Updated: Jul 31
26 January 2023 – Today the Biden administration announced the extension of the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program until January 26th, 2025. The DED program is a benefit authorized at the discretion of the President that protects individuals from deportation and allows them to live in the US for a designated period of time. This follows the initiation of the DED program in August 2021, which was due to expire on February 5th, 2023.
Since the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) implementation of the arbitrary National Security Law in July 2020, Hong Kong’s civil society and international freedoms have continued to deteriorate. There are currently 3,860 Hong Kong residents eligible for the DED program. The extension of the DED program demonstrates US leadership in providing support to the Hong Kong diaspora and is a positive outcome for Hong Kongers who do not want to return to Hong Kong for fear of persecution. The US’ prioritization of the DED program will provide much needed comfort to Hong Kongers who have settled in the US.
While Hong Kongers in the US will overwhelmingly welcome the White House’s extension of the DED program, the CFHK Foundation encourages Congress to explore long-term solutions, such as the Priority 2 (P-2) refugee status or Temporary Protected Status (TPS), that can secure a safe haven for freedom-loving Hong Kongers who may face repression if they return to Hong Kong.
The CFHK Foundation President, Mark Clifford, said:
“This is the right step by the US government in supporting Hong Kongers who have fled the repression that they are experiencing in their home city. The National Security Law has made life in Hong Kong unbearable for so many Hong Kongers. It is vital they have somewhere to go to live safely and freely. We are delighted that the US government has taken action after so many Hong Kong campaigners and activists have been calling for this to happen.”
The CFHK Foundation Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, Frances Hui, said:
“As a Hong Konger who has settled in the US, I am so pleased that President Biden has renewed the DED program. This is a particularly meaningful act for many of us who have come to the US as a safe haven from the CCP’s persecution. It is a sigh of relief for the Hong Kong community to know that we can safely remain in the US.”