UCA Statement on Senator Marco Rubio’s and FBI Director Chris Wray’s Remarks on Chinese Students in America as National Security Threat
Feb. 14, 2018, Washington D.C.
US Senator Marco Rubio’s leading question and FBI Director Wray’s remarks regarding Chinese students and scholars as national security threat that requires taking “a whole-of-society response by us” at yesterday’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing are deeply troubling and of grave concerns among Chinese Americans and Asian Americans. UCA members are proud Americans. We uphold vigorous national security standards. However, painting all Chinese students and indeed Chinese in America with such a broad brush as a national security threat is paranoid, inflammatory, un-American, and simply wrong.
Historically, Chinese Americans and Asian Americans have been subject to suspicion, discrimination, and willful persecution. The notorious Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 and the internment of tens of thousands of Japanese Americans during the Second World War are two glaring examples. More recently, the treatment of Chinese Americans as “perpetual foreigners” and the ethnic-profiling and the wrongful prosecution of Drs. Wen Ho Lee, Sherry Chen and Xiaoxing Xi as national security threat simply because they are Chinese Americans has brought damage and shame to our rule of law and civil liberty tradition.
Today, history runs the risk of repeating itself. Although we all agree that we must do our very best to strengthen national security, doing so by ethnically profiling a whole community and by invoking “a whole-of-society” American response would not only damage the constitutional rights and rule of law that all Americans hold sacred, it could also be counterproductive and indeed damaging to the very efforts of strengthening our national security.
UCA calls on all Americans, particularly those who know and have personal contact with Chinese students and scholars to speak up; we call on Trump Administration and Congressional leaders to repudiate Senator Rubio’s and Director Wray’s remarks; we call on concerned Americans to express their views directly to their Members of Congress, to the media, and to the universities where large number of Chinese students are enrolled.
We must stop ethnic profiling of a whole community under the guise of national security. We will not allow that tainted history to be repeated again on our watch.