U.S. Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) voiced his concern relating to the influx of thousands of Hong Kong residents who are fleeing out of the country, seeking to escape oppression from the Mainland Chinese government.
“Everyone deserves to live free from tyranny, and it’s heartbreaking to see people in Hong Kong leave their homes,” Allred wrote in a tweet. “Proud to work in @HouseForeign on the #EAGLEAct to provide protections to those fleeing China’s crackdown on individual rights.”
Early last month, Reps. Zoe Logfren (D- CA) and John Curtis (R-UT) unveiled the bipartisan Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act of 2021. The bill bulks up the temporary H-1B high-skilled visa and makes it easier for employers to hire foreign workers based on merit instead of nationality.
The goal of the EAGLE Act is to diminish 7% of the country’s employment-based green card cap, the bipartisan policy site states. With the country already facing overwhelming backlogs, the initiative would also secure children’s H-1B visa holder’s status by allowing H-1B worker eligibility regardless of age. The USCA is assisting with the backlog with its recent addition of 30,000 additional annual visas to the EB-3 category.
Though there isn’t sufficient recent data to reflect the migration occurrence as a result of traveling decreases amid the pandemic, several surveys and other forms of anecdotal evidence reflect a steady flow. According to the bipartisan policy site, 34,300 individuals have submitted a BNO visa including 20,600 submitted from outside the UK after opening in January.
Pro-Beijing parties warn that those who flee could face harsher issues in the Western region, as well as hardships related to taxes and social justice, Bloomberg reports.
Thousands more out of the total 7.5 million residents are likely to re-establish themselves in another location in an attempt to flee from Beijing’s tightening grip as pandemic restrictions continue to loosen up. The so-called exodus could change Hong Kong’s status as a global economic hub.