News & Politics

Biden Administration Allowed Zero Uyghur Refugees From Communist China the Past Year

Biden Administration Allowed Zero Uyghur Refugees From Communist China the Past Year
(Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

Google, Nike, and the NBA (except for Enes Kanter) may not care about modern slavery in China, but most Americans probably do.

However, it appears the United States government increasingly does not.

A recent State Department report reveals that no refugees from China — including Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities — were resettled in the U.S. between October 2020 and September 2021.

Considering the ongoing genocide in Xinjiang province, the State Department’s failure to help Uyghur refugees in recent years is rather tragic.

And the trend is getting worse, too.

After 57 refugees of China’s totalitarianism were admitted in fiscal year 2016 and 24 in 2017, only six arrived in 2018, and one in 2019.

Needless to say, this is because China is not Haiti or Honduras, and makes it extremely arduous for refugees to escape. For those who do make it out of the communist country, they must overcome the bureaucratic backlogs of their asylum claims.

“Everywhere is checkpoints, cameras. It’s very hard for people to move from one place to another,” Mustafa Aksu, program manager from the Uyghur Human Rights Project, recently told “The Dispatch.”

He said Chinese officials refuse to renew or issue passports to Uyghurs and will confiscate passports from those who have them.

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China has forcibly detained between 1 and 3 million Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities at Xinjiang camps. It is genocide.

Survivors of the camps have testified about being subjected to horrific abuse while in detention, including rape, torture, malnourishment, overcrowdedness, and forced renouncing of religious beliefs.

After the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. dramatically fell under former President Donald Trump, President Joe Biden pledged to raise the refugee cap, yet his actions have not yet matched the rhetoric.

The current president raised the cap for fiscal year 2021 to four times Trump levels, but only about 11,000 refugees arrived in the past 12 months, the lowest number in the refugee admission program’s history.

Facing pressure from his left flank earlier this month, Biden raised the refugee cap to 125,000 spots for the new fiscal year, with assurances that those facing persecution by the Chinese will receive priority.

Unfortunately, the Biden administration has not formally extended a special priority status to Uyghurs to make it easier for them to apply for asylum and overcome the aforementioned hurdles.

While bipartisan lawmakers push to admit more people persecuted by the Chinese government, the effort hasn’t made much progress since spring.

“We must open our doors more widely to those seeking freedom,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who recently met with refugees about how to respond to China’s genocide and its repression of Hong Kongers, said this week.

If China is going to run roughshod over the human rights of people like the Uyghurs and Tibetans, the least we can do is help those who want out.

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