Legal Defense and Education

2024 Launch of Legal Defense & Education Fund:

The Asian American Scholar Forum’s Legal Defense and Education Fund (AASF LDEF) will  help to fight discrimination and racial bias against scholars by funding legal work that has a potential for national impact or setting legal precedent. The AASF LDEF is designed to provide financial assistance for certain legal fees and expenses that scholars face as a result of potential racial discrimination and bias. The Legal Defense and Educational Fund will also provide education and information to combat racial discrimination affecting scholars and to promote openness, freedom, and belonging in academia. 

Educating our community members about these rights, along with providing resources, is critical, especially in the current anti-Asian climate. Knowledge empowers our community members to navigate complicated legal issues and better protect their rights.

Launch of Know Your Rights Webinars:

AASF Webinar: Know Your Rights on Airport Enforcement and Border Harassment
February 2, 2023

As Asian American Scholar scholars were being harassed or interrogated at ports of entry, the community members are concerned that these stops are based on their background or ethnicity.  This webinar features immigration, national security, and criminal law experts who will share crucial know-your-rights information when you are stopped and interrogated at the airport.

Knowing Your Legal Rights: Practical Guidance to Respond to U.S. Law Enforcement, Regulatory, and Institutional Investigations
April 10, 2021

In view of the recent investigations of the Chinese American academic and scientific communities, a white collar defense attorney and former federal prosecutor will provide community members in this presentation with guidance on their legal rights and strategies to employ when interacting with law enforcement officials and university counsel conducting investigations.

Chinese American Scientists: What Do You Have to Pay Attention to Under the China Initiative?
February 6, 2021

The Asian American academic community has become deeply concerned over the growing number of criminal cases brought against certain professors from different universities. The latest case against Professor Gang Chen of MIT has sparked significant attention to the situation. This webinar features Brian Sun who led the civil suit side of legal efforts, charging the Department of Energy for violation of Wen-Ho Lee’s privacy in a lawsuit in 2000.

Letters and Statements:

Asian American Scholar Forum Raises Concerns Around Increased Airport Enforcement and Border Harassment, February 2, 2023

Asian American Scholar Forum is raising concerns after hearing about multiple incidents of Chinese American scientists, academics, and scholars being harassed or interrogated at ports of entry. Community members are concerned that these stops are based on their background or ethnicity.

AASF Sends Letter to Judge Robinson for Dr. Feng (Franklin) Tao’s Sentencing, January 18, 2023

AASF submitted the following letter to Judge Julie Robinson to provide additional context as she makes her determination on Dr. Feng (Franklin) Tao’s sentencing.

Asian American Scholar Forum Applauds Dismissal of Appeal In Favor of Dr. Franklin Tao, December 6, 2022

The Department of Justice dismissed their appeal of three counts of wire fraud entered in favor of Dr. Feng “Franklin” Tao. Last month, AASF sent a letter directly to Assistant Attorney General Matt Olsen requesting this dismissal and shared concerns from the Asian American scientific and academic community.

AASF Submits Letter of Support for Charles Lieber, March 15, 2022

Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF) submitted the following letter to request Judge Rya W. Zobel to take into account the special conditions and circumstances of Professor Charles Lieber’s case.

Open Letter to Judge Varlan to Dismiss the Anming Hu Case, September 7, 2021

AASF sent the following letter to Judge Thomas A. Varlan, expressing our grave concern about the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s initial prosecution and subsequent decision to seek a retrial of Dr. Anming Hu, a former professor at the University Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK).