HomeCampusMIT president calls out Trump administration's crackdown on Chinese students and scholars

MIT president calls out Trump administration’s crackdown on Chinese students and scholars

InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

MIT President L. Rafael Reif calls it “heartbreaking” that the Trump administration is openly casting suspicion on Chinese students and scholars.

Reif penned an open letter to the campus community expressing his concern after hearing that Chinese students on campus feel ” unfairly scrutinized, stigmatized and on edge – because of their Chinese ethnicity alone.”

” Nothing could be further from – or more corrosive to ­– our community’s collaborative strength and open-hearted ideals,” Reif wrote. “To hear such reports from Chinese and Chinese American colleagues is heartbreaking. As scholars, teachers, mentors, inventors and entrepreneurs, they have been not only exemplary members of our community but exceptional contributors to American society. I am deeply troubled that they feel themselves repaid with generalized mistrust and disrespect.”

FBI officials have urged at least 10 universities to closely monitor Chinese on campus who may have connections to Chinese institutions and companies.

WBUR reports the letter from Reif follows similar concerns expressed by several groups of Chinese scientist in March. The Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America (SCBA), the Chinese American Hematologist and Oncologist Network (CAHON), and the Chinese Biological Investigators Society (CBIS) issued a joint letter saying “these developments have led to confusion, fear, and frustration among these highly dedicated professionals, who are in danger of being singled out for scapegoating, stereotyping, and racial profiling.”

Last month, AsAmNews reported that Yale’s president Peter Salovey called on the Trump administration to clarify what exactly it expects universities to do.

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