CAPAC Demands Answers Around Chinese American’s Firing at Commerce
The Department of Commerce has been ordered to reinstate Xiafen “Sherry” Chen as a hydrologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Chen had been accused of spying for China and this ruling comes more than three years after those federal charges were dropped. Now, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) has requested an investigation into the firing of Chen. “In October 2014, Ms. Chen was targeted by federal investigators for alleged espionage and arrested based not on any reasonable evidence, but on what appears to be her race,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to the DOC Office of Inspector General. “We are doing this because we will not tolerate Chinese Americans or Asian Americans being treated as second-class citizens. No American should have to live in fear that their entire lives may be turned upside down due to wrongful accusations and unwarranted racial profiling," said CAPAC Chair Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) at a news conference last week. Chen was terminated in March 2016, a year after federal criminal charges against her were dismissed. A removal letter cited charges of conduct demonstrating untrustworthiness, misrepresentation, misuse of a federal database, and lack of candor as reasons for removal. A judge stated that Chen had experienced a gross injustice. See CAPAC’s letter here.