Asian American Federal Employees for Nondiscrimination (AAFEN) addresses discrimination within the federal government under circumstances where Asian American employees, contractors, service members and fund recipients come under suspicion as national security risks due to their ethnicities or national origins. AAFEN provides affected parties with resources, as well as opportunities to share their stories with policymakers, the media and the public.
We are committed to upholding and defending the U.S. Constitution. The issues that we raise are in service of strengthening the U.S. and its institutions. We reject any efforts by foreign or domestic entities to exploit perceived weaknesses for their propaganda aims.
We honor the Asian Americans who have served in uniform in all military engagements since the Civil War and throughout the intelligence community in support of U.S. national security interests. We recognize the dedication to public service by Asian Americans who have held positions at all levels of local, state and federal government. We celebrate the contributions of Asian Americans who have contributed significantly to all sectors of the U.S. economy and to the social fabric of this country.
We believe that the American principles of fairness and equality, as well as due process afforded under the U.S. Constitution, apply equally to all Americans.
We view our nation’s strongest asset to be its people, many of whom are immigrants. Two-thirds of Asian Americans are immigrants. Many Asian Americans bring language skills and cultural competencies to public service, which enhance our diplomatic, military and economic positions on the international stage.
We maintain that the U.S. national interest is best served when it embraces Asian Americans – particularly whose who answer the call to public service – as part of the solution, not as a threat, especially during periods of tense relationships between the U.S. and Asian nations.
We envision a federal government workforce that represents the broad diversity of the American people. Race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender and sexual orientation should not be barriers to entry into federal service, nor should they hinder assignment or promotion within the U.S. government. Diversity is the strength of our nation, not its weakness.
We envision a federal government that recognizes that those who have a relatively recent immigration history, such as Asian Americans, are no less American than the immigrants who arrived during earlier eras.
We envision a federal government that honors and celebrates any government employee’s commitment to American ideals. We envision a federal government that recognizes any employee’s willingness to serve as a fair measure of loyalty, and understands that ties to a country of origin by an employee, their parents or grandparents does not automatically constitute a national security threat. We envision a federal government wherein targeted monitoring programs that scrutinize employees based on race or national origin are eliminated. We envision a federal government’s wherein trust in federal employees is not unmoored by the changing tides of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and other nations. We envision a workforce of federal employees who are treated equally in all employment actions.
We envision a federal government that incorporates diversity, equity and inclusion practices throughout its operations. We envision a federal government wherein government representatives cannot take shelter behind governmental immunity when they intentionally discriminate. We envision a federal government wherein government senior officials are bound to safeguard protected classes against disparate impact from policies, practices and regulations. We foresee a federal government where Asian Americans build long-lasting careers, rise to top-level, decision-making roles, reinforce a positive work climate and mentor emerging professionals. We foresee a federal government that receives a return on its investment, and agencies achieve higher levels of cultural competency to serve the American population, which is undergoing rapid demographic changes.
We envision a federal government wherein employees whose jobs depend on security clearances, or access to classified materials, are evaluated via clear adjudicative guidelines, especially with respect to “foreign influence” and “foreign preference,” by agents whose decisions are subject to independent oversight by a body outside of the national security enterprise. We foresee a government wherein employees whose security clearances are under review have timely access to information to enable them to represent their positions and to preserve appeal rights, as well as to preserve their future employment in the federal government while their cases are pending.
We are committed to forging a federal government workforce which, during times of heightened national security concerns, does not compromise the civil rights and civil liberties of its citizens. We are committed to creating a federal government that is trusted by all communities it serves.