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Monday, April 11, 2016, 18:45

Govt open to proposals on curbing refugee claims

By chinadailyasia.com

The Hong Kong government will consider reopening refugee camps and stepping up the promotion of its refugee policies in source countries, one of the experts in related issues, legislator Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, said after a meeting with Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok.

Leung, along with fellow party members from the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, submitted 11 proposals to the security chief. These included requiring Electronic Travel Authorization for travelers from countries making the most claims for non-refoulement protection in Hong Kong, advertising the city’s refugee-taking policy in those countries, reopening closed-type refugee camps, and tightening the marine patrol service.

Leung cited Lai as saying the government would definitely consider increasing promotion in the source countries. The government would also take an open attitude toward reopening local refugee camps, according to Leung.

Meanwhile, the Immigration Department (ImmD) vowed to submit a proposal to the Legislative Council to revise the definition of an unauthorized entrant to include major source countries such as Pakistan and Nepal.

ImmD Assistant Director William Fung Pak-ho said the department was mulling requiring pre-entrance registry for travelers from source countries, in order to weed out people with a record of disciplinary action or misconduct.

According to ImmD statistics, the police arrested 292 illegal immigrants in February and 272 in March – down 30 percent and 35 percent respectively from the figure in January.

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