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Public Papers - 1990 - April

Statement on Chinese Immigration Relief


On November 30, 1989, I sent a directive to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General ordering that certain steps be taken to improve the immigration status of Chinese nationals in the United States. On that same day, I disapproved H.R. 2712, the Emergency Chinese Immigration Relief Act of 1989.

Since then I have recognized that there are two issues important to the Chinese nationals here that were not addressed by that bill or my November 30 directive. I have decided to issue an Executive order addressing those issues.

First, the Executive order will direct the Attorney General to extend the deferral of enforced departure for Chinese nationals, which is currently scheduled to expire on June 5 of this year, through January 1, 1994. This will provide assurance to Chinese nationals that they can remain in this country for the entire period during which the home country residence requirement for Chinese students was waived by my November 30 directive.

Second, the Executive order will direct that steps be taken to alleviate concerns that have arisen recently about revocation by the Chinese Government of passports belonging to Chinese nationals.

It has been noted that my November 30 directive was not an Executive order because it was not so entitled and was not published in the Federal Register. The directive, however, had precisely the same legal effect as an Executive order and extended precisely the same protections to Chinese nationals as would have been the case had it been entitled an ``Executive order.'' Nevertheless, to allay any concerns, the new Executive order that I will issue will also reiterate the instructions to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General contained in my November 30 directive.

Note: Executive Order No. 12711 is listed in Appendix E at the end of this volume.

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