Texas Governor Proposes Bill to Ban Chinese Property Ownership

A Texas state senator who proposed a contentious law prohibiting Chinese people from owning real estate in the state equated her plan to the Chinese surveillance balloon that was recently shot down in the US. Leaders in the Asian American community are concerned.

Recently, attention has been drawn to Texas Senate Bill 147, which would forbid residents of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea from owning real estate, including homes. Republican governor Greg Abbott has already stated he will sign it if it is passed. According to Yang, the US has frequently used the pretext of national security to demonize and denounce Asians.

Asian Americans’ loyalty to the US is frequently questioned, according to Manjusha Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, despite the fact that they have been in the country for a very long time. According to her, the metaphor first emerged with the anti-Asian violence associated with COVID-19, and the discourse surrounding the balloon has the potential to resurrect it.

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Kolkhorst’s claim that the balloon and the demand for the property bill were connected was one example she used. GOP Governor Greg Abbott tweeted last month in support of the legislation, which he said would stop persons from hostile nations like China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran from acquiring farmland.

Texas is the US state where foreign investors possess the most land, according to the US Department of Agriculture. According to Forbes, a Chinese millionaire bought 140,000 acres of this land.

Chinese Immigrants Don’t Feel Safe in Texas

Several members of the Chinese immigrant community in Texas claim they no longer feel safe and welcome there and are now afraid for their future. The proposed legislation, according to activists and politicians who consider it to be xenophobic, is similar to the American custom of exploiting Asian communities as scapegoats when political unrest is at its highest.

From before the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which forbade Chinese immigration for 40 years, these attitudes have always persisted in the US. Abbott also claims that the restriction will not apply to Chinese permanent residents, yet the bill is unmistakably motivated by anti-Asian prejudice.

Concerns about how the measure will impact the average individual pursuing the American dream were shared by Chinese American activist Ling Luo, who has been organizing locally in Texas (rather than among Chinese billionaires).

Although SB 147 may seem like a small issue in a state with leadership that isn’t in tune with what makes America great, it’s important to pay attention to. My attention is focused on any proposal aimed at restricting the rights of marginalized people because restrictions on books, abortions, and critical race theory are still spreading like wildfire.

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