Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, would establish an immigrant council as part of the Executive Yuan if elected president, KMT vice presidential candidate Simon Chang (張善政) said yesterday.
Starting today, KMT Legislator Lin Li-chan (林麗蟬), an immigrant from Cambodia, is to serve as head of the council’s preparatory panel, responsible for planning its formal launch, Chang told a news conference in Taipei.
Since the establishment would entail legislative amendments, the council would not be immediately launched following Han’s election, he said.
Taiwan has an immigrant population of more than 550,000, which is roughly the same as its Aboriginal population of 570,000, Chang said.
While the Executive Yuan already includes a Council of Indigenous Peoples, there is also a need for an immigrant council, he said.
The founding of such a council would be “a symbolic step in the nation’s efforts to improve human rights,” Lin said.
Immigrant affairs are divided into several areas and governed by various ministries and agencies — from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of the Interior, the Mainland Affairs Council, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Central Election Commission and the Veterans Affairs Council, she said.
“Having so many different ministries and agencies govern our rights makes it difficult to safeguard them and ensure an organized system,” she said.
Establishing an immigrant council is “urgent and necessary” to achieve better results, she said.
Lin said that during a question-and-answer session with National Immigration Agency Director-General Chiu Feng-kuang (邱豐光) at the Legislative Yuan earlier this month, Chiu told her that there is no need for an immigrant council, because the Executive Yuan already conducts regular briefings on immigrant affairs.
The Tsai administration is only using consultative meetings on immigrant affairs to coordinate policies and ensure immigrants’ rights, she said.
“That is so ridiculous,” she added.
Most of Tsai’s platforms on immigrants’ rights — such as better social welfare programs and job-matching services — have not been delivered, she said.
“In comparison, Han’s immigrant policy is clear and concrete, and we are already taking responsible steps to realize it,” she said.
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