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February 20, 2006
Cracks in Hong Kong's wall
Hong Kong is an immigrant's city - it has been made great on the back of the efforts of those coming to turn a small fishing village into a world class city. But one of the city's less proclaimed groups face daily discimination despite the massive amounts they contribute to the place: the army of domestic workers. For example, a domestic worker can never claim the permanent residency in Hong Kong, even if they meet all the other criteria. All other visa holders can qualify (basically you have to live in Hong Kong for 7 years). So today's SCMP report proves very interesting indeed:
Immigration officials have been urged to clarify their policy after two children of a long-time Filipino domestic helper were granted right of abode. Hong Kong-born Dariel Domingo, 13, and his sister, Darlene, 11 - who study at local schools, speak Cantonese and read and write Chinese - were granted right of abode on February 3.Administrative slip-up or breaking change in Hong Kong's immigration policies? What is the status of the parents should they lose their jobs and thus their domestic helper visas? And how does this leave those children denied right of abode by Beijing in the first "interpretation" of the Basic Law? If Immigration now gives the parents right of abode, it seems impossible to deny the right of abode in the opposite direction (i.e. from parents to children).
Great moments in policy progress, brought to you by some flunky in Immigration Tower.posted by Simon on 02.20.06 at 02:22 PM in the Hong Kong category.
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Can an American just live in Hong Kong for seven years and become a Hong Kong citizen?posted by: Daco on 02.20.06 at 02:43 PM [permalink]
Not a citizen, but a permanent resident so long as you've lived here 7 years and this is still your principle address.posted by: Simon on 02.20.06 at 04:01 PM [permalink]
Nobody likes discrimination, but it's quite understandable that HK authorities don't want Indonesians or Filipinos having the right to permanent residency. You start with that and in 100 years time they're the majority.posted by: Yago on 02.20.06 at 11:03 PM [permalink]
What kind of point is that? Domestic helpers number perhaps 200,000 in a city of 7 million. Even with Hong Kong's low birth rate it would take centuries for the city to turn from Chinese to something else. And even if it did, so what? Why allow gweilos the right to claim PR but not domestic helpers? Are you not worried about the gweilos taking over (again)?posted by: Simon on 02.21.06 at 08:38 AM [permalink]