Uyghur Human Rights Protection Act of 2023 (H.R.3934)
The Uyghur Human Rights Protection Act of 2023 (H.R.3934) was introduced in the House by Representative Jennifer Wexton (D), with four original bipartisan cosponsors, on June 7, 2023.
This bill designates Uyghurs as prioritized refugees of special humanitarian concern, making them eligible for Priority Two (P-2) processing under the refugee resettlement priority system.
The P-2 designation enables refugees to access the U.S. refugee program without a referral from the UNHCR, an embassy, or an NGO.
The legislation finds that:
- The Government of the People’s Republic of China has a long history of repressing Turkic Muslims and other Muslim minority groups, particularly Uyghurs, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“Xinjiang” or “XUAR”), also known as East Turkestan. Central and regional Chinese government policies have systematically discriminated against these minority groups by denying them a range of civil and political rights, particularly freedom of religion.
- More than 1,000,000 Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other Muslim groups have been arbitrarily detained in Chinese government detention facilities and internment camps in poor conditions; Uyghurs are subjected to state-organized forced labor; that parents and children are separated; that these and other findings constitute “crimes against humanity;” and that the Chinese government actions against Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other predominantly Muslim groups violate many international human rights laws and conventions, including the Genocide Convention.
- Mandates that the P-2 designation shall apply to Uyghur individuals (and the spouses, children, and parents of such individuals) who have suffered persecution on account of their peaceful political, religious, or cultural activities or associations, or have a well-founded fear of such persecution. The designation shall apply to any such person not firmly resettled in a third country.
- Makes it the policy of the United States to encourage allies and partners to make similar accommodations for Uyghurs.