A US citizen’s life in Taiwan turned into a legal nightmare after government agencies said he had worked illegally for the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy for years
A foreign national and single father to a Taiwanese son is facing deportation for allegedly working illegally for the government-linked Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) in a case that raises questions over how the government handled the case.
The problems for Ben Hlavaty, a US citizen, began when he and his Taiwanese spouse divorced in May 2008. Until then, Hlavaty had an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) through his marriage and did not need a work permit to work at the TFD, his employer since December 2007, when the Democratic Progressive Party was in power.
Aware that following his divorce his ARC would only be valid until Oct. 25 that year, Hlavaty informed his employer that if they wished him to continue working for them, TFD would have to help him apply for a work permit. The foundation subsequently contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), which founded the TFD in 2002, and asked it to assist Hlavaty.
For a while, it looked like Hlavaty would be able to continue working in Taiwan and provide for his son. Then there was a change in government in 2008, and nothing would ever be the same...
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.