Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC Submits Comment to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Raising Concerns of Profiling and Criminalization of Asian Americans and Asian Immigrants

Civil rights group submits a comment in response to a request for feedback regarding implementation of NSPM-33
For Immediate Release
Vivin Qiang 202-780-9327
Michelle Boykins (202) 296-2300, ext. 0144

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC submitted a comment to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in response to a call from Director Eric Lander for feedback on the implementation of the National Security Presidential Memorandum 33 (NSPM-33). NSPM-33 was a directive from former President Trump to federal agencies, universities and individuals considered to be “participants in the United States [Research and Development] R&D enterprise” on how to protect United States Government-supported R&D while maintaining an open environment. OSTP plans to provide implementation guidance for former President Trump’s memorandum.

“We appreciate Director Eric Lander’s call for recommendations on the implementation of NSPM-33. As the mass profiling of Asian communities creates fear and feelings of estrangement by Asian Americans and immigrants and furthers the biased “perpetual foreigner” narratives amongst the majority population, it is imperative that we provide a voice to the Asian American community,” said John C. Yang, President and Executive Director at Advancing Justice – AAJC, “While we recognize that there are legitimate threats from China’s government, there are serious concerns of the DOJ profiling Asian Americans and Asian immigrants and criminalizing integrity issues under the “China Initiative.” We urge OSTP to work with the DOJ to end the “China Initiative,” which has been driving fear mongering and criminalization of Asian American and Asian immigrant scientists, researchers, and scholars.” 

“We call on OSTP to harmonize and implement uniform policies to provide more clarity for academia on grant applications, disclosures, conflicts of commitments and conflicts of interests. There must be greater transparency from federal agencies on their investigative process for violations of research integrity and how determinations are made for when these are shared with law enforcement,” said Gisela P. Kusakawa, Staff Attorney, Anti-Racial Profiling Project & Immigration at Advancing Justice  –  AAJC, “OSTP should discourage criminalization of unintentional and/or administrative errors, and provide an opportunity for individuals to adjust their forms and provide additional disclosures without fear of prosecution or employment backlash.”

Advancing Justice – AAJC urges OSTP to address concerns of racial bias and racial profiling, and engage with Asian American community leaders, civil rights groups, and community-based organizations to ensure a better understanding of the needs of the community and the impact of racial bias and discrimination on Asian Americans. Moreover, we need greater transparency from federal agencies on any impacts of the guidance implementation. There should be additional periods of review and feedback as well as ongoing discussions with the Asian American community to address concerns of racial equity, bias, and profiling.