On Wednesday, the Texas state senate passed a bill that would help protect Americans as concerns mount over the number of foreigners buying up U.S. farmland. Under the new bill, citizens of countries that pose a national security threat to the U.S. would be prohibited from owning certain types of land. The nations directly affected by the legislation would be any nation appearing on the Director of National Intelligence’s National Threat Assessment three years in a row. The four nations that currently would be restricted under the rule are China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

Originally those four countries were called out specifically in the bill’s language, but the final draft provides an opportunity for a country to be removed from the list. The latest draft recognizes the National Threat Assessment could change with leadership change or for other reasons. Permanent residents who are law-abiding and dual citizens will not be affected by the law and will still be allowed to buy land under the final version of the bill.
According to Fox News, Republican Texas Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, who introduced the bill, said the new law would make allowances for asylum seekers while protecting America’s security concerns,

“Senate Bill 147 strikes the balance of national security – and the state is vital to our national security – 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.”

The bill makes it clear that lands where foreign ownership could pose a threat, are the ones that will be off-limits. The types of land included in this are; agriculture, oil, timber, and mineral-bearing areas. Kolkhorst reiterated the need for America to protect our sovereignty,

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“Food security is national security. Oil and gas, our rare earth materials, timber – we need to be protecting that. This is a national security issue. So that’s why I linked the prohibitions back to the national threat assessment.”

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott pledged his support for the bill at the beginning of the year, saying,

“A bill is filed in Texas legislature to ban citizens, governments & entities of China, Iran, North Korea & Russia from purchasing land in Texas. I will sign it. This follows a law I signed banning those countries from threatening our infrastructure.”


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