Ma, Hsieh bicker over green card revocation process

DPP candidate criticizes rival for evading his question on issue, asks for an apology

The issue of whether opposition Kuomintang presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is still holding a valid "green card" took a new turn yesterday as Ma and his rival, Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), disagreed on how a green card holders could have their lawful U.S. permanent resident status revoked.
Ma said that U.S. immigration regulations have made it clear that filling out Form I-407 (Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status) was not the only way to give up a green card. He said the fact that he gave up his green card so many years ago made it unnecessary for him to renounce the card again.
In the first televised presidential debate held on Sunday, Hsieh kept pressing Ma on the green card issue, asking him whether he and his wife had been keeping U.S. permanent resident status until January 27. Ma responded by admitting he and his wife were once green card holders, but said they gave up their permanent resident status twenty years ago.
Hsieh yesterday criticized Ma for evading his questions and for lying and asked Ma to make an apology.
Hsieh said the U.S. is a country that safeguards human rights, and it is common sense that a loss of any rights will not happen automatically in the U.S. unless a court ruling says so or an application form is filed. He cited the example of Taipei County Magistrate Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋), who had renounced his green card by completing Form I-407.
Hsu Kuo-yung, a spokesman for Hsieh's camp, said yesterday that Ma had worked in the U.S. as a law intern and must have known that he needed to file an I-407 in order to surrender his green card. The fact that he finally admitted he did not sign an I-407 meant his green card had not been invalidated, Hsu said.
However, the argument of Hsieh's camp that Ma's green card is valid without a court ruling or abandonment by signing an I-407 might not be supported by the Code of Federal Regulations, which state that if an LPR remains out of the U.S. continuously for more than one year, the Department of Homeland Security takes the view that the residency has been abandoned.
In the eyes of the court, a person may lose LPR status even if they not renounce their residency by signing an I-407 or have a formal removal hearing to determine abandonment, the regulations state.`

Updated : 2021-03-03 13:42 GMT+08:00