Despite the recent announcement from Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam to suspend the Fugitive Bill Work, the challenges that come along with it still seem to linger.
Because the proposed law will affect extradition policies in the country, one of the services that will be directly affected by the new change is that of the immigration department. Owing to this fact, residents of Hong Kong, a large percentage of which is composed of foreign nationals, in one way or another will be in need of such services on a regular basis.
Immigration Calls on Residents to Exercise Caution and Vigilance
Because of this, the Immigration Department called on those who will be proceeding to the Immigration Tower in Wan Chai to stay vigilant and be patient, as shared in a report by news.gov.hk.
The announcement came after protesters gathered at its headquarters in the afternoon of Saturday (June 22).
While the department shared that it respects the personal views and opinions of the residents in the country, it hopes that their freedom to express their sentiments in public be done peacefully and rationally and not affect the rights of people using immigration-related services.
Therefore, the department urged those who are currently at or proceeding to the Immigration Tower to stay vigilant for their safety and be patient while having their applications processed.
Despite the unexpected turnout of protesters on Saturday, the department shared that most of them have dispersed peacefully, and that the situation on site remained in good order.
At present, the government said that it will put the bill work on hold until they are able to hold ample discussions with the legislative body and the community members representing Hong Kong’s various sectors, which have connections to relevant international bodies. However, this did not seem to completely pacify the general population, which drew millions of protesters out on the streets during one of the demonstrations held this month.
With this, the Hong Kong government urges all foreign nationals living in the city to exercise caution and to stay vigilant at all times, in order to act accordingly should an unforeseen situation arise.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong urged its nationals to avoid areas where potential protests may occur, and not to participate in such activities for their own safety and well-being.
As of 2019, there is an estimated 250,000 foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong, most of which come from the Philippines and Indonesia.