Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC Alarmed by Cotton-Blackburn’s New Chinese Exclusion Act

New bill attempts to prevent Chinese students from getting visas for graduate studies or post-grad work in STEM disciplines
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins 202-296-2300, ext. 0144

Washington, DC — May 29, 2020 —  In another move to scapegoat both Asians and Asian Americans, Senators Tom Cotton and Marsha Blackburn introduced a new bill that attempts to label all Chinese students as suspicious and prevent them from getting visas for graduate studies or post-grad work in STEM disciplines. 

In response to the bill’s introduction, Advancing Justice | AAJC responds with the following statement:

“This bill is nothing more than an attempt at a new Chinese Exclusion Act. Removing access to visa programs and barring students from academic pursuits is like re-living 1882 all over again where the government banned Chinese people from immigrating and those in the U.S. from becoming citizens, using fear tactics to spur anti-Asian sentiment. 

Chinese students come to the U.S. for educational opportunities and opportunities to study and work in our successful fields of scientific research. Many go on to become Americans. Senators Cotton and Blackburn wrongfully equate the government of China with Chinese immigrants. It appears we need to remind the Senators that bedrock principles of American law require that all people in the U.S. be treated equally regardless of their race, ethnicity, and national origin and that the profiling of people is antithetical to these values. It is deceitful to use the unfounded fears and racist rhetoric of the COVID-19 pandemic and our conflicts with China to paintbrush all Asian and Asian American students as a threat.

We will not let this fear-mongering and labeling of our Asian communities go uncontested. We urge Congress to make this bill dead on arrival and protect Chinese students from this blatant, targeted attack."