A group of Asian-Americans on Wednesday welcomed the Trump Administration’s move to rescind the Obama-era policy guidelines which encouraged schools, colleges and institutes of higher education to use race and ethnicity as a factor in the admissions. The Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) had filed complaints with the Department of Justice and the Department of Education against the Harvard University’s discriminatory treatment of Asian-American applicants in admissions.
“This is a triumphant moment for Asian American communities,” the AACE said, adding this timely update signifies a culmination of much-needed government actions to revamp misguided policies that facilitated widespread abuses of race-based affirmative action in higher education.
The Trump Administration has rescinded the Obama-era guidelines that encouraged American schools, colleges and institutes of higher education to use race and ethnicity as a factor in the admissions process to promote diversity among students. The guidelines were among 24 policy documents revoked yesterday by the Justice Department for being “unnecessary, outdated, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper.”
Last November, the US Department of Justice responded to AACE’s civil rights complaint against the Harvard University by starting an investigation into the school’s admissions practices.
In June, the Office of Civil Rights in Department of Education restored a policy notice dated back to the Bush era which instructs all schools receiving federal financial assistance to strictly observe the relevant US Supreme Court rulings on the use of race in college admissions. “Such accumulative measures align with a series of steady going Supreme Court rulings that progressively curtail the use of race in college admissions and banned uses of racial quotas, racial stereotypes, and higher standards,” the AACE said in a statement.
More importantly, this new regulatory reform epitomizes AACE’s success as a broad-based network with an impressive record of advocating educational equality for all American students, especially Asian-Americans who have been disproportionately hurt by discriminatory admissions practices, it said.
Founded in May 2015, AACE comprises of more than 60 Asian-Americans organisations, including several Indian-Americans. It was one of the largest joint actions ever taken by Asian-American organisations in pursuit of equal education rights.
“Today marks a new chapter for millions of Asian American children. If the new policy is faithfully implemented, American colleges can no longer use unlawful racial quotas, racial stereotypes and higher standards to discriminate against our children,” said Yukong Zhao from AACE.
This will significantly reduce a major barrier in these students’ pursuits of the American Dream, he added.