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Biden Grants Temporary ‘Safe Haven’ to Hong Kongers Living in U.S.

Biden concede "refugio seguro" temporal a residentes de Hong Kong en Estados Unidos

Available: Español

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President Joe Biden granted on Thursday a temporary “safe haven” in his country to Hong Kong residents on U.S. soil in the face of China’s “erosion of rights and freedoms” in that autonomous territory.

Biden sent a memorandum to the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, Antony Blinken and Alejandro Mayorkas, ordering an 18-month deferral of the expulsion of some Hong Kong residents in the United States who will be given permission to work during this time.

Excluded from this decision are those who have not continuously remained on U.S. soil since the approval of this order, which is today, those who are subject to extradition, or those who have committed a crime in the United States, among others.

In his memorandum, Biden reiterated his Administration’s criticism of the National Security Law that Beijing imposed in Hong Kong in mid-2020, following the anti-government mobilizations that took to the streets of the former British colony during the second half of 2019.

This law establishes penalties of up to life imprisonment for cases of secession, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces, among others.

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Biden said that by “unilaterally” imposing such a measure, China has undermined Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms, including those protected under the Basic Law (Hong Kong’s constitution) and the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Under the 1984 Sino-British Declaration, Beijing pledged to maintain freedoms in the territory (unimaginable in mainland China) for 50 years, until 2047, although they have been rapidly eroded in the past year.