The United States has seen its share of Chinese spies, specifically the honey pot spy associated with Congressman Eric Swalwell, Fang Fang, and Dianne Feinstein’s personal driver of the past 20 years. Due to this, many Americans feel trepidation about immigration from China for fear of more Beijing spies.
In response, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently blocked a bill that would allow citizens of Hong Kong to have refugee or asylum status in the United States.
Why it’s news:
The Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act of 2020 (H.R. 8428) could qualify 6,700 Hong Kong residents for Temporary Protected status.
- Cruz argued that the bill (introduced September 29th, 2020) would encourage the Chinese Communist Party to send more spies to the United States because this bill weakens the protections of our current immigration laws. “[Hong Kong residents would] no longer… have to establish a credible fear of persecution; instead, this bill would dramatically lower that standard. There is no reason to lower that standard, and there is a particular risk when doing so, we know, would be used by the Chinese Communists to send even more Chinese spies into the United States.”
What they’re saying:
Cruz offered an alternative bill that would not have immediate effects but would have lasting long term effects.
- Cruz’s SCRIPT Act (S. 3835) was introduced in May 2020 and would “…limit the provision of financial and technical assistance for the production or funding of a film for screening in China.”
- Cruz argued an example of this bill at work could have been advantageous during the Chinese release of a Marvel Studios film, Doctor Strange. In the film, a Tibetan character was “white-washed” to be Nordic in origin because China does not acknowledge the sovereignty of Tibet.
- Several Senators who support H.R. 8428 likened Cruz and Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) to those in Congress during World War II when they denied Jews entry while they attempted to flee Nazi persecution.
- Forbes contributor Stuart Anderson compared Cruz and Scott’s arguments to Japanese Internment Camps despite the fact that no Japanese-Americans at the time were ever charged with espionage or sabotage.
Chinese-Americans (especially Hong Kong residents) in the US on visas took to Twitter to share their frustrations and their encouragement about Cruz’s actions against the H.R. 8428 bill on the Senate floor.
- Tensions in Congress are high in the waning days of President Trump’s term, especially in light of the call for Cruz and Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) to be expelled if they do not resign.
- It remains to be seen whether H.R. 8428 or S. 3835 will be passed by the now-Democrat majority Senate.