What Kind of Country Does Taiwan Want To Be?The News Lens Feature
Because of its Covid-19 success, Taiwan is on the radar of so many seeking to relocate. Taiwan’s government, too, is interested in drawing more immigrants to the country with programs like the Employment Gold Card. Yet barriers to a fair and just system remain, like low wages and bureaucratic processes. The most glaring of all is the inhumane treatment of migrant workers from Southeast Asia. This series introduces and evaluates recent reforms — and calls attention to the question at the root of immigration debates: What kind of country does Taiwan want to be?
Table of contents
Taiwan has had a labor brokerage system for migrant workers in place for around three decades, but calls are mounting for the government to replace it with a direct-hire scheme. How should Taiwan do it?
There are 800,000 Southeast Asian migrant workers in Taiwan doing the jobs locals don’t want or aspire to. They deserve equal rights.
If Taiwan does not want to be seen simply as a “Chinese democracy,” giving a permanent stake in society to those who migrated from other parts of the world is an important step towards shedding that label.
Ultimately, the decision to permit dual nationality comes down to whether Taiwan is an ethnic national state like Japan or a country based on shared values like the United States or France.