The National Immigration Agency’s (NIA) plan to replenish Taiwan’s younger generation with Chinese immigrants is absurd, Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Lai Cheng-chang (賴振昌) said yesterday.
Lai made the comments in response to an NIA immigration law draft proposal titled “draft amendment for the tabulation of the quota for the residency or permanent residency of Mainland-area peoples in Taiwan through family,” which would increase the number of Chinese minors, those younger than 20, granted resident status in Taiwan.
Its statement of purpose said: “The amendments to the quota tabulation is proposed because the trend toward smaller family size has caused a decline in the youth population, while relaxing restrictions could replenish the youth population, increase the size of the working-age population, protect their right to family (家庭團聚權), replenish the youth demography ... and ameliorate population aging.”
The draft amendment would increase the yearly residency quota for children of legal Chinese residents in Taiwan — a path to residency status that does not require a parent to be married to a Taiwanese national — from 180 to 300.
In other words, Chinese who have resident status in Taiwan and have been living in Taiwan for two years or more, including a minimum of 183 days per annum, can apply for a national identification card.
“Anything China wants, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) government gives,” Lai said, slamming the NIA’s proposal, saying that he considered it “absurd.”
The Ma administration is trying to permit as many Chinese immigrants as it can before Ma’s term runs, despite having already increased the flow of Chinese immigration substantially in past years, he said.
“China has a population of 1.3 billion. Can Taiwan survive if 1 percent or even one in 1,000 migrate here? Immigration policy requires comprehensive planning and national security evaluations, especially if it deals with a nation that is hostile to Taiwan, like China,” he said.
“Though there is a right to family, non-Taiwanese children should not be permitted to immigrate here. If Chinese residents miss their children, they can go back to China. No one is taking away that right,” he said.
The NIA said it drafted the bill because the annual residency quota for Chinese citizens applying through family — increased to 180 in 2012 — is inadequate for existing applicants, of whom there are 828, with a queue estimated at “between one and 2,000” and a processing time of “a minimum of 10 years,” which should be “four to six years, ideally.”
Of the 160,700 Chinese citizens who obtained permanent residency in Taiwan 1991 to September, 114,666 are spouses of Taiwanese citizens and 52,335 are relatives of a Chinese citizen, including parents or children.
However, a majority within the latter group are born to a Taiwanese parent in China, according to NIA statistics.
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