NAPABA Welcomes End of Discriminatory “China Initiative”

Released February 24, 2022

Contact: Mary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director

WASHINGTON –NAPABA welcomes the announcement that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be ending the “China Initiative.” The program created an environment that placed heightened scrutiny on persons of Chinese ancestry in academic and research environments. For the past seven years, NAPABA has expressed concern about the profiling of Chinese American researchers and scientists and worked with partners in Congress to speak out against impermissible racial profiling.

“NAPABA applauds the end of the China Initiative,” said A.B. Cruz III, acting president of NAPABA. “We are pleased that the Department of Justice heard the concerns of members of the Asian American community, researchers, and scholars, that the program was creating a chilling effect and air of suspicion around scholars of Chinese ancestry. While NAPABA recognizes legitimate national security risks exist, with the increase in anti-Asian hatred, ending programs that create an impression of anti-Asian discrimination is even more important. We thank the Administration for putting an end to this counter-productive program and Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Ted Lieu, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus for their leadership on this issue.”

During a speech on Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Matt Olsen announced changes that the DOJ is making to end the “China Initiative.” The China Initiative was established in 2018 to bring the DOJ’s economic espionage and national security investigations involving China and persons of Chinese ancestry under one umbrella. The program resulted in a number of cases in which charges were dropped or dismissed by the Courts, including the cases of Dr. Xiaoxing Xi, Sherry Chen, and Dr. Anming Hu.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network, 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 all backgrounds in the legal profession.

CACAGNY Presents Third Mid-Autumn Film Festival Oct. 26-27

Come out to the Mid-Autumn Film Festival presented by Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York on October 26 and 27. The festival will be held at 21 Pell Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown to celebrate Chinese American filmmakers and Chinese American stories in film.

11 films and 3 shorts will be presented. Discussions will be held with filmmakers, and you will have an opportunity to see Frank Chen, Curtis Chin, Baldwin Chiu, Leslie Li, Rick Quan, Peter Rosen, Lan Trinh, Miao Wang, and more.

Films by or about Chinese Americans will include TyrusMaineland, and, in commemoration of I.M. Pei (1917-2019), First Person Singular: I.M. Pei.

To see a trailer for Tyrus, click on the following link:

To see a trailer for Maineland, click on the following link:

In addition to the screenings, you will also have an opportunity to see bodybuilder/Bruce Lee mentor, first Chinese American mayor of a major city, only Taiwanese NY Yankee, Chinese Ginger Rogers, Chinese Andrews Sisters, a dramatization of a civil rights incident and more, followed by conversations with the filmmakers. A reception will be held on Saturday night, October 26th.

For more information, click on the following links:

To learn more about the program and to purchase tickets, click on the following link:

Reduced prices are available.

Nassau County Executive Curran Warns Residents of Telephone Scam Targeting Chinese-American Community

Mineola, NY – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran [recently] issued a warning to residents about a telephone scam in which consumers receive calls from potential fraudsters impersonating the Chinese Consulate to demand payment in exchange for a package or to prevent punishment from the consulate office. As of this month, there have been continued reports of these scam calls targeting residents throughout Nassau County. Nassau residents who receive such calls should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

“These phone scams are more than just tedious; for many – especially our more vulnerable residents – they can be catastrophic,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “I urge our residents to be vigilant, and immediately contact the FTC should they receive this scam call.”

For the full press release, click here.


On two consecutive Saturdays, March 28 and April 4, AABANY, together with the Asian and Asian American alumni associations of Harvard Business School, Yale, Binghamton and Cornell, organized special group tours of Chinese American Exclusion/Inclusion at the New-York Historical Society.

The exhibit first opened last fall, at the end of September, and will be at the Historical Society for less than two more weeks, closing on April 19. Working in conjunction with the Asian and Asian American alumni associations of the various universities, AABANY was able to bring more than 160 people over the two Saturdays to see this wonderful and worthwhile exhibit.

AABANY was greatly assisted by guides who shared their wealth of knowledge and insight with the attendees. We thank the following people for serving as guides for our groups: Rocky Chin, a founder of AABANY and an advocate for the APA community; Corky Lee, legendary photographer documenting the APA community for nearly four decades; Amy Chin, whose family history is told in the exhibit; and Amy Chu, the writer who helped to create the 12-panel graphic story version of Amy Chin’s family history.

From our guides, we learned how after the American colonies won their war of independence against England, the new nation’s treasury was depleted, and they turned to trade with China as a way to rebuild the nation’s wealth. The new nation also became a beacon for immigration when gold was discovered in California in the mid-19th century. Yet while the growing United States wanted the wealth of China, it turned out not to be as welcoming of the Chinese. A century after the end of the Revolutionary War, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, enacting the first law in American history that excluded an entire group of people based on their nationality, race and ethnicity. This exclusionary law remained in place until World War II, into the middle of the 20th century.

We also learned that the Chinese who lived in the United States during the exclusionary period were required to carry ID cards. The only other people in America burdened with that requirement were convicted criminals. Among the prominent Chinese Americans that faced this burden was Anna May Wong, a pioneering Chinese American Hollywood actress. Her ID card photo is the image shown in the banner and poster outside the New-York Historical Society.

Amy Chin informed us that many of the bureaucratic practices followed to this day by American immigration authorities stemmed from the period of Chinese exclusion. Therefore, Amy tells us, if the immigration system today is seen as broken, the source of its failure can be traced to the regime that grew out of the decades of Chinese exclusion.

The injustices and civil rights violations inflicted by the Chinese exclusion regime led to cases such as Yick Wo and Wong Kim Ark that have formed the basis for American constitutional jurisprudence that empowered communities of color to fight against racist and discriminatory laws.

Thanks to everyone who attended on March 28 and April 4 to learn about this important but all-too-often ignored part of American history. Thanks also to Toni Kong, Karen Yau and Chris Kwok, for helping to organize and promote the event and also for greeting the many attendees that joined us. Karen is the co-chair of the Government Service and Public Interest Committee, and Toni and Chris are active members of that committee. To learn more about the committee, contact Karen at [email protected].

(Photos by AABANY)

MOCACITIZEN: Uncovering My Family Story with Amy Chin, Apr. 12

Sun, Apr. 12, 2015 @ 2:30pm – 4:00pm

Admission: $12/Adult; $7/Student & Senior; FREE for MOCA Members (includes museum admission)

Click Here to Register.

Amy Chin’s multi-generational family story – told through 12 graphic novel panels – is part of the exhibition Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion at the New-York Historical Society. Join us for a behind the scenes look at how Amy researched and uncovered her family’s century-old history in America.

Amy grew up in the Bronx where her family, like many others of that era, owned and operated Chinese laundries. For decades, Amy’s family carefully saved records, objects, and other personal artifacts of their immigration history. In piecing it together the exhibition, Amy also delved deeply into government archives and other repositories to reveal more secrets of the family’s past. Amy will talk about that research, the journey and some of the secrets she discovered along the way.

(Pictured above: Amy Chin, presenting the graphic panels on her family’s history at the New York Historical Society during AABANY’s Special Group Tour of Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion on April 4)

Have you ever wanted to be a museum docent? Now’s your chance!

  • Do you have a passion for the rich history and culture of Chinese Americans and the community?
  • Are you well versed in the immigrant history of Chinese in America, perhaps your own family or that of a friend with experiences you can share?
  • Have you taught Asian American studies or Immigration history?

We are looking for enthusiastic, imaginative, and knowledgeable members and friends of AABANY to volunteer for 2 hour shifts on March 28 or April 4 as unofficial exhibit docents at the New York Historical Society.

If you are interested, please complete a brief questionnaire at the following link: 

From China to America: A Musical Journey with Tan Dun and Guests


With Tan Dun, Bright Sheng, Zhou Long, Chen Yi 

Tan Dun—conceptual and multifaceted composer/conductor as well as Grammy Award, Academy Award, and Grawemeyer Award winner for classical composition—will lead a performance and discussion with guests including MacArthur Fellowship-recipient Bright Sheng, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Zhou Long, and the award-winning Chen Yi. The evening weaves together a narrative of the artists’ musical journey from China to America and will also be a tribute to composer Chou Wen-Chung, who invited the musicians to America and Columbia University. Co-Presented by U.S. China Cultural Institute, Cultural Associate of the Committee of 100.

Buy Tickets

Be sure to visit the path-breaking exhibition Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion.