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Hong Kong Deports Chinese Woman

April 18, 2002

HONG KONG (AP) _ A mainland Chinese woman stepping off a bus was stopped by police in a random identity check and deported Thursday, becoming at least the eighth person to be forcibly removed in Hong Kong’s running immigration battle.

Authorities estimate that thousands of mainland Chinese remain in Hong Kong illegally. Immigration officials set a March 31 deadline for them to leave.

Kwok Chau-fan, 32, from Fujian province, was taken away on Thursday, said her sister, Kwok Chau-heung. Kwok Chau-fan was immediately taken across the border to the neighboring mainland city of Shenzhen, the sister said by telephone.

Immigration Department spokesman Alvin Tam declined to comment on Kwok’s case. He said more than 70 people have gone back during the past week, including those deported.

Police did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The migrants are fighting to stay with parents who moved to Hong Kong years ago to get work and who later received residency rights. Children who tried to follow later were often refused clearance to stay here, so many of them came on visitor visas and never left.

They complain that the removal orders are splitting up families and violating their human rights. Although many of the migrants are now adults, it is common in Chinese culture for people to live at home longer than many in the West do.

Hong Kong, the former British colony, was returned to China in 1997, but it has a separate legal and economic system and strict border controls remain in place.

Update hourly