Eased rules eyed for illegal aliens (Japan, Asahi)

Jean-Christophe Helary helary at eskimo.com
Thu Jan 27 18:16:21 PST 2000

If I remember well, the 21 are 5 single men and families with kids (either born or raised in Japan) They stayed in Japan for more than 8 years.

If you want more info, let me know, I'll put you in touch with a friend here who knows much more about the situation here and in France (where the 'sans-papier' movement started in 96-97).


JC Helary

ps for Angela : I have been awfully busy recently but I am still thinking of checking the legal rights of migrants here.


Eased rules eyed for illegal aliens

The Justice Ministry plans to give special residence permits for those who have raised children in Japan.

Asahi Shimbun

Justice Minister Hideo Usui will ease the criteria for granting special residence permits to foreigners who have overstayed their visas, ministry sources said Wednesday.

The decision stems from the Justice Ministry's review on the cases of 21 foreigners and their families who have been residing illegally in Japan. They filed petitions last September with immigration authorities, seeking the special residence permits.

The ministry will likely change its policies and grant the permits to those who have raised children in Japan and find it difficult to move back to their native country, the sources said.

Granting such permits falls under the authority of the justice minister. The ministry has not disclosed the current requirements for the permits because officials judge each case according to the situation, the sources said.

So far, the permits have only been issued to overstayers who are married to Japanese, or those who are looking after children born with a Japanese partner.

The only exception has been people who came to Japan from the Korean Peninsula just after the end of the World War II.

The 21 foreigners, many of whom are Iranian, turned themselves in at an immigration bureau despite the risk of deportation. They said that they could not return to their homeland because their children have been brought up in Japan. Others said they have illnesses that can only be treated here.

None of the foreigners met the ministry's traditional criteria for the special permits, the sources said.

The ministry will likely change its policies for the first time to grant the permits for foreigners whose children attend Japanese schools, the sources said.

The ministry has been reluctant to change its stance on fears that eased restrictions would encourage others to reside here illegally.

Critics have argued that illegal immigrants are not given the human rights they deserve even though they are used as cheap labor. ---------------------------------------------------------------

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