Friday, May 16, 2014

Ma's green card again

The green card issue resurfaced this week with a Next Magazine story on President Ma. The officially unofficial US representative office in Taipei, AIT, quickly provided a letter saying that Ma had indeed formally renounced his green card. You can read the sordid unimportant details here.

The interesting thing about the green card issue is how deep and visceral it is for Taiwanese now, unlike during the election in 2008 when Frank Hsieh first launched that claim. I've been hearing remarks on it all week, from one-liners ("Oh, you're a US citizen? Just like our president!") to treatises. It's not normal to hear unprompted political remarks, especially from strangers, and yet I have. It is obvious that the green card issue taps a deep vein of anger. A restaurant owner defined it today as we chatted in Hualien, saying that it is so wrong that Ma can make a mess of Taiwan and then simply run off to the US, leaving everyone here holding the bag.... ordinary people deeply resent the fact that Taiwan's rulers have a bolt-hole while they must suffer, and Ma's alleged green card symbolizes that.
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TaiwanJunkie said...

The DPP folks need to drop this. It detracts from a lot of truly legitimate complaints about the current administration. I would even say the KMT probably welcome a bit of this resurfacing so they can take a breather on the really pressing issues at hand.

Just reminds me of the whole Obama was born in Kenya thing.

Do Androids Dream said...

Now that the US has deigned to clear it up the issue will almost certainly be dropped.

Care to opine on why Ma let it go on without ever seeking written confirmation for his "automatic cancellation" explanation?

TaiwanJunkie said...

@Do Androids, this guy's daughters are US citizens. I'm sure eventually he'll want to reunite with them after he is out of office.

So then the question is if he wants US residency back, which would be easier? Having officially written renounciation of US permanent residence? Or simply had lapsed and therefore ineffective US permanent resident status?

I don't really know, but seems like the official renounciation would cause more problems down the line when he is old and would like to join his daughters in the US.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Ma threw this morsel out there to distract everyone from the renewed push to pass the trade deal in the LY.

Everyone knows the old DPPers find it irresistible. In America there are thousands of geriatric naturalized Taiwanese Americans eating this stuff up.

Anonymous said...

You can't just simply let your Green Card lapse with the hope of resuming residency in the U.S. later. There is what is called an SB-1 Returning Resident Visa, but in order to qualify, you must provide evidence of unbroken ties to the U.S. and that the reason you were unable to return to the States was due to circumstances beyond your control (illness, pregnancy, detention in a foreign country etc.).

There is also no such thing as officially renouncing your permanent residency in writing. Instead, there is a process by which the Green Card is surrendered in person to a U.S. embassy or consulate. Doing so would not affect Ma's ability to apply for permanent residency at some later point in time, but he would have to go through the immigrant visa process all over again.

Readin said...

I understand the Taiwanese reaction. I feel the same way about dual citizenship. Why should someone whose loyalty is divided between America and another country have as much of a vote as I do? Why not give them half a vote here and half a vote in their other country? If they get a full vote in both countries they have twice as much vote as I do and that hardly seems fair. This is especially true when I see so many of them voting in ways that I believe will harm my country in the long run. I and my children will be stuck here in the country they ruined while they and their children escape back to that place they claimed to have renounced loyalty to when they took their citizenship oath. I wish America would enforce that particular part of the oath and end dual citizenship.

Readin said...

If his daughters are in the America (I assume by US you mean USA not USM) then where does he see his future? More importantly, where is his family's future?

With Chinese threats, intimidation,and economic pressure, Taiwan is in mortal danger. If you were in mortal danger, say an aiplane on fire, who would you trust more to do everything in their power to save you, the controller in the tower or the pilot in the airplane with you? How much more so if the pilot's children are also on the plane?

I understand the practical considerations of Ma keeping a greencard, but even more understandable is the desire to have a leader in the same boat with you rather than a captain who is already abandoning ship.

les said...

I expect Matong is not going to be safe hanging on here in Taiwan after he sells it to China. Only a fool would expect no retribution after an act that vile. The US will give him his residency back as a reward for fixing the 'Taiwan problem' for them. I don't recall the wench herself (Soong Mei-ling) having to come up with much of an excuse to claim permanent residency in the US. Hell, she had enough money stashed away in NY banks to buy herself a seat in the Senate if she wanted one.

Anonymous said...

"I wish America would enforce that particular part of the oath and end dual citizenship."

Which part of what oath?

Readin said...

The part where the new citizen renounces loyalties to other coutries (have they removed that part?).

Of course you can enforce matters of the heart, but preventing dual citizenship is a more tractable matter. Even if someone comes from a country that doesn't offer a way to fornally end citizenship you can at least enforce rules against possessing a valid foreign passport.

Marc said...

Can't Mr. Ma's US family simply apply for a visa? Alternatively, could invest a certain number of $ and get a green a card. This is all red herring stuff anyway, isn't it?

peter chan said...

Mark Ma and his wife have green cards since 1974.

AIT has established since 1980, and Joseph has been de facto chairman since 2013. How they know this matter?

Shame on you Joseph