Immigration orders for removal soar
The number of removal orders issued to those without right of abode rose sharply last year.
In a written reply from Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, legislators were told 1,130 and 1,206 removal orders were made in 1998 and 1999 respectively. But the number of orders surged drastically to 4,325 last year.
Mrs Ip stopped short of saying whether more orders had been issued to abode-seekers after the reinterpretation of the Basic Law by Beijing.
Under the Immigration Ordinance, the Director of Immigration may issue a removal order against a person who does not enjoy right of abode in Hong Kong or does not have permission to remain.
The reinterpretation by the National People's Congress Standing Committee in June 1999 effectively took away the right of abode of one million mainlanders that was granted by a Court of Final Appeal ruling in January 1999.
Cyd Ho Sau-lan, of The Frontier, blamed the increase on the reinterpretation.
'It is because the Government wants to kick them out as soon as possible after the reinterpretation,' she said.