Boston, Feb, 2, 2018, — A hearing of bill H3361 was held in the State House on Jan. 30. Close to 1000 people showed up to voice their concerns and opposition against this bill. Some held up signs protesting this bill outsdie the State House. This is the largest protest against H3361 so far over past 12 months. A protest against H3361 is scheduled to take place in Boston common at noon time tomorrow.
Ever since State Rep. Tackey Chan of Quincy proposed Bill H3361 in Jan. 2017, it has been met with protests and strong condemnation from Asian Americans, especially those of Chinese descent. Some feared that such a bill would make laws like the Chinese Exclustion Act of 1882 possible in the future by creating a registry of Asian Americans based on their ancestry.
Bill H3361 Requires “all state agencies, quasi-state agencies” to identify Asian Americans in all data collection, reporting and verification. The Bill further requires the reporting of disaggregated data on the five largest Asian American ethnic groups.
Some young students also took the day off to attend the hearing to voice their opposition. One student testified: “I believe any assistance should go to the people who realy need help, not based on where their grandparents came from. Anybody might have a hard time at some point in his or her life. We should help those who are truly in need.”
The following video shows young students testified against H3361 at the hearing.
Statement by Chinese Americans of Lexington
1. This is Asian Registry Bill by disaggregating Asian Americans based on ancestor’s country of origin.
2. Singling out Asian Americans is unconstitutional. It violates “the equal protection of the laws” of the 14th Amendment.
3. The data could be misused to make discriminatory policies against a specific ethnic group.
4. This racial profling bill would reinforce stereotype that Asian Americans are perpetual foreigners.
5. This bill seriously undermines the privacy of Asian Americans by linking all personal data to ethnicity.
Privacy Statement: all data participants provide are kept completely confidential. Your information will not be transferred or shared for any reason by the persons who collect it other than for the purpose of showing the legislators that you oppose Bill H3361.
Statement by 16 Asian American Orgnizations
We share the deep concern of many communities who recently raised their voice regarding MA Bill H3361 filed by House Representative Mr. Tackey Chan (https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H3361).
We strongly oppose H3361 not only because it is extremely vague on its rationale, purpose and approach, but also it is fundamentally incompatible with the American spirit of equality, fairness, and indivisibility. United we stand, divided we fall. Meanwhile, we are vigilant about its potential negative political and racial ramification.
People groups are inherently diversified and unique which are the strength of this great nation under God. Therefore, it is fundamentally flawed to single out roughly 5% of the population and reclassify that small group into multiple subgroups while ignoring the 95% of the population. Specifically, it is in violation of the equal rights protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.
We strongly oppose this bill as it is versed. We urge the MA Oversight Committee not to consider this bill.
(Note: The president or representative of the organization in agreement, please send your organization’s full name in English to this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Organizations in agreement:
Massachusetts Chinese Family Alliance
Wayland Chinese American Association
West Roxbury Chinese Culture Society
Massachusetts Shanghainese Association
Chinese American Association of Andovers
Asian Americans for Equal Rights
Project Love Boston
Rhode Island Asian American Alliance Group
Sharon Chinese Association
Chinese Friends of Needham
Boston Chinese Alumni Association Coalition
Silicon Valley Chinese Association Foundation
Chinese American Network of Winchester
Chinese Young Professionals Network
Asian American Civic Engagement Alliance