Judy Chu Raises Concerns Over House Bill Targeting Chinese and Chinese Americans
A recent bill aiming to crack down on “geopolitical adversaries like China” to prevent spying in U.S. higher education institutions, is causing some concern about the House bill’s impact on Asians and Asian Americans. Congressman Francis Rooney (R-FL) says China has been “exploiting” U.S. academia’s “open research and development environment” and stealing technology which is what prompted him to introduce the Stop Higher Education Espionage and Theft Act. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has introduced similar legislation in the Senate. However, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) says that Rooney’s emphasis on China could lead to racial profiling. “I am very concerned by ongoing efforts to stereotype Chinese students, scholars, and employees as threats to our institutions of higher education,” Chu said to HuffPost. “While there is no doubt that we must take national security concerns seriously, it is irresponsible to categorize an entire country of people en masse as spies.” Advocates have said the bill is a bogus attempt to whip up fear and animosity towards Chinese and Chinese Americans. The mentality, that some say the bill perpetuates, has led to several baseless and dismissed charges against Chinese academics and scientists. HuffPost notes that in 2015, FBI agents stormed Professor Xiaoxing Xi’s home, rounded up his family at gunpoint, and arrested him. He was threatened with up to 80 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million, but the charges against him were dropped with little explanation. Similarly, hydrologist Sherry Chen was arrested in 2014, accused of using a stolen password to obtain information about U.S. dams, but a week before her trial, the case fell apart. A paper published by the Chinese American organization Committee of 100 last year showed that Asians were more likely to be charged with economic espionage than any other group, but were also found innocent at a rate two times higher than people of any other race. More here.