White House backs Asians suing Harvard alleging race discrimination

By: | Published: August 31, 2018 10:06 AM

The Donald Trump administration is supporting Asian Americans who are suing the Ivy League Harvard University alleging it racially discriminates against them in admissions.

white house backs suit, white house, donald trump white house, president donald trump latest news, trump newsHarvard College, the undergraduate institution of the university that is at the center of the suit, is headed by an Indian American, Rakesh Khurana. (Image: Reuters)

The Donald Trump administration is supporting Asian Americans who are suing the Ivy League Harvard University alleging it racially discriminates against them in admissions.

“No American should be denied admission to school because of their race,” the Justice Department said in a document filed in a Massachusetts court on Thursday to back Asian Americans.

“As a recipient of taxpayer dollars, Harvard has a responsibility to conduct its admissions policy without racial discrimination by using meaningful admissions criteria that meet lawful requirements,” said the department headed Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The suit was filed in 2014 by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) on behalf of high-performing Asian students – a category that includes Indians – who allege that Harvard discriminates against them on the basis of their race. The case is scheduled to be taken up for trial in October.

Either way it is decided, the case is expected to have wide repercussions for educational institutions across the US and impact affirmative action programmes that are in theory geared to help certain disadvantaged minorities.

Harvard College, the undergraduate institution of the university that is at the center of the suit, is headed by an Indian American, Rakesh Khurana.

The Justice Department also said in a statement Thursday that it had separately begun an investigation into Harvard’s admissions process last year based upon a complaint made to it by more than 60 Asian-American organizations.

The organisations that complained to the Justice Department include the Global Organization of Persons of Indian Origin, National Federation of Indian-American Associations, American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin, and BITS Sindri Alumni Association of North India.

While under US court rulings universities can use broad criteria like economic status to ensure diversity in admissions, making race the sole factor in a system similar to caste-based reservations in India is illegal.

Although the programmes for diversity at many universities are presented as progressive efforts to help historically oppressed minorities like African Americans and Latinos, it is the Whites who actually benefit at the expense of the Asians.

A study by a Princeton University academic found that to gain admission to elite universities, Asian-American students had to score 140 points more than whites in the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), which is a common entrance exam used by most universities.

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