Special Meeting

special meeting

Lee Sang-jae (Education and Public Relations Team Leader)

The woman and the man met again in the visiting room of the foreigner detention center after 5 days. The man raises his right hand towards her face. Instead of the woman’s face that smoked sweet like a ripe mango, a hard transparent plastic wall blocks her dream path. The woman, who had been glancing at the guard, leaned her head toward the man’s fumbling hand. Close your eyes. The woman’s face seeps into the man’s palm. The watchers, who were urging them to meet while looking at the watch, also stop moving. 
  ‘Time is up.’ 
The woman’s face bounces off the wall, and the man hurriedly talks about what the woman has to do outside, as if he had just remembered, and turns around. The woman just nodded her head, unable to get past the story she wanted to tell through the wall. This is the third separation between a man and a woman.

Man’s story
Man is from Bangladesh. I came to Korea as an industrial trainee six years ago. Men also experienced the repertoire that comes to mind when they think of industrial trainees, such as high entry fees, non-payment of the minimum wage, non-payment of wages, and assaults at the workplace, and became unregistered resident. But the man had another reason to stay in Korea.
The president changed and the crackdown increased. The new president has called for zero illegal stay. It sounded unrealistic to wipe out the living people, but the man was more careful than ever. There were many places to come to play because of its good fit, but on days off, I did not leave the room and spent time holding my breath. I thought that if I spent time like that, the new president would see reality right away, just like before. However, contrary to the man’s wish, as the days got hotter, the crackdown became more severe. The number of friends stored on the man’s phone has decreased significantly. 
It was a very hot August. While cooking in the kitchen, I heard the news of a ‘massive amnesty’ in the ears of a man. Gladly, I called a Korean I knew and asked what the news was. It was embarrassing. Forgives the sins of those who literally commit crimes, beat people, cheat, and work all night in front of a machine that heats up to 270 degrees on this hot summer day, and we are never forgiven. I wondered if the president knew the meaning of the words forgiveness and apology.

A woman’s story The
woman’s hometown is Java, Indonesia. I came to Korea 5 years ago. At the end of the three-year industrial trainee life, there is a system that allows you to work again for three years after re-entry, so you are still working with a visa. 
It was the evening of the 27th of August. When the woman returned home from overtime, the door was open and no one was to be seen, her hands trembled with an ominous feeling. I called to see if I had gone to the local supermarket. A bell rang outside the door. I am crying alone on the ground without an owner. I woke up the next day and got a call. The bad foreboding is exactly what the immigration office guard room is. What should I do now?

Again, it
was a Wednesday with no overtime work. I got home early and was showering in the kitchen. It was noisy outside, so I looked out the window and saw strangers entering the house in front of me and knocking on the door of each room. It was a crackdown. I hurriedly got my clothes on and crossed the back wall. I came out of the alley and said I was relieved, but a big bus stopped in front of me. An immigration officer put the man on the bus and handcuffed him. There was neither a cell phone nor a wallet in the pocket. At the man’s plea that he had someone to contact, the members of the enforcement team repeated only the words ‘later’.
The man couldn’t sleep all night thinking about the woman who would be spending a scary and lonely time alone. It was only the next day that I was able to contact them with the help of a Filipino who was also arrested. and was investigated. “I have a wife in Korea, so I have to go out again,” the man told the staff conducting the investigation. ‘Is your wife Korean?’ asked the staff. In response to the answer ‘no’, the employee went away as if annoyed. Family is only allowed for Koreans. What should I do now?

talk to the girl again
A woman and a man first met at a Chinese restaurant in Singapore eight years ago. Both men and women worked as waiters at the restaurant. The day he had to end his migrant labor in Singapore, a man proposed to a woman. And the first parting. After three months, an Indonesian man came to visit a woman. It wasn’t an easy marriage. And the second parting. The man and woman met again in Korea a year later. Korea was the hope of a reality that neither Indonesia nor Bangladesh could be comfortable with.
The woman had a foreboding of a situation like today from the moment the man’s visa expired. However, not only women but also men did not talk about what to do in such a case in advance. It must have been because of the fear that it would become a reality the moment we talked. 
The woman wanted to stroke the man who wept at the unplanned parting. So, I applied for a special visit instead of the regular meeting where I had to meet through a wall. However, the Immigration Office staff said that special visits were only possible for consuls, lawyers, and employees of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea. The woman could not understand. Now, there was no one more special to this man than him. Has a man committed such a great sin that he cannot hold hands with his wife of eight years? I begged, but with a single word, ‘Where are there one or two such people?’ the immigration office staff turned around.
After the visit, the woman turned and looked at the man entering the room, whispering ‘See you soon’ instead of ‘Goodbye’.

companion story
It was said that love has no borders. But the reality is just the opposite. The only things without borders are nature and money. The current Immigration Control Act closes its eyes to love and human rights to create a higher border for poor and persecuted migrants. The act of restraining the human body is an important task that determines one’s life.
Therefore, the Constitution stipulates the warrant principle to be based on the law and to abide by the procedures. However, there is no warrant for enforcement, protection, and deportation procedures for undocumented immigrants. There is only the ruthless execution by the enforcement officers. According to the Ministry of Justice Immigration Office, if they are criminals, the request of the parties to operate a system of detention or remedies according to the legal procedure is taken as administrative treatment rather than punishment for the offender. And instead of detention or restraint, the word protection is being used blindly.
On the other hand, the request of the family to pat her face like a woman’s plea is rejected on the basis of restrictions on the basic rights of criminals. It would be enough if only one more person could be expelled from this land at our convenience without any principle. We clearly saw the end of the current compulsory enforcement and deportation, which is being driven to extremes by allocating the number of heads of deportation by region, in the fire disaster at the Yeosu Foreigner Shelter last year. I even pretended to apologize when I read the Mad Soe Sutra. Will you always stop?

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