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Lawmaker pushes law revision on revocation of Taiwan citizenship

2018/01/17 20:34:18

Lin Li-chan (林麗蟬, right)

Taipei, Jan. 17 (CNA) Taiwan's first new immigrant lawmaker said Wednesday that the government should amend the regulations governing the revocation of an immigrant's Taiwanese citizenship obtained through naturalization.

Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Lin Li-chan (林麗蟬) said at a press conference that in recent years, several new immigrants married to Taiwanese people have been forced to divorce after their Taiwanese spouses reported their unions as being marriages of convenience, leading them to lose their Taiwan citizenship.

This is because the Nationality Act allows the government to revoke a naturalized citizen's Taiwanese citizenship at any time, regardless of how long the person has held it, if the person is found by the court to have engaged in fraudulent marriage or adoption, Lin said.

Taking advantage of this provision in the law, there are several instances in which Taiwanese spouses have threatened to report their marriages to immigrants as fake, following hostile breakups, she said.

The law is in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, according to Lin.

She called for amendments to the Nationality Act and to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area to remove the stipulations governing the revocation of an immigrant's citizenship obtained through naturalization.

Rather, if a person is found to have procured naturalization unlawfully by providing fake application documents, then the person should be subject to penalties under the Criminal Code or other laws, Lin suggested.

According to the law, immigrants to Taiwan have to give up their original nationality to obtain Taiwanese citizenship, said Liao Yuan-hao (廖元豪), an associate professor at National Chengchi University, adding that if their Taiwanese citizenship is revoked, they become stateless.

Liao also proposed that the law should be amended to allow immigrants to restore their original nationality before having their Taiwanese citizenship revoked.

(By Wang Cheng-chung and Evelyn Kao)