Monday, August 7, 2017

This Day in 1989: November 30, 1989, President Bush Vetoes Emergency Chinese Protection Act but Implements with Executive Order

On November 30, 1989, President Bush vetoed H. R. 2712 -- Emergency Chinese Immigration Relief Act of 1989, sponsored by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D). The Act was chiefly aimed at waiving "the two-year home country residence requirement for" Chinese nationals who were in US on exchange visitor (J) visa, as a protection for them not subjecting to possible punishment from Chinese government.

President Bush vetoed the bill not because he disagreed with the proposal but that he believed it was a executive branch decision not to be muddled by the Congress. At the same time of the veto, he issued an executive order to implement the exact same policy.

The Congress attempted to override the veto. It succeeded in the House but failed in the Senate.

Three years later, Pelosi passed a much broader Chinese Student Protection Act, granting permanent residency ("green card") to all, estimated as 50,000, Chinese citizens in the US. That Act was signed into law by President Bush on October 9, 1992.

Days of 1989

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