Letter to U.S. Senators and Representatives from Maryland (for Organization)
Honorable Senator Ben Cardin*,
Honorable Senator Chris Van Hollen*,
Honorable Representative Andy Harris*,
Honorable Representative Dutch Ruppersberger*,
Honorable Representative John Sarbanes*,
Honorable Representative Anthony Brown*,
Honorable Representative Steny Hoyer*,
Honorable Representative John Delaney*,
Honorable Representative Elijah Cummings*,
Honorable Representative Jamie Raskin*,

(* The same letter will be sent to the above 10 U.S. Congressmen individually.)

On behalf of Maryland Chinese American Network (MD-CAN), and the undersigned organizations and individuals, we are writing to express our grave concerns regarding the recent FBI Director Christopher Wray’s irresponsible and overly generalized remarks during the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s annual open hearing. Director Wray claimed that “One of the things we are trying to do is view the China threat as not just a whole-of-government threat but a whole-of-society threat on their end and I think it’s going to take a whole-of-society response by us.”

We, as Americans, are unequivocally committed to America's national security, and recognize the importance of ensuring our nation is able to counteract espionage threats from foreign countries. However, we believe Director Wray’s sweepingly broad statement, based purely on race and national origin, created the false perception that being of Chinese ancestry or having ties to China makes Chinese Americans more suspicious than any other American.

In the past, the FBI has conducted investigation in a biased manner towards Chinese Americans. It is a serious violation of the American practice of law and enforcement regarding the “presumption of innocence.” The bad practice led to missteps in the investigation in the cases of Dr. Wen Ho Lee, Dr. Xiaoxing Xi and Ms. Sherry Chen. All these cases were dropped after millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money were wasted and these individuals' careers and lives were ruined.

Director Wray’s comments will inevitably fan the hatred and distrust felt towards Chinese Americans who have endured racial discrimination throughout the history of our nation. The Chinese exclusion act of 1882, the first law implemented to prevent a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States, was only repealed in 1943 after many Chinese men served in the U.S. Army, fought for and died for our country. Chinese Americans, as a minority group, have been treated as “perpetual foreigners” so unfairly and for so long. In opening an old wound of our nation’s history, Director Wray’s statements cause serious damage to our democracy and the unity of our nation.

Moreover, this statement deeply hurts those of the Chinese American community. We are huge contributors to America, same as people immigrated from other countries in the world. We love this country and view America as the land of opportunities where people from all walks of the life can work collaboratively towards the common good and a shared future. Our loyalty firmly lies with the United States of America, our adopted country and our children’s motherland. We are outraged by the false image of a national threat forced upon us as a whole group.

The mission of MD-CAN, as a registered PAC, is to engage Chinese Americans in Maryland to participate in political affairs. Along with the undersigned organizations and individuals, we urge you, as our elected representative, to denounce Director Wray’s irresponsible comments and to request Director Wray to clarify his statement. Chinese immigrants and their descendants contribute tremendously to our community, our nation, and our democratic society. We and our children deserve to be treated fairly as any other ethnic groups. And we must not be harmed by false accusations and illusions due to Director Wray’s statement.

Thank you for your attention and your action against this hysteria.

Respectfully yours,
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