The Committee of 100 Supports Congressional Inquiries
Related to the Sherry Chen Case
(New York, NY-May 22, 2015) — The Committee of 100 is deeply concerned about the government’s handling of the case of National Weather Service employee Sherry Chen and supports the congressional inquiries related to her case.
According to the New York Times, in October 2014, Sherry Chen, a Chinese American hydrologist, was publicly arrested with underlying accusations of spying for China. She was suspended without pay. Less than a week prior to her trial in March 2015, the U.S. Attorney dropped all charges against Ms. Chen. She has not been allowed to return to her job.
This ordeal has been very traumatic for Sherry Chen and her family, whose modest means have been unduly burdened by her loss of income and the legal fees incurred in defending her case. The Committee of 100 urges the Department of Commerce to make Sherry Chen whole by compensating her for all lost benefits and pay and having her reinstated to her job.
The Committee of 100 is concerned that Sherry Chen’s case is only the latest of several high-profile cases where Chinese American scientists have been charged with alleged economic espionage, only to have all charges later dismissed.
The Committee of 100 joins Congress members Ted Lieu (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA), and other congressional and Asian Pacific American community leaders in asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate the potential inappropriate use of race and national origin in Sherry Chen’s case. We also support the congressional request for the Attorney General to determine whether any federal agency has a written or unwritten policy, program, pattern or practice of using race (or other civil rights classifications such as race, national origin, religion, and gender) in targeting federal employees or contractors for arrest, surveillance, security clearance denials or other adverse actions.
“We believe in the need for the government to be accountable and fair, and respectful of the constitutional and civil rights of all Americans,” says Clarence Kwan, Committee of 100 Chairman. “We also believe in the importance of raising awareness in the Asian Pacific American community about the complex legal environment surrounding issues of trade secrets, economic espionage, and export controls.” To that end, the Committee of 100 has conducted seminars on this topic in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Washington D.C., and will continue to do so throughout the United States.
C-100 fully supports the prosecution of espionage and other illegal activities that threaten the national security of the United States, but inappropriate and overly broad profiling which violate individuals’ rights, must be stopped.
The Committee of 100 is a U.S. 501(c)(3) leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, and the arts. For over 25 years, the Committee has been committed to a dual mission of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all fields of American life, and advancing constructive relations between the peoples of the United States and Greater China.