Publication Date



44 p. ; An outstanding student paper selected as a Honors Paper.


This article will explore the extent of which Chinese citizens fleeing PRC\'s "one couple - one child" policy are eligible for asylum under U.S. refugee law. Section II of this article provides an historical analysis of PRC\'s population control policy. This section addresses the reasoning behind the policy. It also discusses the enforcement mechanisms PRC has implemented to enforce this policy. It focuses on the types of punishment imposed on those who violate the policy. It also discusses what protections, if any, PRC offers to those who object to the policy. Section III analyzes PRC\'s "one couple - one child" policy with respect to U.S. asylum law. It explores the issue of whether implementation of PRC\'s "one couple — one child" policy amounts to persecution. It then analyzes the question of whether a person\'s opposition to this governmental policy amounts to an expression of a political opinion for purposes of qualifying as a refugee. This section also discusses whether claims based on this type of persecution meet the nexus requirement of U.S. refugee law. After analyzing relevant case law, it concludes that certain Chinese aliens fleeing PRC\'s population control policy, to the extent that they have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of political opinion, should be eligible for asylum. In 1996 \xa7601(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act amended the refugee definition of \xa7101(a)(42) of the Refugee Act to include involuntary sterilization or abortion as a form of persecution. Section IV of this article analyzes the regulatory and legislative history of this amendment. It also discusses the effects this amendment has had on refugee policy and analyzes what new issues now arise as a result of the change in the definition of refugee. Section V concludes with a discussion of international human rights law with respect to the right to found a family. It analyzes whether current U.S. refugee law in regard to PRC\'s population control policy is consistent with the humanitarian concerns and purposes of the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.


University of New Mexico School of Law

Document Type

Student Paper



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