Do you have some time to write about your experience of spending 2 months in the Taipei Detention Center? We’d like to publish this on The Wild East, as it really concerns a lot of people, especially foreigners in Taiwan.
Hi. Yes, sure, no biggie. I myself am writing a book about it and the ‘hole’ story, so I would like to share my experience with you. It does concern a lot of people, and I hope things improve in Taiwan in the future, because right now, my only opinion is that the Taiwanese laws are a bunch of horseshit. I ‘m not saying I shouldn’t have been deported, because I did overstay my visa for more than 2 years, but I’m kinda angry because I wasn’t deported faster and because of some other things that happened while I was inside the detention center.
In my opinion, if a person is caught overstaying visa there should be only payment, punishment and immediate deportation — not ‘doing time’ the same as hookers, physical abusers, drug dealers and people with no documents whatsoever. I guess in Taiwan everybody falls in the same basket, okay, maybe some do a bit more time than others, but everybody is treated exactly the same behind bars.
So after I was prosecuted (N— must have told you why I was taken to the police station in the first place) and my only legal offence was an overstayed visa, I was cuffed, and taken to the immigration agency in Banciao. The police officers saw I had nothing but my bag with me, no food, no clean clothes, no water, no money. They bought me a sandwich and a bottle of water, two pairs of disposable underwear and socks and allowed me to smoke one more cigarette before turning me in to the immigration authorities. I smoked my cigarette and said, “I’m ready”.
We entered the Banciao immigration office. One guy took my passport, glanced at it and said with gloating smile, “Ahhh. Ha ha ha.” There was a conversation about my “bad, bad country” and then he told me I had to put my fingerprints on some documents. They were all in Chinese, and I didn’t understand the characters. I put my thumb on the paper, that evil red ink… I’ll never forget that feeling… I saw a date on the paper: December 20th to February 19th.[/quote]
Ouch! I was always under the impression that overstaying westerners simply got deported with a NTD10k fine, plus refused reentry for a year or so. From this woman’s experience it looks like more serious measures are sometimes implemented. I am guessing from her story that she is a South African, but that’s just a guess. Always best to stay legal, of course, although I’m not judgemental about those who don’t in these situations. The regulations in Taiwan sometimes force people into illegality.