A dilemma: Should I forgive the NPA?


#1

I have a dilemma here, and I need everyone’s advice.

The entire situation involves “overstays,” and in particular “overstays of foreigners who are married to local citizens.”

My point of view is that: YOU SHOULD NOT OVERSTAY YOUR VISA. That means that you should follow the law, right? i think that it is a reasonable request. After all, we aliens don’t want to give the local government authorities a bad impression . . . .

Of course, you would think that the National Police Administration (NPA) would also agree that aliens should not overstay their visas, right? And you would think that the NPA would do everything in their power to follow up on people who do overstay their visas right? After all, according to the Immigration Law, THAT IS THEIR JOB!!!

However . . . . what if I could tell you that I have positive proof that the NPA is less than diligent in dealing with the overstays of foreign spouses? And the reason for this is that they have TOTALLY FAILED to coordinate with other government departments in regard to checking up on this matter . . . . do you think that such conduct would be considered IRRESPONSIBLE??? Do you think that certain other high government officials (especially high government officials not in the DPP) would be interested in taking the NPA to task over this?

I am involved in a case with a Filipino lady who is married to a local Taiwan citizen and has overstayed her tourist visa for four years. They have a baby who is about one year old.

With my help, she applied to RENEW this tourist visa in early 2002. Apparently the Taipei Police Station thought it was a joke or something, so nine weeks went by with no reply. I filed an administrative appeal, because the two month limit for an official reply had passed.

The Taipei Police Station replied with a deportation notice. I filed for an injunction against the deportation notice in the Taipei High Administrative Court. Two lawyers from the NPA showed up at the hearing. I appeared with the Taiwanese husband. Of course the NPA said that there were no grounds for granting an injunction, and that the wife should leave Taiwan immediately. I asked “Why did you wait four years to tell us that?”

We received the decision from the Court. The injunction was granted.

The NPA filed a counter-suit to have the injunction cancelled. I filed a lengthy rebuttal.

In late December we received the decision of the Superior Administrative Court. The injunction was upheld. The NPA lost. The court noted “gross administrative errors” in both the NPA’s and the local Police Station’s handling of the case.

Do you see what is happening here? Let me go over the details again. This Taiwanese husband is married to a Filipino lady and living in Taiwan. He also has two daughters who have foreign passports. During the past few years, he has often gone to both the Household Registration Office to get copies of his household registration document, and to the local police station in his location of residence (not the Foreign Affairs Police) to deal with other minor matters. Do the Household Registration Office and the local police stations know that he is married to a foreigner? Yes, that is registered in their books. Do they know the visa status of his wife? No, their computers aren’t set up to have access to that information.

The NPA, Household Registration Offices, and the administrative authority for the local police stations are all under the MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR. Does it strike you as strange that they are doing zero coordination on the subject of visa overstays by foreign spouses? Does this amount to incompetence on the part of the NPA???

So, this is my dilemma . . . . . should I just make a note of this situation and hope that the police will do their job better in the future . . . . in the name of national security, etc., etc. . . . . . . OR . . . . .

should I put all this documentation together, and write up a full description of the situation, and pass it on to some non-DPP Legislators for their consideration . . . . . . . who knows, they might want to raise some issues of ADMINISTRATIVE INCOMPETENCE or DERELICTION OF DUTY or . . . . .

Maybe they might even ask for some people to STEP DOWN . . . . . . or be given PAY CUTS . . . . . . .

What is my best course of action at this point??? Your comments???


#2

if the police are tardy in kicking people’s spouses out of the country, is that something to really be concerned about?


#3

Letting sleeping dogs lie might be the better course of action (inaction?)


#4

If the matter was cleared up then the remedy you have outlined for overstayers would disappear. Is it not better to leave the NPA to their administrative inefficiency of which future overstayers could take advantage ?


#5

richard, let it go.

focus

on your other work.jyaiyo jyaiyo!


#6

There are two sides to this:

One is if you leave it alone Richard, just like our conversation the other day, things will just continue to get worse. Already we know that there is no one right or wrong way to handle law in Taiwan, it pretty much depends on the person working and if they have had a good day or not.

The second is if you if you say something then some foreigners in Taiwan will be pissed because they can no longer over stay their visas.

I’m inclined to think that the problem should be fixed, but in a way that satisfies both sides. In other words if a foreigner who is married overstays their Visa then maybe they should just be fined. If a foreigner who is not married overstays their visa then maybe they should be deported. Or some combination inbetween, but whatever the result it must satisfy both sides. I do not think that foreign spouses should be deported for overstaying their visas.


#7

Who will you help by making a stink about it?


#8

I suppose if you press ahead with your action Richard, you can expect to add a few more officials to long list that would like to see you booted out of Taiwan.
What i don’t get is that if you seek punishment for the incompetent people involved in this case, does it fit in with your bigger agenda? And if it does, how?


#9

I don’t think that the NPA transgressed against you, therefore forgiveness is not yours to bestow. You cannot forgive the NPA for their dereliction of duty in this case anymore than you can forgive the Nazis for the Holocaust or the Catholic Church for the Crusades.


#10

A couple of points:

  1. I think the police (at least in Taoyuan) may be doing a better job of tracking foreigners and notifying them when they need to renew. I recently received a notice to renew my ARC four weeks before it expired. When I called the Foreign Affairs Police, they were very helpful and polite in explaining the really very simple procedure to renew one’s ARC. They also politely but firmly warned me not to overstay for any reason. I’m not sure there is much more that they could or should be doing.

The real problem is that not all Foreign Affairs Police are as well-organized as the ones in Taoyuan or Taipei. Perhaps the foreign community would be better served if we wrote to the local newspapers praising the ‘good’ counties and pointing out the problems with the ‘bad counties’. We could then send translation of those letters to Richard’s contacts and the local foreign representative offices.

Jeff: This attitude worries me. In fact, as Richard’s story here shows, there is a a “right way” to handle the law in Taiwan and when incompetent bureaucrats apply the law incorrectly or inconsistently, everyone, including foreigners, have the right to appeal. What’s more, foreigners often win such appeals without even having to go to the administrative courts.


#11

[quote=“Richard Hartzell”]

Do you think that certain other high government officials (especially high government officials not in the DPP) would be interested in taking the NPA to task over this?

[snip]

should I put all this documentation together, and write up a full description of the situation, and pass it on to some non-DPP Legislators for their consideration . . … [/quote]

Why don’t you want to raise these issues with DPP officials and legislators? Shouldn’t we raise these issues with all parties? Or does the DPP have an ant-immmigration plank in their platform? I’m genuinely puzzled.


#12

Feiren wrote [quote]The real problem is that not all Foreign Affairs Police are as well-organized as the ones in Taoyuan or Taipei. Perhaps the foreign community would be better served if we wrote to the local newspapers praising the ‘good’ counties and pointing out the problems with the ‘bad counties’. We could then send translation of those letters to Richard’s contacts and the local foreign representative offices.[/quote] That’s a pretty good idea.


#13

Yes, the Rule of Law should be followed.

Yes. But perhaps there are legitimate reasons that the NPA has not been able to perform as efficiently as it should, in this regard. I don’t know.

I’d be shocked! :shock:

Again, I’d be shocked! :shock:

Yes, unless there is a legitimate reason for this failure, such as shortage of manpower or funds…

I don’t know. And, I don’t care.

How does your assistance to a foreign national who has broken a Taiwan law that you above indicated should be followed advance respect for the Rule of Law in Taiwan?

[quote=“Hartzell”]Apparently the Taipei Police Station thought it was a joke or something, so nine weeks went by with no reply. I filed an administrative appeal, because the two month limit for an official reply had passed.

The Taipei Police Station replied with a deportation notice. I filed for an injunction against the deportation notice in the Taipei High Administrative Court.[/quote]

Why? Above you stated:

Now you want to enjoin the Taiwan government from executing Taiwan law that you state should be followed??? :?

Let’s say some foreign national runs a redlight at an intersection where a Taiwan traffic cop is “directing” traffic. In running the red light, the foreign national driver runs over a pedestrian crossing the street on a green light. But the cop did nothing to stop the foreign driver from running through the red light… will you run to protect the foreign driver who ran the redlight because the cop didn’t blow his wistle or wave his wand and yell “stop”?

Why should NPA incompetence, inefficiency or purposeful neglect of its duties give this woman the right to break Taiwan’s law?

Yeah, well, everyone complains that the Taiwan courts are a joke.

Why? Are you against society being governed by the Rule of Law?

Again, how does the NPA’s incompetence, inefficiency or purposeful neglect of its duties absolve this woman from her obvious transgression of Taiwan’s law?

[quote=“Hartzell”]Do you see what is happening here? … This Taiwanese husband is married to a Filipino lady and living in Taiwan … During the past few years, he has often gone to both the Household Registration Office to get copies of his household registration document, and to the local police station in his location of residence (not the Foreign Affairs Police) to deal with other minor matters. Do the Household Registration Office and the local police stations know that he is married to a foreigner? Yes, that is registered in their books. Do they know the visa status of his wife? No, their computers aren’t set up to have access to that information.

The NPA, Household Registration Offices, and the administrative authority for the local police stations are all under the MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR. Does it strike you as strange that they are doing zero coordination on the subject of visa overstays by foreign spouses? Does this amount to incompetence on the part of the NPA???[/quote]

So what? Again, why should Taiwan administrative mismanagement make it alright for foreifn nationals to break Taiwan’s law?

[quote=“Hartzell”]So, this is my dilemma . . . . . should I just make a note of this situation and hope that the police will do their job better in the future . . . . in the name of national security, etc., etc. . . . . . . OR . . . . .

should I put all this documentation together, and write up a full description of the situation, and pass it on to some non-DPP Legislators for their consideration . . . . . . . who knows, they might want to raise some issues of ADMINISTRATIVE INCOMPETENCE or DERELICTION OF DUTY or . . . . .

Maybe they might even ask for some people to STEP DOWN . . . . . . or be given PAY CUTS . . . . . . .

What is my best course of action at this point??? Your comments???[/quote]

What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want Taiwan to uphold the Rule of Law… and if yes, how will publicly chastising Taiwan’s inefficient administration, in this particular case, further that goal?


#14

Newsflash: A foreigner was shocked to discover that one Taiwan government agency doesn’t coordinate with another. In addition, the further shocking discovery was made that rule of law doesn’t exist in Taiwan. It was also further discovered that there are some incompetent bureaucrats in Taiwan.

As part of the same matter, racism was discovered in Taiwan that manifests itself in such things as taking glee in chucking a Filipino lady out of Taiwan, even though she is married to an R.O.C. national.

All kidding aside, none of these things should surprise anyone. It’s not your battle to fight these things. Whether Taiwan is going to invest the resources to address all of the serious problems that Richard saw in this case won’t come about b/c some foreigners are angry about it. It’s up to them to put in the proper resources and education, or to even give a damn.


#15

As a side-issue, is anybody else irritated at married people (or intermarried people, Taiwanese/foreign) to be getting all the breaks?

I suppose it’s an open question how much this sort of thing ought to be encouraged, and why. Hmmm, maybe the gay lobby can be enlisted to complain…?


#16

:?

Rich, (and in this extent Tigerman) you represented your clients interests and attained, albeit lengthily, what you set out to. Well done!

Yes, you came across areas that indeed are of concern, but in the mad manner that things do seem to get resolved here, it did. It seems to me that the loopholes in the system almost guarantees the persistent party will get satisfaction. Which obviously raises how shitty it would’ve been if someone took it as a given - ie, I’m deported, bye!

Compiling grist for a brawl in the legislative mill? AND, in so doing serving, up some PFP or KMT twat with an axe to grind a head rolling doco???

Chill knowing you’ve, again, done a great job man. Moroever, through avenues like this very forum you’re getting out the word and means to overcome some of these bureaucratic beasts.

Don’t you already have enough on your plate?

Cheers,

HG


#17

[quote=“Vincent”]As a side-issue, is anybody else irritated at married people (or intermarried people, Taiwanese/foreign) to be getting all the breaks?

I suppose it’s an open question how much this sort of thing ought to be encouraged, and why. Hmmm, maybe the gay lobby can be enlisted to complain…?[/quote]

Our commitment to this place is usually more long term. Taiwan dows not recognize same-sex marriages. Marry your boyfriends sister. That should solve the problem.


#18

If person A wants permanent residency for work, and person B wants it for marriage (and possibly, but not incidentally, also for work), why should person B’s intentions be automatically deemed more long-term?Merely by applying for permanent residency, person A would be demonstrating a certain desire to stay here.

Whether that is stronger or weaker than person B’s is difficult to say–person B might just as easily leave Taiwan with his bride in tow (or not). In any case it seems unfair to recognize marriage-to-a-Taiwanese to be the highest expression of allegiance, when some foreigners–by virtue of disinclination or ineligability (gay, ugly, already married, happily engaged in serial seductions, can’t pass a Taiwanese physical)–cannot be expected to make that expression, at least not in good faith.

It’s a bit like the “marriage tax” / “singles tax” debate. Do married people really contribute more to a society, or are they just politically better connected? (Remember that they also consume more.) A married couple has a kid, a single man buys a boat. Let’s say they cost the same. Who’s to say which “contributes” more to society? Me, I’d rather see more boating, and tax children the way we do tobacco.

And anyway, what possible harm is done in giving somebody more time on his visa than he will use? Why should it matter so much to us that the married guy may stay in Taiwan longer than the single guy?


#19

Well said, that is my experience. ahem! have to admit to being married as well which might not make me the fairest observer.

But I recently was interviewing people for a job, most often unmarried people, when asked “what are your plans for Taiwan” will be planning to leave after a year or two. I have to admit to engaging in blatent marital-status-discrimination when making hiring choices :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

In my opinion for Chinese people it would be an article of faith that the married person is more deserving of certain breaks. Marriage trumps everything except for littl’uns.


#20

[quote=“Mr He”][quote=“Vincent”]As a side-issue, is anybody else irritated at married people (or intermarried people, Taiwanese/foreign) to be getting all the breaks?

I suppose it’s an open question how much this sort of thing ought to be encouraged, and why. Hmmm, maybe the gay lobby can be enlisted to complain…?[/quote]

Our commitment to this place is usually more long term. Taiwan dows not recognize same-sex marriages. Marry your boyfriends sister. That should solve the problem.[/quote]

Have any figures or statistics to back that up, Mr. He? Seems a bit harsh telling them to marry their boyfriend’s sister, doesn’t it? It does seem to me a lot of marriages between Taiwanese women and foreign men end up abroad in the man’s home country.
Most male foreigners here have a Taiwanese wife/girlfriend. Some of them are very cool, but some others seem to think that having a Taiwanese wife/girlfriend puts them on a higher, more “Taiwanese” level than everyone else. Consequently, some of them seem to expect special treatment because of this. Perhaps it is because they are the majority, and single people are in the minority.