Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lo Mei-ling (羅美玲) yesterday launched a coalition to advocate rights protection and improved welfare programs for “new residents” of Taiwan, many of whom had acquired citizenship through marriage to a Taiwanese.
Lo said that she had received much help and support from across the political spectrum ahead of the inauguration of the Taiwanese New Immigrants’ Rights Advocacy Alliance of the Legislative Yuan.
Malaysia-born Lo said that the alliance is needed because the number of “new residents” had reached 560,000, or nearly 1 million when combined with their children who were born in Taiwan.
In coming together under the alliance, lawmakers across party lines see the benefits for Taiwan of working to promote international collaboration, commercial trade, and cultural and educational exchanges with the “home nations” of “new residents.”
Most of the “new Taiwanese citizens” come from Southeast Asian nations, especially Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
“We want ‘new residents’ who live in Taiwan to have security and happiness for their families, as they are the bridges for Taiwan to link with their home nations, becoming the advance guard for the government’s international diplomacy,” Lo said.
Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) in his address at the inauguration of the alliance said that issues affecting “new residents” are very important, and that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the Executive Yuan have implemented many beneficial policies “as our government wants ‘new residents’ to become a new force for Taiwan.”
“‘New residents’ coming to live in Taiwan become Taiwanese, and their children are the new Taiwanese children... I always remind officers in the immigration agency to treat them just like they are Taiwanese,” Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said.
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