On November 17, 2015, Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) questioned Attorney General Loretta Lynch at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on whether individuals such as Sherry Chen and Professor Xiaoxing Xi were suspected of economic espionage on the basis of their ethnicity or national origin. “There is no question that we must fight against espionage and threats to American innovation, but in this process we must not ensnare innocent Americans that make this nation great or undermine our fundamental values of liberty, due process, and equality under the law,” emphasized Congresswoman Chu in her remarks.
“I can state to you unequivocally that the Department of Justice does not focus an investigation on any individual on the basis of their race or their national origin,” said Attorney General Lynch in response to Congresswoman Chu’s question, “[and] with respect to the specific cases that you mentioned, I am not able to comment on those specifics at this time.” Congresswoman Chu affirmed that she would personally follow up with the Attorney General on these cases, noting that “today, when we profile Chinese American scientists in this manner, or any American on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, or country of origin, our government is telling our own citizens, our own communities that they are un-American and that it is okay to fear or even hate them. When this happens, in my opinion, we have failed as a government and as Americans.” Watch footage of Congresswoman Chu’s questioning of Attorney General Lynch below or here.
C-100 endorses Congressional efforts to highlight the need for equal treatment under the law and due process for Chinese Americans and Asian Americans, as outlined in the community letter led by C-100 to the Attorney General. C-100 members participated in and supported the press conference hosted by Congresswoman Chu and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) that proceeded the Judiciary Committee hearing and highlighted Sherry Chen and Professor Xi’s experiences with being wrongfully accused of economic espionage. The Committee of 100 appreciates Congresswoman Chu and CAPAC’s leadership on this critical issue, and will continue to work with policymakers and like-minded organizations to promote the inclusion of Chinese Americans and provide resources such as our educational seminars on economic espionage to the Asian American community.