How Hong Kong Handles Immigration | Joe Hoft


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How Hong Kong Handles Immigration

Also posted by Jim Hoft at on August 20, 2015

Hong Kong Skyline

As the US struggles with illegal immigration and the related challenges, it is helpful to see how other countries like Hong Kong handle immigration. Hong Kong, with a population of 7 million, handles around 277 million visitors annually. It sits next door to Guangzhou, which is the world’s largest city (when including Shenzhen), with a population of nearly 50 million. Like the US, Hong Kong has found tunnels dug under its border with China, but unlike the US, Hong Kong has a fence to protect itself from unwanted visitors.

Hong Kong Fence

The fence and strong border security resulted in less than 1000 Mainland China illegal immigrants intercepted and arrested at the border. No pregnant illegal immigrants were intercepted in 2013 and girls who enter Hong Kong and lie about being pregnant in order to have their children born in Hong Kong are thrown in jail.

Hong Kong has immigration policies in place to attract talent and capital. Overseas professionals who possess special skills, knowledge or experience of value to and not readily available in Hong Kong, or who are in a position to make substantial contributions to the economy, are allowed to apply to work in Hong Kong. It also has e-channel counters which allow legal residents to pass safely and quickly in and out of Hong Kong.

When a massive flow of around 200,000 Vietnamese refugees, or ‘boat people’ entered Hong Kong in the late 1970’s, Hong Kong implemented generous immigration policies that allowed these immigrants to take up to 3 months to find a country of permanent residency. In order to house these people, Hong Kong opened purpose-built holding facilities, called ‘closed’ or ‘transit’ camps. Some of these camps are still visible today. (The Hong Kong government is still in the process of recovering from the United Nations the $250 million tab for handling these migrants.)

The difference between the US and Hong Kong is that the US does not have a fence and therefore an open door for illegals to come into the country. US policies on which legal immigrants are allowed to stay make no sense and illegals are set free rather than incarcerated and sent back to their home country.



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