Professor Xiaoxing Xi, Civil Rights Advocates Argue for Freedom from Government Discrimination and Surveillance in Third Circuit Court

Asian American, Civil rights & Community Organizations Across the Country Gather in Support of Professor Xiaoxing Xi in Calling for Justice and Accountability
For Immediate Release
Vivin Qiang 202-780-9327

PHILADELPHIA – In oral arguments today at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Temple University professor Dr. Xiaoxing Xi and his attorneys urged the court to reinstate his claims for damages against the U.S. government for its discriminatory investigation and prosecution of baseless charges that were later dismissed. Judges seemed persuaded that Dr. Xi and his family endured “malicious prosecution and fabrication” of evidence and expressed considerable skepticism with the Department of Justice’s arguments claiming immunity from accountability for constitutional violations. 

Across the country, civil rights advocates working in Asian, Black, Arab, Middle Eastern, and Muslim communities have united in support of Dr. Xi and his fight to hold the government accountable for its long legacy of targeting people on the basis of their race, national origin, religious identity, or ethnic background under the pretext of national security. Advancing Justice - AAJC and Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus led an amicus brief supporting Dr. Xi and calling on the U.S. government to end its discriminatory targeting and racial profiling of Asian Americans and Asian immigrants.. The brief was co-signed by 72 Asian American organizations, civil rights groups, scientific associations, and academic groups. 

In 2015, Dr. Xi was wrongfully accused of sharing sensitive technology with scientists in China, a charge for which he faced up to 80 years in prison and $1 million in fines. FBI agents entered Dr. Xi’s home with a battering ram, pointed guns at him, his wife, and two daughters, and arrested him. As Dr. Xi’s attorney argued today, these actions had “devastating consequences” on him and his family, as Dr. Xi was branded a technological spy, suspended as physics chair at Temple University, and was forced to live with the specter of suspicion for years. Dr. Xi and his family have since been fighting for justice for seven years. 

“For far too long, Asian Americans have been targeted and scapegoated as national security threats based on our race, ethnicity, religion, or ancestry. From the incarceration of Japanese Americans, the surveillance and unjust prosecutions of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities following 9/11, to the profiling of Chinese American scientists, researchers, and scholars, history continues to repeat itself,” said Gisela Kusakawa, the Director of Anti-Racial Profiling Project at Advancing Justice - AAJC. “We are at a juncture today for our communities to turn the tide and support Professor Xi’s efforts to ensure that the federal government is held accountable. Whether Professor Xi and his family are finally afforded justice after a seven year long legal battle will have a powerful ripple effect and signal to many others whether our country can change, take responsibility, and uphold justice.”

“Based on today’s argument, the Third Circuit panel seemed to understand that the government’s constitutional violations of Dr. Xi’s rights cannot stand,” said Glenn Katon, the Litigation Director at Advancing Justice - ALC. “We are hopeful that the court will reverse the dismissal of Dr. Xi’s case, and that he and his family can proceed to prove how the FBI and DOJ’s fabrication of evidence and racial discrimination caused them grievous harms and restore Americans’ confidence that the government cannot violate our rights with impunity.” 

Find more information and case documents from Xi v. United States.