Most of the time I love Korea. Sometimes, though, things make me want to hit my head against a brick wall.
Please find the logic disconnect (from an article in The Korea Times), October 23rd, 2009:
Title: Foreign Pedophiles to Face Permanent Deportation
By Park Si-soo
The Ministry of Justice said Thursday it will revise immigration rules to ban foreigners found guilty of raping Korean children from re-entering Korea permanently.
This is the latest in a series of government measures to keep sexual predators away from society.
If endorsed, it will become the toughest discipline against foreign rapists. The plan was made public during a parliamentary inspection of the ministry held in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province.
The government has announced a package of measures against sex offenders after the Supreme Court upheld a lower-than-expected prison term handed down to Cho Doo-soon, a 57-year-old man convicted of kidnapping and brutally raping a nine-year-old girl.
Cho, given a 12-year-term, is now in prison for class-A criminals in North Gyeongsang Province. The victim, widely known by her alias Na-young, suffered incurable physical and mental damage.
In the inspection, Rep. Lee Joo-young of the ruling Grand National Party urged the ministry to tighten the rule on E-2 visa issuance, arguing it’s so lax that many convicted foreigners attempt to cross borders with legal residential status. The legislator did not disclose the exact number of foreigners caught for the violation.
Under the law, E-2 visa applicants are mandated to submit records on their criminal histories and health checkups particularly on AIDS and drug use, which are issued by their country of origin.
But the legislator said it still falls short of thoroughly screening out the entry of rogue foreign nationals.
“Many foreigners have been caught attempting to pass through the immigration process with forged documents, indicating rules should be intensified further,” Lee said.
In a related move, lawmakers are making bipartisan efforts to establish tougher punishment against such criminals.
Earlier this month, a group of lawmakers of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) proposed a bill, which will make it impossible to reduce the punishment of sex offenders on the grounds that they were drunk at the time of the crime and thus unable to make sound judgment.
It also aims at removing the statute of limitations on rape cases. At present, it ranges from one to 25 years depending on the seriousness of the crime.
The ruling Grand National Party is also fueling the amendment attempt. Rep. Ahn Sang-soo, floor leader of the ruling party, has urged party members to collaborate to revise the law.
Here’s a hint in case you didn’t find it. Cho Doo-soon, the man who raped the Korean child (and who I agree needs a much stricter sentence; it’s ridiculous, he only got 12 years) is a KOREAN MAN. Yet the article talks about foreign pedophiles and making E2 visas harder to get. E2 visas are for foreign language teachers. You already need a criminal check and a health check (drugs, AIDS) test and a college degree. Can someone explain to me how stricter rules on E2 visas are going to stop Korean men from raping kids? HEAD -> WALL.
For the record, I think that ANYONE (foreign or not) who is raping kids, (Korean or not) needs very strict punishment. I just also have never heard of ONE case of a foreigner (E2 visa or not) who was convicted of raping Korean children. The closest thing was CPN who was teaching in Korea (not on an E2 visa, though) and got arrested for pedophilia in Thailand. That was why E2 visas needed criminal checks etc. starting a couple of years ago. The irony that he was not on an E2 visa and that he had previously had a clean criminal records check anyway was completely lost on anyone who had a say in the visa regulations. I think it’s good anyway, but I wish that Korea kept better records so I didn’t have to submit things every year I want to work here. I haven’t been back to Canada since I came here in Feb, you’d think that maybe they would just require a Korean criminal records check? Or how about not having to prove your degree is legit every year (in case, you know, I UNgradutate or something). So I really hope they don’t make E2 visas even more difficult to get, because it’s just going to be a lot more hoop jumping for me with no actual change where it really counts.