Honour wrote: I don't understand how other foreigners (at least I think are foreigners) could be so judgemental and harsh on someone that basically just arrived.
I don't see anybody who is being judgemental of the fact that he had just arrived. What happened to him could easily happen to someone who had been living in Taiwan for years. I have been here for years and I have always paid attention to the laws and regulations but despite this even I was unaware of what seems to be a recent change in procedures that now makes it illegal to work prior to receiving your work permit. No one expects everyone to know everything, but the more that we each know and the more that we share this knowledge, the better off that we will be as a group.
Honour wrote: Are they trying to say that they have full access to the laws and can exercise their every right on the spot? Without a fight?
I am not sure which poster you are referring to but in my case I believe that a knowledge of the legislation can be a good friend to have. I certainly don't see that a lack of knowledge of the legislation can be helpful and therefore discussion of the relevant legislation is very pertinent.
Does it help people who have already been deported? Of course not. That is not the aim. The aim is to let foreign teachers faced with similar circumstances in the future.
Can your rights be exercised on the spot? Yes of course, but you have to judge for yourself how you exercise these rights. I don't agree with the suggestion that you should refuse to sign anything! I believe that this is disrespectful of the authorities and is not likely to make things any easier for you. Your embassy is unlikely to be able to, nor want to, help you as you were afterall working illegally. Therefore my suggestion is that you write your own statement in English on the form that they give you stating something along the lines of 'I am being asked to sign this form without adequate translation and therefore I am unaware of it's content. I am however being coerced into signing my name so I am signing that what I write here is a true and correct. (Sign and date what you wrote not the form).'
Honour wrote: Phillipe, have you considered talking to your local rep at home? Tell them what's happening to foreigners in Taiwan. Maybe see how they repond? Give it a try, it can't make things any worse, and it might stop those nightmares.
I really don't see that there would be any interest from them, nor that they could really do anything to help. The fact is that the reason you are sitting in that room and being asked to sign the document is because you were caught working illegally - whether you knew it or not. Ignorance is no defence from the law and I believe that if you were honest when telling your story to the rep back home they would be equally honest in saying that as you were working outside of the laws of Taiwan that the laws of Taiwan cannot be used to protect you.
I think that what happened to Phillipe sucks for him, but it is not the fault of the authorities. Sure it would make things a hell of a lot easier if the authorities were consistent in their enforcement of the laws here and hopefully this is what will come out of all of this.
Eric W. Lier wrote: Taiwan's laws and procedures are designed to prohibit residents that are being deported from being able to defend themselves before the extra judicial sentencing is carried out.
In this case 2 weeks to get out or go to jail.
This is incorrect.
You can appeal a deportation order and in most cases this appeal will be heard. You can then apply to the CLA and BOCA for an extension of your visa and other documents until your appeal has been heard. Many foreigners have done this now so there is clear evidence that the government understands and is supportive in this regard.
To my knowledge however no foreign teacher has ever successfully appealed a deportation order based upon being caught working illegally so you should probably have your bags packed if you find yourself in this position.
My question to those considering an appeal is, 'What are the grounds for your appeal?' Assuming of course that you were in fact working illegally - whether you knew it or not. This is an important question to address before you consider appealing. Telling them that you didn't know you were working illegally is probably not going to help you a lot. If you were misled by a school into believing that you were working legally, and you could somehow show intent on behalf of the school to mislead you (maybe an email from them stating that your work permit was being processed, or an email stating that the ARC that they have given you entitles you to work legally for their school even though it is issued in the name of another school), then you may have a case. It seems to me that this would be the only legitimate defence if you were caught working illegally.