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Justice Department seeks volunteers to investigate discrimination complaint against Harvard

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The confirmation from DOJ comes as a surprise for the Asian American groups.

Harvard-University
Harvard University (Courtesy of PixaBay)

 

The Department of Justice might reconsider the 2015 discrimination complaint against Harvard admission process filed by a group of 64 Asian American associations as it has issued a job in its Civil Rights Division for “volunteers” to investigate the complaint.

The confirmation of the intent of the Justice department to reconsider the case came after New York Times reported that the department is looking for lawyers to do “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”

Denying the NYT report, DOJ Spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement, “The posting sought volunteers to investigate one administrative complaint filed by a coalition of 64 Asian-American associations in May 2015 that the prior administration left unresolved.”

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“The complaint alleges racial discrimination against Asian Americans in a university’s admissions policy and practices. This Department of Justice has not received or issued any directive, memorandum, initiative, or policy related to university admissions in general. The Department of Justice is committed to protecting all Americans from all forms of illegal race-based discrimination,” she added.

The confirmation from the DOJ comes as a surprise for the Asian American groups that filed the complaint during the time of Obama administration, which did not order for an inquiry.

A statement from the Asian-American Coalition for Education that filed the complaint read, “Today, we are very encouraged that the Trump Administration will start looking into this issue, providing Asian-American students with equal protection under the laws.”

The president of the Coalition, Yukong Zhaoon, said on Thursday that the justice department’s move is welcoming. His son Hubert filed a complaint with the Department of Education last year after being denied admission despite having high GPA of 53.3, high PSAT and SAT scores. He had claimed that the admission application was unjustly rejected even by universities such as Cornell and Columbia universities.

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“We expect that the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education will take concrete actions to help restore the spirit of (the) American Dream: reward individual efforts and merits, and treat all individuals equally,” said Zhao, a Chinese-American author who lives in Florida, told NBC News.

The complaint filed by the Asian American coalition was rejected by the Department of Education citing that there was a similar complaint that was under consideration in federal court.

Harvard spokeswoman Rachael Dane commenting on the recent developments regarding the case discrimination filed against the premier institution said that due to the highest standards it follow only 6 percent is the acceptance rate, making it one of the toughest institutes to crack in the country.

“Harvard’s admissions process considers each applicant as a whole person, and we review many factors, consistent with the legal standards established by the U.S. Supreme Court,” she said.