"His remarks only further insinuates that Chinese and Chinese Americans continue to be racially profiled"
FBI Director Chris Wray has come under fire from the Asian American community after claiming that Chinese students could be a threat to national security.
According to the Daily Beast, Wray made the comments during the Senate intelligence committee’s annual open hearing. Intelligence Community leaders shared their concerns about the dangers threatening them.
Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, asked Wray about “the counterintelligence risk posed to U.S. national security from Chinese students, particularly those in advanced programs in science and mathematics.”
Wray replied, “the use of non-traditional collectors, especially in the academic setting—whether it’s professors, scientists, students—we see in almost every field office that the FBI has around the country.”
“It’s not just in major cities. It’s in small ones as well, it’s across basically every discipline. And I think the level of naivete on the part of the academic sector about this creates its own issues,” he added.
Wray went onto reveal that the Bureau is actively investigating certain Chinese government-backed groups that facilitate dialogues between Chinese and American academics.
OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates described Wray’s comments as “dishonest and insulting.”
“It is dangerous and irresponsible for him to accuse many individuals seeking a higher education, or to contribute to their field of study, of spying,” the group said in a statement.
“His remarks only further insinuates that Chinese and Chinese Americans continue to be treated racially profiled as perpetual foreigners in the intelligence community,” the statement added.
Jason Li, head of Stanford’s Asian American Students Association, also slammed Wray’s comments. “We strongly denounce Director Wray’s comments, which fall in line with a long history of targeting, vilifying, and scapegoating immigrants under the cloak of national security,” he said.
“International students are our friends, our colleagues, and our family…This overreach of national security harms our communities, and we condemn Wray’s statements in our fight against racial profiling and discrimination.”