DHS Agrees To Drop “China (Taiwan)” Reference From I-94 Documents And Global Entry Program At Urging Of Rep. Howard Berman

Responding to a recent letter from Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA), ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) this week announced its decision to correct references to Taiwan on Form I-94 documents issued to Taiwanese visitors entering the United States, and during the application process of the Global Entry Program.

On June 19, 2012 Berman wrote to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano asking that I-94 documents issued by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to Taiwanese visitors entering the United States list their country of citizenship as Taiwan, rather than “China (Taiwan).”  The letter noted: “It has been a long-standing U.S. policy that the U.S. government refers to Taiwan as ‘Taiwan.’  This designation is employed by the Department of State, the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.”

In a letter to Berman dated July 17, 2012, Assistant Commissioner Michael Yeager of CBP’s Office of Congressional Affairs stated:  “CBP has looked into and corrected this matter. Henceforth, persons presenting Taiwanese passports will have their country of citizenship listed and recorded as “Taiwan” on their respective Form I-94 and the Global Entry Program application process will refer to “Taiwan.”

The issue was brought to FAPA’s attention by members in New York who discovered that their Taiwanese relatives were issued Form I-94 documents that referred to their country of citizenship as “China (Taiwan)” when crossing over the Canadian border into the United States at Niagara Falls.  Other FAPA members found their country of birth listed as “Taiwan (Province of China)” when applying to CBP’s Global Entry Program in Orlando, FL.

In a press release, Berman thanked CBP for recognizing that a correction needed to be made, saying: “This is about fairness and today is a victory for the entire Taiwanese community.”  He added: “It is an indignity to force Taiwanese citizens to list anything other than Taiwan on their U.S. entry documents, and together we righted this unfortunate wrong.”

On April 30, 2012, Rep. Howard Berman also wrote to California Secretary of State Debra L. Bowen, urging her to correct the reference to Taiwan as “Taiwan, Province of China” in the state’s online voter registration system.  The state of California fixed the problem within the week, enabling Taiwanese Americans in California to list their country of birth as “Taiwan” when registering to vote.

In 1994, Rep. Berman was the primary force behind legislation allowing for Taiwanese Americans to list “Taiwan” in their American passports instead of “China.”

FAPA President Mark Kao, PhD states: “We are very grateful for Congressman Berman’s steadfast efforts over the past 20 years to ensure that the official U.S. policy regarding Taiwan’s name is faithfully applied by all U.S. government agencies.”  Dr. Kao concludes: “He has safeguarded the dignity and identity of Taiwanese Americans and of the people of Taiwan.”

 

美國國土安全部同意回應柏曼議員之呼籲,修正I-94入境卡及「全球自動通關計畫」上對台灣的錯誤稱謂

華府訊─美國國土安全局於本週宣佈決議修改發給入境美國之台灣旅客的I-94入境卡及「全球自動通關計畫」中對台灣的錯誤稱謂,以回應日前眾議院外交事務委員會副主席─加州共和黨眾議員柏曼(Howard Berman)日前之要求信函。

柏曼議員於六月十九日致函國土安全部部長拿坡莉塔諾(Janet Napolitano),要求該部轄下「海關及邊境保衛局」(CBP)發給入境美國之台灣旅客的I-94入境卡上需將其國籍列為「台灣」而非「中國台灣」。該信函中表示:「美國政府長久以來的政策一直將台灣稱之為『台灣』。美國國務院、國防部,及其他聯邦機構皆沿用此稱謂原則。」

該局「國會事務處」助理處長葉格(Michael Yeager)於七月十七日回函柏曼議員:「本局已調查並修正台灣國籍。此後,簽發予持台灣護照人士之I-94入境卡上所註明之國籍將列為『台灣』。『全球自動通關計畫』之申請手續中亦會將其註明為『台灣』。」

此事源起於台灣人公共事務會紐約分會會員之親屬從加拿大尼加拉瀑布入境美國時,赫見其I-94入境卡上將台灣列為「中國台灣」。另有其他會員在佛州奧蘭多申請CBP之「全球自動通關計畫」時發現該系統將其出生地列為「中國台灣省」。

在一新聞稿中,柏曼議員向CBP致意,感謝該局同意修正該錯誤。柏曼議員談道:「此事關公平原則。今天是整個台灣人社區的勝利。」他並表示:「強迫台灣國民必須在入境美國之文件上將其國籍列為『台灣』以外之稱謂都是有辱尊嚴的。今天我們一起改正了這項錯誤。」

柏曼議員曾於今年四月三十日致函加州州務卿包雯(Debra L. Bowen),呼籲其更正加州選舉註冊系統上將台灣列為「中國台灣省」之錯誤。加州當局於一週內即修正該錯誤,讓當地台美人得以將其出生地列為「台灣」。

早於1994年,柏曼眾議員便已是推動立法允許台美人在其美國護照上將出生地列為「台灣」而非「中國」的強力推手。

台灣人公共事務會會長高龍榮博士表示:「我們很感謝柏曼議員過去二十多年來的堅定,努力確保各美國政府機構有確實執行美國對台的稱謂原則。他保障了台美人和台灣人的尊嚴和認同。」

 

*          *          *

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 20, 2012

 

CONTACT: Adam Sharon

Adam.Sharon@mail.house.gov

202.225.8110

 

Homeland Security Department Agrees to Berman Request Changing I-94 Customs Document Reflecting Taiwan as Country of Citizenship, Not China (Taiwan)

Berman: “This is about fairness and today is a victory for the entire Taiwanese community.”

On June 19, Berman wrote U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, asking that I-94 documents issued by Customs and Border Protection to Taiwanese citizens entering the United States list their country of citizenship as Taiwan, rather than China (Taiwan).

Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, welcomed the decision by the Department of Homeland Security allowing Taiwanese citizens entering the United States to list Taiwan as their country of citizenship rather than China (Taiwan) on their Form I-94 and in the Global Entry Program.

Rep. Berman (D-CA) thanked Secretary Napolitano, her staff, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their dedicated effort on this issue, and for recognizing that a correction needed to be made.

“This is about fairness and today is a victory for the entire Taiwanese community,” said Berman. “It is an indignity to force Taiwanese citizens to list anything other than Taiwan on their U.S. entry documents, and together we righted this unfortunate wrong.”

On June 19, Berman wrote U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and asked: “It has been a long-standing U.S. policy that the U.S. government refers to Taiwan as ‘Taiwan’… Many Taiwanese citizens travel across our borders every day. These individuals should not be required to sign their name under an inaccurate statement in an official government document.”

A longtime champion on this issue, Rep. Berman passed legislation allowing Taiwanese-Americans to have “Taiwan” recorded as their birthplace on their American passports. Berman authored H.R. 5034 along with then Rep. Olympia Snow (R-ME) in September 1994 providing the U.S. Secretary of State the authority to write Taiwan as the place of birth in a passport when requested by the applicant who was born there. The bill passed and was signed into law. Until then, “China” had been listed as the birthplace for Taiwanese Americans.

In May, Rep. Berman wrote to California Secretary of State Debra Bowen requesting that the California state government change its online voter registration system to allow Taiwanese-Americans to list “Taiwan” as their country of birth, rather than “Taiwan, Province of China.” Less than a week after Rep. Berman sent the letter, the California state government changed its online voter registration system.

(July 20, 2012) DHS Agrees To Drop “China (Taiwan)” Reference From I-94 Documents And Global Entry Program At Urging Of Rep. Howard Berman / 美國國土安全部同意回應柏曼議員之呼籲,修正I-94入境卡及「全球自動通關計畫」上對台灣的錯誤稱謂