Prof Xi speaks at a press conference held at CAA on October 18, 2017.
In early October, CAA joined Chinese Progressive Association, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus and notable community leaders Henry Der, Ling-chi Wang, and Helen Zia to form the End National Security Scapegoating (ENSS) coalition. The coalition was established in response to pervasive efforts by the U.S. Department of Justice that target and prosecute Chinese American individuals for espionage related crimes.
One such Chinese American is Professor Xiaoxing Xi, who, in 2015, was falsely charged and prosecuted by the FBI for allegedly sharing technology to a Chinese-based company. He faced charges carrying a maximum penalty of 80 years in prison and a $1 million fine. After causing significant hardship and distress to Professor Xi and his family, the FBI eventually dropped the case without explanation or an apology.
Members of the ENSS coalition and supporters at San Francisco State University. From left to right: Cynthia Choi, CAA Co-Executive Director; CA Assemblymember Phil Ting; Prof. Xiaoxing Xi; Grace Yoo, Chair of the Asian American Studies Dept.; Dr. Russell Jeung, SFSU Professor; Pam Tau Lee, Chinese Progressive Association Board Chair.
Today, Professor Xi is seeking justice and accountability for his wrongful prosecution and to help end national security scapegoating and racial profiling in general. In efforts to raise awareness and to mobilize the community, the ENSS coalition invited Professor Xi to participate in a speaking tour at San Francisco State University, University of California-Berkeley, and Stanford University. Along with other experts, Professor Xi spoke powerfully about the dangers of racial bias in government surveillance programs based on his own experience.
Regrettably, this form of discrimination is part of our U.S. history. From the Chinese Exclusion Act to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, Asian Americans have been labeled and profiled as perpetual foreigners and threats to national security. The Muslim Ban, police violence against African Americans, and attacks against immigrants today must be understood in this same vein.
CAA, with our ENSS coalition partners, will continue to oppose efforts to racially profile Asians Americans under the false pretext of national security, to advocate for greater government accountability, and to build alliances across affected communities.