Sen. Lois Kolkhorst introduced Senate Bill 147 in response to worries from specific prominent Republican figures that hostile foreign nations would jeopardize state interests by purchasing land in Texas. The Texas Senate wants to prevent residents of China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran from buying property there.
Foreigners Own More Land in Texas
Texas already enacted a bill prohibiting businesses linked to the same four nations from connecting to crucial infrastructure in 2021. Sen. Donna Campbell’s Senate Bill 2116, which prohibits foreign companies from connecting to the power grid, water, chemical plants, communications networks, and cyber systems, was approved by Gov. Abbott and signed into law.
It lists acts of aggression against the United States, human rights violations, intellectual property theft, and attacks on critical infrastructure as justifications. The legislation from this session goes far further and forbids individual citizens from purchasing any real estate, a source posted.
According to U.S. statistics, foreigners hold more land in Texas than any other state, totaling more than 4.7 million acres. Ministry of Agriculture That represents only 3% of the state’s total privately owned land. When attempting to buy a wind farm in Val Verde County next to Laughlin Air Force Base, a company with a Chinese chairman allegedly threatened to do so, according to Commissioner Miller.
The Bill is Criticized
However, several Democrats and other opponents have openly denounced the plan as “unconstitutional,” stating that it will violate Texans with green card rights.
In a press conference on Monday, Rep. Gene Wu, a Democrat from Houston, blasted the bill’s shortcomings. He claimed that the bill targets visa holders from all around the world whom they have attempted to recruit.
Texas’ senior agricultural official, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, has publicly called for such regulations. The ownership of Texas farm and ranch land must not pass into the hands of Red China, Miller argued in an opinion piece at the beginning of the session.