tags: Press Releases

New America’s Voice Analysis Highlights How GOP and Right Wing Are Stoking Fear and Bigotry Towards Chinese Immigrants

Share This:

Read the blog in full HERE

Washington, DC –  A new blog post from America’s Voice, “Bigotry Towards Chinese Immigrants, Republicans’ Latest Racist Political Attack on the Border,” highlights how Republicans and right wing media are stoking fears over an increase in Chinese nationals who are traveling to the border in search of asylum in recent months. It’s part of a larger renewed and xenophobic effort that fosters fear and hate directed at the AAPI community. As the new analysis notes:

“In recent months, there has been an increase in Chinese nationals encountered along the southern border seeking asylum from the repressive government in China. Blowing past the humanity of migrants seeking safety, Republicans have gone straight to racist fearmongering and conspiracy theories. Following an all too familiar pattern, Republicans and Fox News use misleading statistics and out-of-context images of migrants” to stoke fears and racial animus about the developments.”

According to Zachary Mueller, Political Director of America’s Voice

“The bigoted conspiracy theory that paints asylum seekers fleeing China as undercover foreign agents who are part of some undefined nefarious attack on the U.S. has no place in our political discourse. This latest attack from the nativist doom loop between Republicans and Fox News puts a dangerous target on the backs of the AAPI community and harkens back to the long history of racism directed towards Chinese immigrants. Both recent and distant history shows the violent, ugly path that results from this sort of racist demagoguery.”

A few key excerpts from the new America’s Voice analysis are copied below:

“[Fox News host Maria] Bartiromo then laid out a racist conspiracy theory that paints asylum seekers fleeing China as undercover foreign agents who are part of some undefined nefarious attack on the U.S. ‘We don’t know what Communist China is up to, maybe they’re directing people to come into America to set up shop for some reason, for a later conflict,’ Bartiromo wildly speculated. Meanwhile, her guest, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, nodded along. For his part, McCaul compared asylum seekers to spies and terrorists, claiming they represent a ‘clear and present danger’ to the nation. Continuing to spin her racist conspiracy, Bartiromo asked rhetorically, ‘is this a warning signal that the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] is planning something in America, later, and has people here?’

…In a congressional hearing the week prior, on March 15, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) tried to push a false conspiracy about a link between the increase in Chinese nationals seeking asylum and the  increase in illicit fentanyl. This offensively wrong association between migrants and the fentanyl crisis was quickly dispelled by an assistant director with the investigative arm of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Steven Cagen, who said there is no link between a rise in Chinese migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and illicit fentanyl entering the United States, affirming the point that fentanyl, while urgently serious, is not an immigration issue.

…Tragically, this bigoted hostility towards Chinese migration is all too familiar. About 150 years ago, racist panic and violence directed at Chinese immigrants was mainstreamed across the nation and led to the passage of the explicitly racist Chinese Exclusion Act in 1872. But we don’t have to go that nearly that far back to see the dangers of mainstreaming this bigotry. There was a similar trend in 2020, led by then-President Trump, who conflated attacks on China and the COVID-19 virus. This xenophobic dog-whistling around the virus may have contributed to the rise in Asian-American hate crimes during that time. Early in the pandemic, the FBI warned local law enforcement agencies that “hate crime incidents against Asian-Americans likely will surge across the United States” as people falsely associate them with the spread of COVID-19.”