Security chief Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong says exiled Tiananmen dissidents are not on the Immigration Department's surveillance list ahead of the 20th anniversary of the June 4 crackdown in Tiananmen Square. The minister said the list was not a blacklist. He did not explain why US citizen Xiang Xiaoji and Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot were turned away recently. One of Galschiot's works on the Tiananmen incident, The Pillar of Shame, is displayed at the University of Hong Kong, while another sculpture, Fragments of a Democracy Story, was moved from the Legislative Council's ante-chamber after opposition by Beijing loyalists. Mr Xiang, convenor of a student delegation who engaged in talks with central government leaders in Beijing before the crackdown, was put on a flight back to New York after immigration officials barred his entry to Hong Kong yesterday. The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China is considering filing a judicial review on behalf of the pair. The security secretary denied in a Legislative Council meeting that a blacklist existed to bar dissidents from entering, but admitted the Immigration Department kept a surveillance list. 'Being used for internal reference, the list is not made public and it is not a blacklist. Immigration will conduct examinations and consider each case individually before deciding whether the concerned persons should be allowed entry.' Lee Cheuk-yan, a lawmaker from the pan-democratic camp and vice-chairman of the alliance, asked if immigration had received a list of dissidents from the central government's liaison office. Mr Lee replied: 'Immigration makes its decisions according to the laws in Hong Kong. It has nothing to do with the law enforcement authorities of other regions or countries.' About 38,000 people were denied entry last year, while 40,000 were rejected in 2007 and 42,000 in 2006. Mr Lee said those who were barred made up just 0.2 per cent of total arrivals each year. He said 70 per cent of those who were rejected were from the mainland, followed by people from Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. Pan-democrats and activists from the alliance said they might exhaust all legal routes to pursue Galschiot's and Mr Xiang's cases. Democrat legislator and lawyer James To Kun-sun, representing Mr Xiang, raised the possibility of a judicial review. Lee Cheuk-yan said the US consulate had promised to intervene and would demand an answer from the Hong Kong government on why an American citizen who had valid travel documents was denied entry. The US consulate said Washington regretted the government's decision to block Mr Xiang's entry, particularly in the light of the city's well-known reputation for allowing freedom of expression. A spokesman said the consulate had been in touch with the Hong Kong government. Galschiot, meanwhile, urged his country and the European Commission to consider cancelling or changing the agreement for visa-free travel with Hong Kong. The sculptor said Beijing had used entry rules in the city as a political tool.