(KTSF by Lynne Ku)
The issue of diplomatic immunity between the US and Taiwan has been raised in the case of Jacqueline Liu, the director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Kansas City. Jacqueline Liu was detained by a US federal court on labor fraud charges. She was arrested by FBI on Nov. 10th on charges of violating U.S. labor laws by allegedly forcing her Filipina housekeeper to work long hours and paying her far less than the amount promised in her employment contract.
The Taiwan government protested this since Liu was arrested and had asked the US government to release her for immunity. However, the U.S. State Department says Liu enjoys diplomatic immunity only when she works in the official capacity for TECO.
David Sheen, a local attorney in the Bay Area studied this case and shared his perspective on diplomatic immunity. Liu does not hold an A-1 visa, which is strictly reserved for diplomats of countries officially recognized by the U.S. Instead she holds an E-1 diplomat visa, which is held by Taiwanese representatives that was created especially for Taiwan. The attorney says there is a grey area between A-1 and E-1 and it will be the key to this case.
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