Doug Anderson of the Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee
of the House International Relations Committee explains a few
of the changes from the Senate version.
H.R. 3573, the North Korean Freedom Act, was
introduced in the House this evening by Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa),
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, along with
the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee, Eni Faleomavaega (D-American
Samoa), and Chris Smith (R-NJ), Vice Chairman of the Committee
on International Relations.
The PDF document provided in the link above
is identical to the House bill, except for a small but important
one-word change: On page 7, line 8 of the introduced bill, Mr.
Leach replaced the word "limited" with the word "credible"
(so that the section could not be read as an attempt to constrict,
rather than encourage, more generous US refugee policy toward
In addition to a number of stylistic and drafting
fixes throughout, H.R. 3573 differs from the Senate bill, introduced
earlier, in three main ways:
(1) It makes North Koreans who have suffered
at the hands of their regime eligible for P2 status (that is,
they would have access to U.S. refugee processing without the
need for a UNHCR referral);
(2) While it increases the discretion of the
Secretary of Homeland Security to temporarily parole North Koreans
into the U.S. pending adjudication of their refugee claims, it
does NOT waive the case-by-case screening requirement, for serious
security reasons (the risk of insertion of covert North Korean
agents or others who may intend harm makes case-by-case screening
both prudent and necessary); and
(3) The bill incorporates the text of H.R. 367,
the brief Hyde bill that clarifies that, for purposes of US refugee
and asylum processing, North Koreans should be treated as North
Koreans (so that their potential right to claim South Korean citizenship
is not used to disregard their wishes to be considered for U.S.
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(while making sure that you note the one-word difference in the