The opposition yesterday blasted President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) reported holding of US permanent residence status, saying that Ma has been lying about the issue and should step down over what it described as his lack of integrity.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) both said Ma has lost his legitimacy to govern after being found to be evading taxes as a holder of US permanent residence status, which was reported by the Chinese-language Next Magazine yesterday.
The report showed that Ma has always lied to Taiwanese about his “green card” status, in particular during the presidential campaign in 2007, when the topic was a central theme of the election, Hsieh said.
Hsieh said Ma had also lied to late president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) about his green card since he entered politics in the 1980s.
Ma’s argument that his green card was no longer effective after leaving the US and not using it for more than a year was not consistent with what happened to several former Cabinet members in his administration, who had to renounce their permanent residence status in the US or Canada to invalidate the status, DPP Policy Research Committee executive director Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said.
US green card status is only invalidated under three circumstances, Wu said.
“One, if one sends a written declaration to the US immigration authorities to renounce the right. Two, if the US Immigration authority invalidated the status. Three, if a US federal court terminates the residence status in a ruling,” he said, adding that Ma’s explanation was not among the three circumstances.
“Ma has disgraced the country and he has to offer an explanation on the matter in person, rather than issuing press releases,” Wu said.
Taiwan Solidarity Union caucus convener Lai Chen-chang (賴振昌) said Ma’s tax controversy was “ridiculous” and his credibility “is now officially bankrupt.”
“If Ma ended up filing taxes to the US Internal Revenue Services, that means he’s been lying to the people of Taiwan. If he does not offer a clear explanation on the matter within three days, we do not rule out filing a lawsuit against him,” Lai said.
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