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The Necessity of Legislation for the Basic Law of New Immigrants
New Immigrant,the Basic Law of New Immigrants,New Immigrant Act,New Immigrant Affairs Committee,New Immigrant Development Fund,
|Publication Year :||2020|
As of December 2019, the population of New Immigrant population has surpassed 550,000 and has become the fifth-largest emerging ethnic group in Taiwan. At present, the legal regulations related to New Immigrants in Taiwan are divided according to the original nationality, and the issues and responsibilities are scattered among different ministries and commissions because of the different laws that apply. In addition, many issues related to New Immigrants (such as the “New Immigrant Development Fund” and the “New Immigrant Civil Affairs Coordination Committee”) are also controversial due to the lack of a formal legal basis. In view of this, Lin Li-Chan, who was still a legislator at the time, and others proposed to enact the “Basic Law of New Immigrants” in 2017. It is expected that this law will implement the rights of equality mentioned in the Constitution and multiculturalism, and enhance the protection of the related rights of New Immigrants.
Although the draft of the “Basic Law of New Immigrants” was submitted to the Legislative Yuan's Internal Administration Committee for review in October 2017, there has been no further development since then. In this regard, this paper uses literature analysis and interview research to collect relevant research data to synthesize the current situation of New Immigrants in Taiwan and to analyze and explore whether there is a need for the “Basic Law of New Immigrants” in Taiwan. This paper has three purposes. One of them is to understand the origin, background, and demands of the stakeholders of the draft “Basic Law of New Immigrants”. In addition, we will summarize the main points of the draft legislation and evaluate the usefulness of the “Basic Law of New Immigrants” by reviewing and comparing the existing regulations in Taiwan. Thirdly, based on the results of this paper, we will propose feasible suggestions for the future direction of the “Basic Law of New Immigrants”.
This research examines each of the major points revealed in the provisions of the draft “Basic Law of New Immigrants”, and further divides the effects of the provisions of the draft “Basic Law of New Immigrants” into “declarative functions” and “substantive functions”. The declarative function of the draft “Basic Law of New Immigrants” includes the three main points of the draft law, such as “defining the purpose of the legislation and the scope of protection”, “how to protect the cultural development and exchanges of new immigrants”, and “protecting the related important rights of new immigrants'. The main purpose of the draft is to declare the meaning of the law and it is not mandatory. The content of the substantive functions is more likely to bring about substantive changes to the current system in Taiwan, and will focus on the necessity of the establishment of the “New Immigrant Affairs Committee”, a specialized institute for New Immigrants, and the effectiveness of the “New Immigrant Development Fund” and other related issues.
In terms of the declarative function of the draft, the current lack of a specific definition of the term “New Immigrants” makes it difficult for many issues related to them to enter the policy agenda. The draft “Basic Law of New Immigrants” will help to clarify the position of new immigrants by regulating the target population. In the area of cultural development and related rights and interests, the current legal effect of the draft provisions is relatively weaker. It would be more meaningful if it were to specify the specific manner in which it will be implemented, set minimum protection for some of the regulations, or establish relevant penalties.
As for the substantive functions of the draft, the establishment of a dedicated agency for new immigrants will help strengthen the coordination and planning of policies related to New Immigrants, but it is not easy to establish a new agency due to the legal regulation of the Executive Yuan's organizational transformation. On the other hand, giving legal protection to the New Immigrants Development Fund is also helpful to maintain the stability of financial resources.
With the growing problem of the low birth rate in our country, the energy of the New Immigrants may become one of the future goals of our population policy. The enactment of the “Basic Law of New Immigrants” (or a special law with a similar concept) is necessary to protect the development of new immigrants, but it cannot be achieved in a timely manner. This research suggests that, in terms of maintaining the rights and interests of the New Immigrants, the first priority should be to amend the existing laws and regulations, and to establish a specific source of funding for the New Immigrant Development Fund, and to complete the protection of funding sources. In terms of inter-ministerial policy coordination, it is suggested that the task force can be used to plan the related business and strengthen the function of the New Immigrant Development Fund management committee under the current system. In addition, there is a need for continued attention and proper protection in the areas of public participation opportunities for New Immigrants, elderly care, and the development of rural areas.
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