Sery Kim's Anti-Chinese Immigrants Remarks Denounced by Korean-American GOP Congresswomen

Sery Kim, a Korean GOP congressional candidate who spoke out against Chinese immigrants earlier this week, has been denounced by two Republican Korean-American congresswomen who have called her statements both "unacceptable and hurtful."

California Representatives Young Kim and Michelle Steel – the first two Korean American Republicans to serve in Congress – have rescinded their support for Sery Kim after saying she did not want Chinese immigrants to come to the U.S.

"As the first Korean American Republican women to serve in Congress, we want to empower and lift up fellow members of the AAPI [Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders] community who want to serve their communities," Young Kim and Michelle Steel said in a statement to Newsweek Saturday.

"We talked with Sery Kim yesterday about her hurtful and untrue comments about Chinese immigrants, and made clear that her comments were unacceptable."

The Republican congresswomen's statement comes after Sery Kim said Chinese immigrants should not be allowed in the U.S. because they bring COVID-19, and "steal" intellectual property.

"I don't want them here at all. They steal our intellectual property, they give us coronavirus, they don't hold themselves accountable," Kim said during a GOP candidate forum on Wednesday in Texas. "And quite frankly, I can say that because I'm Korean," she added.

Kim and Steel, who previously endorsed Sery Kim as a congressional candidate in early March, have since revoked their backing for the GOP hopeful.

The congresswomen said in their latest statement that they urged Sery Kim "to apologize and clarify her remarks, especially as hate against the AAPI community is on the rise."

"However, she has not publicly shown remorse, and her words were contrary to what we stand for," they added. "We cannot in good conscience continue to support her candidacy. We will continue to speak out in support of our AAPI community."

Young Kim
GOP Representatives Young Kim and Michelle Steel have revoked their support for GOP Congressional candidate Sery Kim, following her remarks against Chinese immigrants. Here, Young Kim speaks during a hearing March 10, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Ting Shen-Pool/Getty Images

Sery Kim was born in South Korea and immigrated with her family to the U.S. as a child. She now lives in Texas, where she is among 11 Republican candidates running for Representative Ron Wright's vacated seat, who died of complications from COVID-19 in February.

She also served as assistant administrator for the Small Business Administration under former President Donald Trump.

When reached for comment about her statements on Chinese immigrants, Sery Kim previously told Newsweek: "I am shocked that in an effort to counter Asian-American hate the liberal media is targeting me, an Asian and an immigrant, in an effort to paint me as anti-Asian and anti-immigrant just for speaking against the oppressive Chinese Communist Party."

In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Sery Kim said she would not take back her statements, and added that they were "directed at the Communist Party of China, and were not directed at Asian Americans, especially Chinese immigrants fleeing this oppressive regime."

Sery Kim also argued this week that the rise in violent attacks against Asian Americans have always existed, but are only now being unveiled by the media.

"The biggest difference right now is people are filming it—and the media choosing to report it," she told The Dallas Morning News. "Asians have always faced violence. It's not worse than before."

"I am Asian American, and I have never felt discrimination, because I blame China for the problems they have actually created," she added on Wednesday.

Her comments come after last month's shooting in Atlanta, which left eight dead, including six Asian women, and amid a wave of attacks and threats against Asian Americans.

A study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino reported last month that anti-Asian hate crimes surged 145 percent from 2019 to 2020.

Updated 11:59 AM ET, with comment from Young Kim and Steel.

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