Thursday, November 23, 2017

My latest for Ketagalan Media: we need to raise awareness about immigration reform

I know I've beaten this topic to death, but I don't feel bad about that - as my latest piece for Ketagalan Media makes clear, a huge part of the problem is either a lack of awareness about or a misunderstanding of immigration laws in Taiwan. It's a common misconception that Taiwanese don't support dual nationality. Some don't, but generally speaking the issue is that they're not aware it's not already possible.

If there is one thing I want to drive home, it's this: my beef is with the double standard surrounding immigration laws.

When it comes to dual nationality alone, some countries allow it, and many don't. The key here is that those who do allow it for all, and those who don't allow it for none. Take China and Japan, for example. Those countries don't allow dual nationality either - few in Asia do. However, the same rule applies to those born as citizens of those countries just as it applies to those wishing to naturalize.

Some countries, such as Austria, only allow dual nationality under special circumstances. However, the law still applies to both born and naturalized citizens equally. Although it is unlikely that a naturalized Austrian may be granted leave to retain his or her original nationality, it is still theoretically possible, just as it is for a born Austrian.

The only other exception I can find is South Korea, and as I don't live there and the laws changed recently, rendering a lot of the information online outdated, I'm not even fully clear on that.

While I would not support Taiwan abolishing dual nationality for everyone, if they did so, at least I'd have no basis to complain about a double standard. The law would stink, but it would at least apply fairly to all people.

That, right there, is the crux of the problem, and that is what so few people understand.

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