Sun, Nov 13, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Letters: Teachers are being deported

There is currently a great injustice going on in this country. The government has decided to begin a crackdown and deportation of foreign English teachers.

Recently a number of deportation letters have gone out to teachers. These letters give people 14 days in which to pack their bags and permanently leave the country. These people are not criminals and have never broken the law in Taiwan or their home country. They are good, honest people who are here in Taiwan because they love this country and its people.

The majority of these teachers are being deported for alleged substitute teaching at a school not listed on their work permit (ARC). There is no trial, no jury -- just immediate deportation.

Furthermore, the method by which the government has been collecting evidence to deport these teachers is abhorrent and violates their human rights.

Government inspectors enter a school to see if there are any foreign teachers. When they find a teacher, they interview them and ask them to sign documents in Chinese.

The inspectors are extremely friendly and kind. They tell the teachers, "Don't worry, everything is fine. Just sign these Chinese documents as a formality."

They never explain what the teachers are signing. No translation of these documents is given. Months later, the teachers receive a deportation notice telling them they must leave the country within 14 days.

There is no proper appeal method for this notification. There is no trial and no jury. These are university-educated foreigners who love Taiwan. They are the people who go home to our countries and tell our governments to support Taiwan. It is inexcusable that they be treated in this fashion.

There are major problems with the bushiban/kindergarten system here. Changes most certainly need to be made. The government needs to do a better job of keeping out criminals, fake degree-holders and other illegal foreigners.

The foreign community would be very happy to help the government do this.

They want to help. However, the current method of harassing all English teachers, no matter what the situation, is not helping anyone.

What the government is currently doing is corrupt and counterproductive. It only serves to hurt the English-speaking community and Taiwan as a whole.

Please tell your local politicians that treating foreign English teachers this way is unacceptable.

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