July 20, 2020

Wyden Introduces Bill to Protect Hong Kongers Against Chinese Government’s New National Security Bill

Bill to put the Chinese government on notice by establishing a pathway for Hong Kongers to work in the United States

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today introduced a bill to protect Hong Kongers against the Chinese government’s sweeping new national security bill and further punish Beijing by creating a streamlined pathway for high-skilled Hong Kongers to immigrate to the United States for work. 

“As the Chinese government continues to crack down on all forms of dissent in Hong Kong, it’s critical that the United States shows where we stand. My bill would not only protect Hong Kongers fleeing from political persecution, it would also punish the Chinese government by incentivizing the best and brightest of Hong Kong to work in America and contribute to the U.S. economy,” Wyden said. “The Chinese government needs to feel the consequences of undermining democracy and violating human rights, and Hong Kongers deserve our protection.”

The Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act would:

  • Expedite residency for Hong Kongers who fled to the United States in light of political persecution. This replicates the protections made by the Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992 in response to the Tiananmen Square Incident;
  • Expedite immigration admission to highly skilled Hong Kong residents, including those with graduate degrees and business owners with more than 50 employees. Applicants in the STEM fields would receive priority; and
  • Treat Hong Kong as distinct from mainland China for purposes of U.S. immigration law and numerical limits. This would ensure Hong Kongers are not counted under the cap for mainland China.  

Wyden’s bill is the Senate companion to Rep. Tom Malinowski’s, D-N.J., bipartisan bill introduced in June.

A copy of the bill text is available here and a one-page summary is available here.