CRA today released the following statement:
June 1, 2020
CRA Statement on the “Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China”
The President on Friday issued a proclamation effective today ordering the suspension of entry to the U.S. of Chinese non-immigrant graduate students or scholars who have ever studied, received support, been employed by, or conducted research at or on behalf of any Chinese entity that may have implemented China’s “military-civil fusion strategy.” The proclamation defines “military-civil fusion strategy” as “actions by or at the behest of the [People’s Republic of China] to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC’s military capabilities.”
We are aware and concerned that research in the United States is a target for espionage agents and others intent on stealing — rather than licensing — valuable intellectual property. We are also aware that some countries have been particularly aggressive about such theft in recent years. We support restrictions for people with clear connections to IP theft or espionage.
However, we oppose the banning of any foreign student or researcher unless there is clear evidence of their personal connection to such activities. Indiscriminate large-scale banning of students and researchers from any particular country deprives the U.S. research enterprise of contributions by international scholars, most of whom are not involved in IP theft or espionage.
The U.S. remains the world’s leading economy and maintains the world’s strongest defense because of an innovation ecosystem that is powered by a research enterprise that attracts the brightest minds and best ideas from all over the world. The broad scope of this proclamation has already created great uncertainty and fear among Chinese scholars who are here and contributing to U.S. leadership. It will most certainly discourage future international scholars from choosing the U.S. for their studies and research careers, depriving the U.S. of their talents and energy. We urge the Administration to immediately clarify the scope of the order and limit it to those cases where there is clear evidence of personal connection to espionage and IP theft.