Anti-Profiling, Civil Rights & National Security

The United States has a history of exclusion, targeting and scapegoating of Asian Americans and immigrants as national security threats based on race, ethnicity, religion, or ancestry. We work to combat profiling and protect the rights of Asian Americans and immigrants through policy advocacy, legal referrals, coalition building, and education for policymakers, the media and the general public.

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If you do not have your own attorney and would like a legal referral, please contact Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC at 202-935-6014 using the Signal app

Background

Combating Criminalization and Profiling of Asian Americans Under National Security Pretexts

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC is deeply concerned with the profiling and unjust prosecutions of Asian Americans and immigrants, particularly scientists, researchers, and scholars in recent years. From the incarceration of Japanese Americans to the profiling of Chinese American scientists, researchers, and scholars, Asian Americans face cyclical targeting and are treated as ‘perpetual foreigners’ in the United States. Advancing Justice | AAJC spearheaded coalition efforts that led to the Department of Justice’s announcement to end the “China Initiative,” and continue to work towards advancing long-term efforts to end racial bias and discrimination against Asian Americans and immigrants.

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Civil Rights and Border Security

Advancing Justice | AAJC fights laws and policies that target immigrants at the border and ports of entry based on their race, ethnicity, religion, or ancestry. From the Trump administration’s unconstitutional Muslim Ban, which separated families through bans on certain visa categories to the treatment of immigrant communities at the border and ports of entry, we continue to face ongoing affronts against our civil rights. Advancing Justice | AAJC works to build solidarity across communities and increase community capacity in combating profiling of immigrant communities. 

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Legal Referral Service

The legal referral service is available to connect people impacted by the government’s targeting and profiling of Asian American and immigrant scientists, researchers, and scholars to attorneys. Staff are available to speak and text in English or Mandarin Chinese. Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC does not provide legal advice or direct representation on individual cases.

If you believe you are being targeted and profiled based on your ethnicity, you may contact 202-935-6014 using the Signal app and a staff member from Advancing Justice | AAJC will reach out to you directly.

If you are having trouble with using Signal, please text ONLY your name and phone number to 202-935-6014 and a staff member from Advancing Justice | AAJC will contact you directly.

Why do we use Signal?

We use Signal to protect your privacy. Signal is an encrypted messaging app designed to never collect or store any sensitive information. Signal messages and calls cannot be accessed by Signal or other third parties because they are always end-to-end encrypted, private, and secure. The app is free to download and use.

For more information, please refer to the Legal Referral Service Q&A | Chinese (Simplified) (中文 (简)) | Chinese (Traditional) (中文(繁))


Know Your Rights

Please read our Know Your Rights documents available in English | Chinese (Simplified) (中文 (简)) | Chinese (Traditional) (中文(繁))

Know Your Rights information on enforcement at the airport available here.


Resources

Learn more about the history and cycle of profiling and discrimination against Asian Americans: 

Check out more of our policy and advocacy work:

  • Advancing Justice | AAJC submitted testimony on the discrimination and civil rights of the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian American communities to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties on March 1, 2022.
  • Advancing Justice | AAJC and Advancing Justice - ALC submitted an amicus brief in support of Professor Xiaoxing Xi on February 14, 2022. 
  • Advancing Justice | AAJC submitted a comment to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy raising concerns of profiling and criminalization of Asian Americans and Asian Immigrants on November 8, 2021.
  • Advancing Justice | AAJC and ACLU submitted FOIA appeal for records on Government's efforts to investigate and prosecute U.S.-based scientists and researchers believed to have connections to China on July 14, 2021.
  • Civil Rights and Academic Groups delivered petition to New York University President to stop racial profiling professors of Asian Descent on July 7, 2021.
  • Advancing Justice | AAJC submitted letter to Acting U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Tennessee to Drop Charges Against Dr. Anming Hu on July 6, 2021.
  • Advancing Justice | AAJC submitted testimony for the Democratic Member Roundtable “Researching while Chinese American: Ethnic Profiling, Chinese American Scientists and a New American Brain Drain” on June 29, 2021.
  • Advancing Justice | AAJC submitted comment to the National Institutes of Health seeking concrete action from the agency to address the racial profiling of Asian American and Asian immigrant scientists, researchers, and scholars on April 23, 2021.
  • Advancing Justice | AAJC delivered petition of nearly 30,000 signatures to President Biden urging him to combat the racial profiling of Asian Americans and Asian Immigrants and put an end to the Justice Department's "China Initiative" on April 9, 2021.
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Brennan Center for Justice, and APA Justice Task Force spearheaded a letter to President-elect Biden to end the Justice Department’s “China Initiative” on January 5, 2021
  • Advancing Justice | AAJC and Advancing Justice | ALC filed an amicus brief in United States v. Tao on August 20, 2020
  • Advancing Justice | AAJC and Advancing Justice | Asian Law Caucus sought a FOIA request from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on August 10, 2020
  • Advancing Justice | AAJC submitted a FOIA for records pertaining to Countering Violence Extremism (CVE) programs implemented in Prince George’s County Public Schools on July 23, 2020. 
  • Advancing Justice | AAJC submitted a FOIA for records related to the profiling and targeting of scientists and researchers on March 17, 2020
  • Advancing Justice |  AAJC’s submitted testimony to the House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the FBI on February 5, 2020
  • Advancing Justice | AAJC provided a comment to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy  on January 2, 2020
  • Advancing Justice | AAJC submitted testimony to the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing entitled, “Securing the U.S. Research Enterprise from China’s Talent Recruitment Plans” on December 5, 2019