U.S. senators match House bill to assist Uighur refugees



Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Free the Uyghur people call.
(Photo: Reuters' file)

U.S. senators match House bill to assist Uighur refugees
by Reuters Staff
April 13, 2021


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bipartisan pair of U.S. senators on Tuesday introduced a bill to expedite refugee applications from Uighurs, matching an effort in the U.S. House of Representatives to assist members of the largely Muslim ethnic group that advocates say face persecution in China.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Chris Coons put forward the “Uyghur Human Rights Protection Act,” which would grant Priority 2 refugee status to Uighurs and other groups, including Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, who have faced repression in or fled from China’s Xinjiang region.

Priority 2 status would allow hundreds, or possibly thousands, of Uighurs to forgo a United Nations referral and apply directly as refugees to the U.S. government, reducing concerns that Beijing could be notified by a third country and seek their deportation back to China.

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