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President helps stateless Indonesian girl obtain ROC nationality

President helps stateless Indonesian girl obtain ROC nationality

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) A stateless sixth grader in northern Taiwan's Hsinchu County born to illegal immigrants from Indonesia, has finally secured Republic of China nationality with help from President Ma Ying-jeou.
Hsinchu Magistrate Chiu Ching-chun personally presented Huang Shih-han with her brand-new ROC identification card at the population administration department of the county's Singong township office Thursday.
Shih-han has been in the custody of her Indonesian "aunt" Hsu Ju-ya, who was married to a Taiwanese man more than 20 years ago, since her parents were repatriated in 1997.
As her birth certificate identified her parents as Indonesians, the 13-year-old girl has been unable to obtain a national ID card.
At Hsu's request, Fuhing Elementary School in Hsinchu County agreed to admit her when she turned 7 and the school then sought the help of the county government to help Shih-han obtain an ID card to qualify for formal admission to the school and national health insurance coverage.
Over the past five years, the county government repeatedly asked the Ministry of the Interior to help resolve the issue, but to no avail.
As Shih-han will soon graduate from elementary school, she wrote to President Ma Ying-jeou early this year seeking his help.
She wrote in the letter: "... Without an ID card, I cannot see a doctor and have to buy drugs from stores when I am sick and I will be unable to enter junior high school... Mr. President, can you help me? If I can get an ID card, I will definitely study hard to return your kind-hearted help." The letter must have moved the president, as the National Immigration Agency's (NIA's) Hsinchu branch received in March a notice from the Ministry of the Interior instructing it to give the best possible assistance to Shih-han.
The branch first asked Indonesia's representative office in Taipei to issue a certificate proving that Shih-han is not an Indonesian citizen so that she could apply for residency in Taiwan as a stateless person.
After that, the NIA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued to trace Shih-han's parents, but discovered that the names her parents' used were fake, so that they could not be found.
According to Taiwan's nationality Act, a locally born child with unknown parents can apply to become a citizen.
The MOI notified the Hsinchu county government earlier this month suggesting that Shih-han's aunt complete her adoption, and with the adoption procedures, the girl was able to get an ROC ID card.
According to MOI officials, there are 38 more cases similar to Shih-han's pending resolution.
"We plan to invite officials from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and local governments to address them on a case-by-case basis," said MOI official said.
(By Sofia Wu)




Updated : 2021-05-19 05:57 GMT+08:00