Forbes reported that the immigration case involving Noriko Calderon is making Japan uneasy. I’m not sure if the reporter has any clue.
The facts of the case are very clear and cut-and-dried:
- The Calderons entered Japan illegally using forged passports.
- They stayed in Japan illegally, again without any proper documentation. They never made any effort to get visas or anything.
- They had a child (Noriko) in Japan.
- Japan does not automatically grant citizenship to people born in Japan. So as far as the Immigration Bureau is concerned, Noriko is not a Japanese citizen, despite her Japanese first name.
- Once the family got caught, the laws had to be applied to be fair to all law-abiding citizens and immigrants in Japan.
The Japanese immigration officials made several concessions and gave the family two options:
Choice A — the entire family returns to their home country.
Choice B — Noriko can stay in Japan and finish her education. She has a relative in Japan. But her parents must return to their home country. Usually deportees cannot return to Japan for five years, but the Ministry of Justice will waive the no-entry-for-five-years rule so that they can visit their daughter.
Some people seem to think that it’s totally unfair that the family gets deported. But the Japanese immigration laws are very clear on the consequences of entering the country illegally and/or overstaying your visa. I’m not sure why people, esp. foreigners, think that the government should let the entire family stay just because the couple had a child in Japan. The last thing Japan wants is a flood of illegal aliens entering Japan on forged passports and having kids so that they can all live in Japan.
Besides, the consequences of allowing the couple to stay and the implication of the decision would be felt everywhere in Japan, esp. for immigrants like me. Japan will most likely increase random ID checks for foreigners so that they can identify and deport illegal aliens as efficiently as possible. I may not even be able to deliver a baby in Japan unless I can prove to my doctors that I’m a lawful immigrant. Furthermore, since the Calderons came to Japan on fake passports, etc. it may take longer to pass through immigration & customs at the international airports and seaports. And the Immigration Bureau will take longer to issue visa renewals, etc. to legitimate immigrants because it may need to check every passport’s authenticity, etc.
All these things will increase the administrative cost, which will be passed on to Japanese citizens and legal immigrants via higher taxes and visa processing fees. The family was able to petition through numerous courts and legal due processes in Japan. Isn’t it about time they accept that they need to pay the price for their actions?