During the early Cold War, a refugee crisis in Hong Kong captured international attention. The failure of the United Nations to respond gave rise to a complicated cooperative relief effort involving British authorities, the U.S. government, and many private voluntary organizations. This article focuses on the history of one organization, Aid Refugee Chinese Intellectuals (ARCI), and demonstrates how its work with the U.S. Refugee Relief Program (RRP) contributed to the politicization of the migrants and became a mutually beneficial collaboration for both bodies: ARCI facilitated RRP’s claims to be aiding Chinese refugees, and RRP funded ARCI. Although both ARCI and the RRP fulfilled some of their own goals and aided some refugees, their history shows that Cold War politics still usually won out over strictly humanitarian concerns.