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New Bill Would Ban China's Human Rights Abusers From U.S.

Thursday, August 25, 2011
Posted 4:04PM EDT 8/24/2011 Jennifer LeClaire
President Obama could deny entry into the U.S. for Chinese nationals who have "committed human rights abuses" against people in China. He could, that is, if H.R. 2121, the "China Democracy Promotion Act of 2011,"passes.
Photo: A Chinese paramilitary policeman stands guard in front of a lamppost on which Chinese and U.S. national flags are hung to welcome the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama on the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. (Imaginechina via AP Images)
The legislation would also ban anyone who "has participated in the imposition of ... China's coercive birth limitation policy." Under this wide-ranging bill, the president also have discretion to deny entry to Chinese nationals who have participated in a wide range of human rights abuses.

"The time for this bill to pass is now. Decades ago, Congress barred foreign persecutors from obtaining asylum in the United States, to keep out Nazi war criminals," said Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers. "Why should Chinese officials who force women to have abortions, persecute ethnic minorities, torture people for their religious beliefs, repress public interest lawyers and jail journalists be welcomed to our land? These persecutors need to be held accountable. They do not deserve to set foot on U.S. soil."
Passage of this bill, however, may not be enough. The key player remains the president. Even if the bill passes, will President Obama take a strong stand for the suffering people of China and deny entry to their persecutors?
"Nothing in his record thus far indicates that President Obama would deny entry to Chinese government persecutors, at least where the One Child Policy is concerned. To the contrary, President Obama restored funding to UNFPA, which former Secretary of State Colin Powell found to be working hand in hand with the Chinese coercive family planning machine," Littlejohn said. "And on his official visit, Vice President Biden just told China 'Your policy has been one which I fully understand—I'm not second-guessing—of one child per family.' If Biden 'fully understands' the One Child Policy, then he understands it is enforced through forced abortion. If he is 'not second-guessing' it, then he is not opposing it."
The bill was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), and is sponsored by Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Dan Burton (R-Ind.), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.). Significantly, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) newly signed on as a co-sponsor, which increases the likelihood that the bill will move through the Committee.

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