It would have added insight to include some background information, such as an asylum policy that criminalizes claimants who are not granted economic rights to make an honest living — while trapped by a welfare assistance that is insufficient. Consequently those pushing drugs are not necessarily economic migrants, but may also include refugees who made the calculation that it is better (and more profitable) to serve 3-4 months in prison for selling drugs, than 15-22 months for working illegally. As no official statistics are available it is actually difficult to say how many people are involved, but the number appears to be on the rise.
Vision First understands that since international trade is down, due to the high dollar, many refugees have considered illicit activities to survive in a hostile environment that punishes harshly those who engage in ‘legal work’. The fundamental issues have not changed: refugees cannot work and are stranded in Hong Kong for many years with limited assistance. They strategize accordingly. And obviously there are those who take advantage of their desperate precariousness to hire them for criminal activities. This article fails to mention the syndicate bosses who exploit some of the most marginalized and destitute people in society left with no legal way forward.
Finally, refugees constrained by protracted destitution are not immune from the lure of crime, especially if they feels that society and the rule of law have turned against them. And we will all pay the price for it, directly or indirectly. We should seriously question the notion that we can advance ourselves by leaving the disadvantaged behind or by trampling on their human rights.