Warren, Markey Reject Ted Cruz Amendment To Stop Asian Discrimination In College Admissions

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/04/23/warren-markey-reject-ted-cruz-amendment-to-stop-asian-discrimination-in-college-admissions/

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wanted to end discrimination against Asian-American students in college admissions based on race, but none of his peers on the other side of the aisle supported his endeavor. That includes U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Malden) and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Cambridge)

Cruz submitted Amendment 1456 to the COVID–19 Hate Crimes Act (S.937) that aimed to prohibit federal funding for “institutions of higher education that discriminate against Asian Americans.” 

The text of the amendment said, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no institution of higher education …  may receive any Federal funding if the institution has a policy in place or engages in a practice that discriminates against Asian Americans in recruitment, applicant review, or admissions.”

The amendment needed three-fifths of the Senate to vote for it to pass. It failed along party lines 49-48. Every Republican except U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) voted in favor of it. Lee was one of three senators to not cast a vote on the bill. The others were U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minnesota). The other 48 Democrats in the U.S. Senate voted against it.

Cruz and U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) released a joint statement on Wednesday expressing their frustration with the voting results on the amendment.

“In an unbelievably cynical move, Senate Democrats blocked efforts to stop discrimination against Asian Americans in higher education, where racial bias has become all too common,” they wrote. “This amendment would bar funds from institutions that discriminate against Asian American students.

“Despite their calls to end racism, it is clear Democrats are only paying lip service to fighting discrimination against Asian Americans and will allow targeted discrimination against them to continue at America’s universities and colleges,” they added.

At some colleges and universities in the United States, the standard for admitting students may vary by racial group. For example, at Harvard University from 2000 to 2017, there was an achievement gap of nearly 63 points out of 800 between the average Asian-American and the average African-American student accepted to the school, as The Harvard Crimson points out. On an SAT out of 2400, that’s a difference of about 189 points. On a test out of 1600, that’s about 126 points. This disparity has led some to accuse Harvard of discriminating against Asian applicants, a charge the school denies.

The average Asian student accepted into the school during that span scored 766.6 out of 800 per section of the SAT. For white students, it was 744.7; for Hispanics, it was 717.6; for Native Americans, it was 712.3; and for African-Americans, it was 703.7.

The acceptance rate also varied by race between 1995 and 2013, according to The Crimson. It was 13.2 percent for African-Americans, 11.1 percent for whites, 10.6 percent for Hispanic Americans, and 8.1 percent for Asian-Americans. This means the acceptance rate for African-American students was about 1.63 times higher than it was for Asian-Americans.

Harvard receives federal funding. Of the 6,600 undergraduates at Harvard College, about 17 percent of them are Pell Grant recipients, according to the school’s Web site.

Harvard was sued in 2014 by an advocacy group called Students for Fair Admissions alleging that the school discriminated against Asians in admissions. However, in November 2020, a federal appeals court in Boston ruled that “the statistical evidence did not show that Harvard intentionally discriminated against Asian Americans.”

The COVID–19 Hate Crimes Act passed 94-1 on Thursday and will both expedite the Department of Justice’s review of COVID-19 related hate crimes and create an official department within the department to oversee it.

The general public overwhelmingly disagrees with using race as a determinant in college admissions. In all, 73 percent say that it should not be a factor, according to a 2019 poll released by the Pew Research Center while 26 percent said it should be a factor.

The offices for Warren and Markey could not be reached for comment on Friday.


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