For Immediate Release
Sept. 2, 2015
For More Information, Contact:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
[email protected], 202-775-9555
WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) joined the Committee of 100 and five other professional and community Asian Pacific American (APA) organizations in sending a letter calling upon U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to examine whether racial animus has had a role in a growing number of criminal prosecutions brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against certain Asian Americans, who are primarily of Chinese descent. The letter raises concerns about the use of law enforcement practices that are inconsistent with the guidance that DOJ issued in December 2014 that declared that racial profiling practices were ineffective and should no longer be used by law enforcement.
“The majority of prosecutors in this country perform their duties fairly and without bias,” said NAPABA President George C. Chen. “But I am deeply concerned about the possibility that race and ethnicity are being used by certain overzealous prosecutors in cases that unfairly question the loyalty and patriotism of Asian Pacific Americans, promote negative racial stereotypes, and use racial profiling practices. I urge the Department of Justice to work with us to find better ways to safeguard U.S. national interests while protecting civil liberties.”
The joint letter urges Attorney General Lynch to take action by overseeing the investigations and prosecutions where Chinese Americans are being targeted in cases brought under the U.S. export control, economic espionage, or computer crime statutes. Disconcertingly, an alarming number of these cases appear to have involved instances of inflammatory rhetoric and unfounded accusations based on race.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and approximately 75 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.
NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.