Legislators yesterday accused government officials from various law enforcement, intelligence gathering and criminal investigation agencies of negligence and lack of coordination, which they said has resulted in more than 70,000 foreign nationals going missing and being unaccounted for.
National Immigration Agency (NIA) Director-General Mo Tien-hu (莫天虎) said his officers have encountered problems in tracking down foreign laborers who have left their place of employment, but are in Taiwan working illegally.
Answering questions from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) during a meeting of the the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, Mo said that about 51,000 foreign laborers went missing last year, adding that the “imported workers,” who had been hired on mandated three-year employment contracts, mostly came from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
In addition, there are about 20,000 foreign nationals from other parts of the world who entered Taiwan on short-term or tourist visas who are unaccounted for and have either overstayed their visa or are working illegally, he said.
“There are a total of about 71,000 foreign nationals missing or hiding in Taiwan,” Mo said.
“We do not know what they are up to or who they are working for. This is a serious situation and is endangering our national security,” Chiang said.
Chiang criticized NIA and National Security Bureau officials, saying that the former is in charge of immigration and entry of foreign nationals, including tracking their visa expiration dates, while the latter is responsible for surveillance, monitoring and intelligence-gathering on foreigners who might pose a security threat to the government and society.
“Information provided by officials and citizens suggest that at least half of the missing foreign workers are Vietnamese. They likely left their place of employment to work illegally elsewhere for higher salaries,” Chiang said.
“Why we are still importing so many foreign workers each year? The NIA and other agencies must work together to stem the problem by working with the Vietnamese government to reduce the quota of imported workers,” Chiang said.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
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Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up