Washington, DC Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) released the following statement urging the extension of the Hong Kong Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). "Following the People’s Republic of China's crackdown in Hong Kong, the Biden Administration implemented DED in August 2021 to support Hong Kong residents in the United States."

“I am deeply concerned that the expiration of DED on February 5 will put thousands of Hong Kongers at risk given continued efforts by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to crack down on their political autonomy and fundamental freedoms. I urge the Administration to take immediate steps to extend the deferral for another 18 months. The United States must continue to stand with and provide safe haven to vulnerable Hong Kongers who have dared to speak out against the PRC’s repression. 

Because this measure is only a temporary solution for the roughly 3,860 Hong Kong residents that were eligible for DED, it is also critical that the U.S. Government take further action to ensure a longer-term, durable solution for pro-democracy advocates, human right activists, journalists, and dissidents in Hong Kong who face arbitrary detention, politically motivated prosecution, censorship, restriction of movement, and other human rights abuses. I plan to reintroduce in the 118th Congress the Hong Kong Freedom and Choice Act, originally introduced by former Representative Tom Malinowski, to provide temporary protected status and expedited refugee status to qualifying Hong Kong residents. These longer-term solutions will help demonstrate that the U.S. Congress continues to stand by the people of Hong Kong.