Contact: Joe Coon


WASHINGTON, D.C. April 13, 2021 — Today, Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Uyghur Human Rights Protection Act to designate residents Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as Priority 2 refugees of special humanitarian concern.   

“Horrific persecution and repression by the Chinese government on over 11 million Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region — including the use of internment camps and forced sterilization — has been rightfully recognized by the U.S. as constituting genocide and crimes against humanity,” said Kristie De Peña, Niskanen’s vice president of policy and director of immigration. “The Uyghur Human Rights Protection Act is a necessary complement to that designation and the U.S.’ accompanying sanctions that allows us to work with our global partners to protect refugees in the region who fear persecution and death,” De Peña concluded.

The bill allows certain residents of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Priority 2 designation under the refugee resettlement priority system. 

The Niskanen Center is a 501(c)(3) advocacy organization established in 2014 to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.