Texas state mulls ban on Chinese buying land

Texas state mulls ban on Chinese buying land

Texas state mulls ban on Chinese buying land

The U.S. state of Texas is considering barring Chinese citizens from buying property on national security grounds, and as tensions with Beijing rise other states may follow suit.

The Texas proposal also would bar Russians, Iranians and North Koreans from owning real estate. But the principal target appears to be Chinese nationals.

The draft proposal was offered up in November 2022 by Republican Lois Kolkhorst, a state senator in Texas in the southern U.S.

“One of the top concerns for many Texans is national security and the growing ownership of Texas land by certain adversarial foreign entities,” Kolkhorst has said.

Governor Greg Abbott, a fellow Republican and fierce advocate of more severe immigration policies, says he will sign and enact the proposal if it passes the state senate.

Foreign ownership of farmland and other real estate, particularly by Chinese citizens or businesses, is becoming
a hot issue in the United States, and not only in Texas. Florida, Arkansas, South Dakota and eight other states are considering legislation to restrict foreign ownership.

Texas, though, may be a bellwether. With 28.8 million citizens, Texas is the second most populous state. Of its residents, 1.4 million define their ethnicity as Asian, and 223,500 say they are of Chinese origin, U.S. census data shows.
Houston, the fourth largest U.S. city, has 156,000 residents who identify as Asian.

They include U.S. citizens with Asian heritage but also Chinese permanent residents, or green card holders, who are not naturalized citizens.

“All these people are paying taxes here,” said Ling Luo, a first-generation Chinese immigrant who is director of the Asian Americans Leadership Council. “[They] are paying a tremendous contribution to the universities, to education.”