UPDATED 8:20 PM PT – Friday, December 18, 2020
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blocked a bill, which would grant Hongkongers a special refugee status. He asserted Beijing would exploit the bill’s weakened immigration policies and send spies into the United States.
On Friday, the Texas senator shot down the bill, citing the dangers of the Chinese Communist Party.
“The good news is that our Democrat colleagues are finally discovering that the Chinese communists are not our friends,” Cruz stated. “They are finally acknowledging that the Chinese communists are murdering, torturing, oppressive tyrants and our Democrat colleagues are likewise discovering that Hong Kong is a beacon for democracy…and liberty.”
The bill in question, titled the ‘Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act,’ was introduced by Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
Earlier this month, it passed in the House.
Lawmakers said it’s meant to provide humanitarian relief to the people of Hong Kong, who are facing persecution under the Chinese regime for fighting for democracy.
Still, Cruz blasted the Democrats by claiming the proposed bill has nothing to do with combating communist China.
“This is not a Hong Kong bill, it is instead a democratic messaging bill,” Cruz said. “Because House Democrats, I believe, made a cynical decision to try to exploit the crisis in Hong Kong to advance their long-standing goals on changing our immigration laws.”
The proposed bill would allow Hongkongers to stay in the United States past their visa deadlines.
Additionally, it would lower the standards for refugee and asylum status so that individuals wouldn’t need to establish a credible fear of prosecution. The senator also cited the risks of lowering the standard for asylum seekers.
“When doing so,” he said. “We know would be used by Chinese communists to send even more Chinese spies into the United States.”
Many Democrats criticized Cruz for thwarting the bill, but he and other Republicans suggested denying the bill protects Americans from the threats of communist China.