to persecuted Hong Kongers
Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) that would provide temporary protected status and refugee status for qualifying Hong Kong residents, among other immigration-related provisions, received approval from the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 7.
The Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act of 2020, H.R. 8428, which Rep. Kinzinger introduced on Sept. 29 with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), would protect Hong Kongers facing persecution by the Chinese government and provide them with temporary refuge in the United States.
“I’m proud to see our legislation pass the House today, reaffirming our commitment to being the beacon of hope for freedom-seeking people around the world. I’m proud to know what we stand for is being put into action, helping Hong Kongers flee Communist persecution,” Rep. Kinzinger said on Tuesday. “This is an important step to make sure innocent men, women and children do not need to live in fear under the heavy hand of the Chinese Communist Party.”
If enacted, H.R. 8428 would provide temporary refuge to Hong Kongers already in the U.S. who fear persecution if forced to return home; expedite processing of refugee applications for Hong Kongers fleeing persecution; continue to treat Hong Kongers as distinct from mainland China — despite the elimination of some autonomy for trade purposes; and develop a strategy with allies to coordinate international efforts to provide refuge to Hong Kong’s residents fleeing persecution, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Kinzinger’s office.
“The United States will always stand for freedom, and throughout our history, we have looked out for those who seek a free and just society,” said the congressman. “When it comes to the people of Hong Kong, we know how brutal and oppressive the Chinese Communist Party has been and continues to be.”
Samuel Chu, managing director of the Hong Kong Democracy Council, applauded the House for advancing the bill and thanked Reps. Kinzinger and Malinowski for leading “this urgent and tangible measure.”
The legislation will next be considered by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.