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Friday, July 19, 2019

CAPAC Members Applaud Successful Passage of Amendment to Address Racial Profiling of Chinese Americans

CAPAC Members Applaud Successful Passage of Amendment to Address Racial Profiling of Chinese Americans

Washington, DC —  Today the House voted 397-31 to pass H.R. 3494, the Damon Paul Nelson and Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) member Rep. Ed Case (HI-01) successfully added an amendment to the bill to address concerns of stereotyping, targeting and racial profiling of Chinese Americans. The amendment would require the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report to Congress on how current intelligence policies, procedures, and practices targeting the People’s Republic of China may also impact the privacy and civil liberties of Chinese Americans. CAPAC Members released the following statements:

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:

“I am pleased that Congressman Case’s amendment to address the profiling of Chinese Americans was included in the Intelligence Authorization Act passed today. While there is no doubt that we must take national security threats from foreign countries seriously, we must reject the flawed narrative that simply being of Chinese descent is grounds for suspicion. Such overly broad stereotyping, targeting and racial profiling is dangerous and runs contrary to the values of our nation.

“Unfortunately, we have seen how certain actions by our government directed at Chinese nationals have impacted U.S. citizens. We need to look no further than the examples of Sherry Chen and Dr. Xioaxing Xi, two Chinese American scientists who were wrongfully accused of espionage by the FBI only to have their charges dropped with no explanation. We must ensure that what happened to these two innocent Americans does not happen to other U.S. citizens simply because of the way they look. There must be no room for racial prejudice and ethnic targeting in our country’s laws and practices.”

Congressman Ed Case (HI-01) :

“In these recent years of justifiably heightened scrutiny on the intelligence activities of the People’s Republic of China, a disproportionate number of Americans of Chinese descent have been investigated and prosecuted for espionage. Those convicted have received disproportionately high sentences and the too many exonerated have had their careers ruined nonetheless.

“No doubt China seeks to recruit Chinese Americans to its goals, and no doubt our government should and must review specific cases of potential espionage by China on specific facts. But have we fallen into the same trap all over again of justifying investigations and other actions toward the end of national security by the means of general profiling and targeting based solely on ethnic identity?

“This amendment is a flashing red light to our intelligence community: stop, look and listen. Take some time to think it through, to be sure you’re staying on the right side of that line, and then report back to Congress that you have done so and have the procedures and mindset in place to assure that we won’t repeat history, with Chinese Americans or any other broad ethnic or interest group.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), CAPAC First Vice Chair:

“U.S. intelligence agencies play a critical role in keeping our nation safe and secure from foreign and domestic threats, but such protections must not come at the expense of American citizens’ civil liberties,” said Meng. “Many Chinese Americans have been targeted based on groundless accusations that they are spies of China. We know that many of those cases have been proven wrong. That is why I’m pleased to support Mr. Case’s amendment that will ask the intelligence community to submit a report to Congress on how it protects the civil rights and privacy of Chinese Americans.  I look forward to reading this report.”

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07):

“Representative Case’s amendment is a critical step toward protecting Chinese Americans from racial profiling by the Intelligence Community. I am proud to represent a district with a large and vibrant Chinese American community; any efforts to racially profile them or infringe upon their civil liberties are contrary to our values.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“No American of any gender, race or ethnicity should be singled out or regarded as suspicious for their identity,” said Rep. Ro Khanna. “I’m proud to support Rep. Case’s amendment to the FY2020 Intelligence Authorization and protect Chinese Americans from racial profiling by U.S. intelligence services. This is about transparency across our government: everyone deserves to be treated with the same level of respect and trust.”

Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-07)

“We’ve repeatedly seen instances of Chinese American scientists and scholars being unfairly and falsely accused of espionage or disloyalty.  Representing Chinatown and Sunset Park, I’ve heard from many in New York’s Asian community who are deeply concerned by this discriminatory treatment.  This amendment will bring greater transparency to the intelligence community and help ensure that the civil liberties of Americans of Chinese descent are protected.”

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