The News Lens
Date: 2016 / 05 / 17
By: Edward White
Advocates in Taiwan are hopeful of reforming what they call “absurd” marriage migrant laws despite entrenched discrimination against women from Southeast Asia on the island.
Liang Tsu-ying (梁組盈) is executive secretary of the TransAsia Sisters Association, Taiwan
(TASAT). She says flaws in the current immigration system mean that the tens of thousands of women who have immigrated to Taiwan from Southeast Asia often lack basic rights, face being ostracized from their children in Taiwan or are unable to return to their home country.
TASAT is part of a wider group of NGOs and academics which have for several years called for changes to legislation – namely the Nationality and Immigration Acts. The advocates are now anticipating lobbying to be more successful with Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) taking power from the Kuomintang (KMT) and the greater number of independent lawmakers now in office.
“Now it is majority DPP, they are a little bit more friendly than KMT towards married migrants,” Liang told The News Lens. “There are some long-term NGO-friendly partners there. So we are more positive than before.”
Changing mindsets difficult
Whilst being optimistic for change, Liang remains cautious given her view that the “the majority” of the main political parties “and the majority of the Taiwanese society” have not previously been open to allowing an easy path for foreigners to become Taiwanese.
“Their mindset is: Taiwan is a small island with limited resources, so foreigners will take our jobs and drain our resources.” [FULL STORY]