Minister of the Interior Liao Liao-yi (廖了以) has promised to present a draft amendment to the Legislative Yuan in September which, if approved, would grant legal resident status to descendants of former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) army troops left in Myanmar and Thailand following the Chinese Civil War.
Liao made the pledge on Thursday after receiving representatives of 380 descendants of the soldiers who are studying in Taiwan. Liao met them after they staged a protest outside the Legislative Yuan and a sit-in at Liberty Square in Taipei earlier in the day to demand that the government recognize their legitimate status.
Saying that the legislature would go into recess on July 18, Liao added that the ministry planned to put forth an amendment to the Immigration Act in September when the next legislative session opens.
The descendants complained that, as they did not hold Taiwanese citizenship and some are staying in Taiwan illegally, they often worried about being arrested by police.
Liao said that the National Immigration Agency would issue temporary registration certificates to them on July 15 and July 16 to ensure their legal stay in Taiwan before the approval of the amendment.
He also promised to order the agency to map out measures to tackle relevant issues involving the descendants.
The protesters’ parents, along with thousands of KMT soldiers, were moved to Myanmar and Thailand after retreating from China following the KMT’s defeat at the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.
As the Myanmar and Thai governments refused to grant them residency or citizenship, some of the descendants chose to come to Taiwan with forged passports.
Despite having graduated from Taiwanese schools, some of them still have no Thai or Burmese citizenship, while becoming illegal immigrants to Taiwan.
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