Advancing Justice | AAJC Launches Project to Combat Increased Racial Profiling and Criminalization of Asian Americans and Asian Immigrants

Project will provide legal referral service for Asian Americans and Asian immigrant scientists and researchers
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins 202-296-2300, ext. 0144

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC) announces the launch of its Anti-Racial Profiling Project. The project offers resources and legal referrals for those impacted by the U.S. government’s increased efforts to target and profile Asian American and Asian immigrant scientists, researchers and scholars, particularly those of Chinese descent.

“Advancing Justice | AAJC is deeply concerned with the racial profiling and unjust prosecutions of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans,” said John C. Yang, Advancing Justice | AAJC’s president and executive director. “In recent decades, there has been an increasing number of incidents of Asian Americans and Asian immigrants, particularly those working in science, who are ensnared by overzealous government prosecutions and misguided scrutiny based on their ethnicity.” 

Legitimate concerns of espionage and unfair trade practices by the Chinese government in recent years, combined with scapegoating and racist rhetoric by officials at the highest levels of government, have driven a sharp rise in the profiling and targeting of Asian Americans and Asian immigrants, particularly those of Chinese descent who are working in science. Government agencies are under increased pressure to prosecute people for spying on behalf of the Chinese government, leading to mass investigations of Asian Americans. As a result, many people have been prosecuted despite not having engaged in economic espionage. Many are prosecuted based on minor infractions such as failing to disclose information under the pretext of combating economic espionage, often ruining careers and leaving lives in shambles.  

This surge in prosecutions have not only harmed the lives of innocent Asian Americans, their families and communities, but erodes the health of our democracy. This latest wave of xenophobia against Chinese Americans and Chinese immigrants follows a long history of Asian Americans and immigrants being criminalized, stereotyped as “perpetual foreigners,” scapegoated, and profiled as spies disloyal to the United States.

The Anti-Racial Profiling Project includes an attorney referral network that connects impacted persons to legal counsel and provides anti-racial profiling resources and educational materials. The Anti-Racial Profiling Project also engages in policy analysis, coalition building and public education around these and related profiling issues for policymakers, the media and the general public. It is Advancing Justice | AAJC’s goal to be a resource, advocate for non-discriminatory policies, provide legal expertise, and to lift up the voices of those impacted by racial profiling.