Send a letter to your Member of Congress - Take Action Against the Racial Profiling of Asian Americans and Asian Immigrants and Call for an End to the Justice Department’s “China Initiative”

In recent years, the U.S. government has greatly increased the targeting and racial profiling of Asian Americans and Asian immigrants, particularly those of Chinese descent, who are working in science and technology. Under great pressure by former President Donald Trump, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions launched the “China Initiative” in November 2018 to target people engaged in economic espionage for the Chinese government.

However, many of the investigations and prosecutions under this initiative are not based upon evidence of economic espionage but on racial bias against Asian Americans. Even after finding no evidence of espionage, federal prosecutors are charging many Asian Americans and Asian immigrants with federal crimes based on administrative errors or minor offenses and other activities (e.g., failing to disclose information to universities/research institutions) under the pretext of combating economic espionage.

In addition, federal agencies such as the FBI and the NIH have sent mass communications to academic institutions implicitly encouraging staff to treat Asian American scientists and researchers as suspects. This practice has led to discriminatory investigations of scientists, researchers, and scholars of Chinese descent. Matters such as nondisclosures were previously handled by universities as part of the administrative process but are now being criminalized, resulting in ruined careers and lives in shambles.

The recent targeting and profiling of Asian American and Asian immigrant scientists follow a long history of criminalizing immigrants and treating Asian Americans as “perpetual foreigners.” From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII, to the targeting of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities post-9/11, Asian American and immigrant communities have been repeatedly scapegoated and targeted based on their race, ethnicity, or ancestry. In response to increasing concerns from our communities, we are calling for a stop in the criminalization of Asian Americans and Asian immigrants in this country and recreate an inclusive, welcoming environment that embraces diversity.

Please contact your Member of Congress and ask them to take action to end this racial profiling and criminalization by the federal government. Please personalize your message if possible.

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