A coalition of Asian Americans groups has written an open letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting a meeting and expressing concerns over his Congressional testimony connecting Chinese students on U.S. campuses to a national security threat.
On February 13, Wray testifying before the Senate intelligence committee warned that Chinese spies were embedded in the American university system.
His remarks were wide sweeping pointing suspicion at professors, scientists and students.
The letter signed by 14 groups stated “many of our constituents were shocked, with feelings of both anger and sadness, that anyone would suggest they were a threat to all of American society. Thus we would like an opportunity to discuss how well-intentioned public policies might nonetheless lead to troubling issues of potential bias, racial profiling, and wrongful prosecution.”
Racial profiling has been a major concern in the Asian American community with the arrests of several professors and scientists including Sherry Chen of the National Weather Service and Professor Xiaoxing Xi of Temple University. Charges were eventually dropped against Xi. Chen was fired from her federal job and is currently challenging her dismissal.
“Our goal is to ensure that in discharging the FBI’s duties, the agency is aware of the many millions of innocent, law-abiding, and patriotic Asian Americans, in particular Chinese Americans, who are affected directly or indirectly by its actions and statements,” the letter continued. “No doubt you are familiar with the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, two-thirds U.S. citizens, for which Presidents of both parties have apologized and Congress issued redress. We would like to avoid such a situation in the future. Ongoing dialogue is crucial.”
The letter was signed by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association, Asian Services in Action, Chinese American Citizens Alliance, Committee of 100, Council of Korean Americans, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Japanese American Citizens League, OCA – Asian American Advocates, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, United Chinese Americans and Asian American Advancing Justice in both Los Angeles and Washington, DC.
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