OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 12:12 PM – Saturday, April 29, 2023
Under a new bill that was passed by the Texas state Senate, citizens from countries that pose a threat to the United States would not be allowed to own certain types of lands.
The new bill, Senate Bill 147, would ban citizens from countries that have been named on the Director of National Intelligence’s National Threat Assessment for three years in a row, or more. The only nations that fall under that criteria would be China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. However, lawful permanent residents and dual citizens would be exempted.
Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Texas.), who had introduced the bill, told Fox News that the bill is the balance that is needed, and that it is vital to the national security of the country.
“Senate Bill 147 strikes the balance of national security, and the state is vital to our national security,” Kolkhorst said. “While also allowing those that are seeking freedom, seeking asylum, fleeing these authoritarian regimes, to come here and live their lives and live the American dream.”
However, the bill only bans certain areas from being available for purchase by citizens from the listed nations. The areas that the bill lists are agriculture, oil, timber, and mineral-bearing areas. The bill lists these areas as off limits due to the threat that foreign ownership would pose to the state and the country.
“Food security is national security. Oil and gas, our rare earth materials, timber – we need to be protecting that,” Kolkhorst said. “This is a national security issue. So that’s why I linked the prohibitions back to the national threat assessment.”
The bill has faced heavy opposition from within and outside the legislation.
State Representative Gene Wu (D-Texas.) said that the bill goes too far, and that the legislation should be focused on those governments and their agents instead of the citizens.
“Even with the amendments offered, this legislation still takes away the rights of an entire class of people without due process and solely on the basis of their national origin,” Wu said. “National security is a serious issue, but if we are concerned about the actions of foreign governments, then legislation should only affect foreign governments and their agents.”
Members of the Houston Asian community opposed the bill and held rallies near the office of Senator Kolkhorst in protest. The protesters called the bill “racist and xenophobic.”
June Xu, a member of the Houston Asian community said that even though the bill was altered and “watered down,” it was still discriminatory and racial profiling.
“It’s watered down, but less discrimination,” Xu said. “But it’s still discrimination. That did not change. Imagine if I walk into the broker and say I need to buy land. Nobody else has to show their citizenship, but I do based on what? Based on what I look like and my last name so it’s still racial profiling.”
However, other states have either introduced, or are in the process of implementing similar legislatures. On Wednesday, the North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill which would ban Russia, China, and other hostile governments from buying lands in the state.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) has also introduced a bill on the national level that would ban Chinese citizens from buying real estate in the United States. The bill also exempts those who were granted asylum as a refugee or was a lawful immigrant and admitted for permanent residence.
“For decades, the Chinese Communist Party has been gobbling up American farmland and real estate,” Cotton had previously told Fox News. “At best, this submits American land and resources to China’s best interests, not America’s — at worst, these purchases serve as outposts for Chinese espionage campaigns against American businesses and military bases.”
The bill in Texas will now head to the state House of Representatives for approval before making its way to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk for his signature.
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