Thu, Nov 30, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Chiu Yi claims president's son plans to acquire green card, emigrate to US

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Hsu Ming-shui, attorney for President Chen Shui-bian's son Chen Chih-chung, yesterday speaks with reporters after filing a lawsuit at the Taipei District Court against Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi for slander.

PHOTO: WANG MIN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) yesterday claimed that President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) son Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) had applied as an immigrant investor for permanent residence status in the US.

Chiu displayed a document he claimed proved his allegation in a press conference. But the name of the applicant was spelt in pseudo Hanyu pinyin as "Zhi Zhong Chen" rather than "Chen Chih-chung", the spelling of his name in Tong-yong pinyin favored by most Taiwanese use.

"Chen Chih-chung left his fingerprint on the form. That is his center finger," Chiu said.

The document Chiu displayed was a completed "I-797 C Notice of Action" issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security.

The document, dated Oct. 24, 2005, required the applicant "Zhi Zhong Chen" to go to the USCIS's office located in the city of El Monte in California Nov. 30, 2005 at 12pm to have his fingerprints and biometrics taken.

"The lawyer entrusted by Chen Chih-chung to process the application had left his name and address on the form, but my informant blacked out the information before giving it to me," he said.

Chiu said he knew the lawyer's identity.

"His surname is Chien (). He operates a business in California, and has been the first family's lawyer on other occasions in the US," he said.

Since the application was filed at the USCIS about one year ago, Chen Chih-chung should have obtained or is about to obtain his US green card, Chiu said.

Chiu added that the "Form I-797" was used to apply for "Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status," the last stage of applying for a US green card.

"If Chen had already received the green card, he is not allowed to leave the US for a period of three years. If he does leave, he has to obtain `Form I-131,' which is difficult to get, to ensure his return to the US. That's why Chen Chih-chung is reluctant to come back to Taiwan at the moment," Chiu said.

Chiu claimed he had the attachments of the "Form I-797 C" in his possession, which would show Chen Chih-chung's investment in Tawa Supermarket in the US, and remittance transactions associated with the investment from Taiwan to the US.

Chiu, however, didn't disclose the attachments in the press conference, noting that he is considering disclosing Chen Chih-chung's social security number and a copy of his passport later on.

After reporters sought clarification, Chiu directly claimed Chen Chih-chung had put money into the Tawa Supermarket so that he could apply for US citizenship as an immigrant investor.

According to a news clip broadcast by SETTV yesterday, the supermarket would hold a press conference today to dismiss Chiu's accusation on the account.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Charles Chiang (江昭儀) yesterday rebutted Chiu's accusation, saying the US doesn't allow foreigners to apply for residency as an investor immigrant if the money is placed in an existing, profitable business.

Chen Chih-chung's lawyer filed a lawsuit against Chiu and sought NT$100 million in compensation.

Lin Chih-hao (林志豪), Chen Chih-chung's lawyer, issued a statement yesterday afternoon saying that his client felt "distraught" over Chiu's "persistent fabrication of stories to achieve political gain."

Describing Chiu's allegations as "pure speculation" and "deliberate defamation," Lin said Chiu is an individual who "habitually makes random and unfounded accusations against others and refuses to clean up his act."

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