Biden blocks removal of most Hong Kong residents from U.S. for 18 months, cites China repression

U.S. President Joe Biden makes remarks in the East Room at the White House on July 29, 2021, Washington, DC.The White House announced Wednesday that President Joe Biden signed an executive order blocking the forced removal of many Hong Kong residents for 18 months from the United States. This gave them a temporary safe haven from continuing repression from China.This order will allow Hong Kong residents who have expired their visas or are legally removed from the U.S., to remain in the country.The order directs the Homeland Security Department also to make arrangements to allow Hong Kong residents who are subject to removal deferral to legally work in the United States.Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, stated in writing that "Given the politically motivated detentions and trials and the suppression of the media and the diminishing space to hold elections and democratic opposition, it is clear that we will continue to support people in Hong Kong."Biden signed the memorandum imposing the order, which also states that China "has undermined" the enjoyment of rights in Hong Kong's special administrative region. This includes rights protected by the Basic Law and the Sino British Joint Declaration.The memo stated that since June 2020, when China unilaterally imposed its National Security Law on Hong Kong, at least 100 protestors, activists, and politicians have been taken into custody by police in the region.In connection with protests against the government, police have also arrested over 10,000 people.