I don’t care for her anti-Bush or “peace march” politics too much, but surely the current DPP administration could help her out a little here…seems a little ungrateful considering her advocacy for human rights in the past.
For the Taiwan News, this editorial is not too bad:
[i]The possibility that former “Formosa” democratic movement and human rights activist Linda Gail Arrigo may have to leave Taiwan later this month because of an inability to maintain legal residency should remind the Democratic Progressive Party government of a major unfinished item of on the agenda of “transitional justice” in Taiwan.
Several of these past activists remain in Taiwan and, in various ways, continue to make exceptional, if unsung, contributions to our society. Most of them have experienced recurrent difficulties in maintaining residence and employment, in part because the sacrifices of their past commitment included complete educations or stable employment records.
Some have been advised by friends and past comrades to apply for “alien permanent residence certificates,” but obtaining permanent residence in their adopted home is far easier said than done.
Besides the reasonable requirement that an applicant must be resident in Taiwan for five of seven consecutive years and not have been convicted of any major crime that would carry a prison sentence, the conditions for an APRC include vetting by the police of tax and financial records, proof that an applicant’s accumulated real estate and liquid assets are valued at over NT$5 million and a “good citizen” certificate from their home country.
Given the notorious difficulty in applying for APRCs, the requirement that foreign residents must apply for permanent residence within two years after eligibility can only be described as cynical.
A contrasting and far more user-friendly example can be provided by Hong Kong.
Foreigners who reside in Hong Kong for seven consecutive years are given permanent residence and the right of abode virtually automatically if they declare and can demonstrate that Hong Kong is their permanent residence. There are no listed requirements that applications must produce police records from their original country or demonstrate a fat bank account.
Another case with special relevance to the case of foreign activists in Taiwan’s human rights and democratic movement is Spain.
In January 1996, the Spanish Socialist Party-led government granted honorary citizenship to the remaining veterans of the International Brigades who had fought for the Loyalist side against the fascist government for the second Spanish Republic in the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War.
Naturally, there is a strong element of subjectivity in defining what kind of “contribution” should be seen as justifying the special granting of permanent residence or citizenship.[/i]