Humane and sensible policy can make 'queues' disappear

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 August, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 August, 2002, 12:00am

The proposals of the One Country Two Systems Research Institute on family reunion make good sense.

If a mainland spouse is allowed to come to the Hong Kong SAR on application after marriage to an SAR permanent resident without having to wait for upwards of five years, there will be no, or far fewer, additions to the current so-called queue of spouses awaiting reunion.

The children of such marriages will most likely be born in Hong Kong as their mothers will be here. There will, therefore, be no, or far fewer, additions to the 'queue' of children awaiting reunion with their permanent resident parents. At the same time, this would be a partial solution to the problem of Hong Kong's declining birth rate.

To address the unfairness for those who have been waiting for many years, a scheme of admission of proper verification (through DNA testing where appropriate) should be instituted.

The current 'queues' only exist because of the quota system. Abolish the application of the quota for immediate family members joining permanent resident spouses or parents and those 'queues' will disappear.

For many parents and children, the so-called queue is non-existent. This is because having waited for many years in one queue, the children become ineligible as they grow up and there is no other queue for them. It is high time that this problem is addressed once and for all in a humane and sensible way.

Let us not perpetuate the injustice and mistakes of the past.