Summary: S.1838 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate (09/26/2019)

Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019

This bill directs various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong's unique treatment under U.S. law. (Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal and economic system.)

The Department of State shall report annually to Congress as to whether Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous from China to justify its unique treatment. The report shall address issues including (1) civil liberties in Hong Kong, and (2) how any erosion to Hong Kong's autonomy impacts areas of U.S.-Hong Kong cooperation.

The Department of Commerce shall report annually to Congress on China's efforts to use Hong Kong to evade U.S. export controls and sanctions.

If the President determines that Hong Kong has proposed or enacted legislation that puts U.S. citizens at risk of extradition to mainland China or to another country that lacks defendants' rights protections, the President shall report to Congress on (1) a strategy for protecting U.S. citizens and businesses in Hong Kong, and (2) whether Hong Kong is legally competent to administer various law enforcement agreements between Hong Kong and the United States.

The State Department may not deny work- or student-visa applications from an otherwise qualified Hong Kong resident due to a politically motivated adverse action by the Hong Kong government against the applicant.

The President shall report to Congress a list of individuals responsible for committing acts that violate internationally recognized human rights in Hong Kong, including the extrajudicial rendition or torture of any person in Hong Kong. The bill bars such individuals from entering the United States and imposes sanctions on them.