In response to media requests in relation to the Secretary for Security's blog article on the Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2020, Justice Centre makes the following statement:
// Under the Unified Screening Mechanism (USM), asylum seekers must overstay – hence committing an immigration offence and subject to removal – before they are eligible to lodge their non-refoulement claims under the USM. It is therefore disingenuous to refer to non-refoulement claimants as illegal immigrants, which also propagates the misconception that refugees are all criminals to the public.
Further, some asylum seekers may enter Hong Kong unlawfully, such as using forged documentations, due to safety concerns. Under international law, such as the Refugee Convention, refugees who entered a country illegally should not be penalised for unlawful entry or stay.