I escaped political persecution in Africa in 2004 to save my life in Hong Kong where I have been stranded for 10 years without an end in sight. Like most refugees bounced around by Immigration, I am very upset with the asylum system and the total lack of respect for our problems, worries and fears.
What Immigration is doing is not just inhuman treatment, they ignore our human rights. It goes beyond that – the way they treat us is insulting. You cannot ignore somebody for ten years. For a while you can do it and it can be qualified as inhuman treatment, but when they ignore basic rights too long, it goes beyond this level. It becomes personal because they insult people’s dignity!
Hong Kong Immigration delays hundreds of old cases because the answer would be positive. They are not stupid. They would not keep unwanted people on the streets for 10 years, because then immigration control would be a joke. If they tolerate our presence it means that we have a right to stay. They don’t want to make a determination, because it would be a positive one!
Why don’t they want to take responsibility? Because if they reject us then we have a document that we can take to the courts showing rejection and that would be subject to judicial reviews that Immigration would likely lose. So the strategy is “Say Nothing” and leave people begging in the street. Avoid making a negative decision that could land Immigration in trouble.
There is considerable mental suffering that forces people to find other ways. Like the guys who buys a fake passport and leaves Hong Kong. It is rumoured that many have done it. Theoretically there must be a secret reason to put people under such mental pressure. There must be an unofficial expectation that refugees will find another solution and take their troubles elsewhere.
But Immigration does not explain what the expected outcomes might be. They never explain the Non-Protection Solutions and if these solutions are logically unavoidable. They know that certain people will find a way that is convenient for the government – though unfair for refugees – like marriage, moving to another country, smuggling out and closing asylum claims through so-called ‘voluntary departures’.
This is unfair. Immigration should not be treating people like this. They should be screening and determining, accepting or rejecting. Or else the rule of law is dead. Officers should not play games with our lives expecting possible lateral solutions to keep the refugee acceptance rate at zero-percent. They are ignoring the law. The law seems quite straightforward to me. It is logical, but it is not fairly applied.
Last week my officer called me for a meeting. Then he said that he didn’t bring my file. He called me for an interview, but didn’t have my file? Is this ignorance or arrogance? If it is not his arrogance then it is his boss’ arrogance to treat me like I am a stupid nobody that doesn’t count.
His behaviour told me that I don’t matter. He said, “I don’t know. I am not sure what is in the file”. I was irritated. I was mad with him, so I shouted, “Why did you call me to CIC Clearance section? To waste my time? If this is a picnic then where is my sandwich?” When I asked for clarification, he said “I am not sure”. Hold on, if he is not sure then how can I be sure I will be protected after 10 years?