Senate bill to ban enemy ownership of Texas land advances with new safeguards

In a bid to safeguard Texas energy, food supply, minerals, and military installations, State Senator Lois Kolkhorst has gained approval in the upper chamber for a ban on Texas land ownership by companies controlled by a quartet of governments hostile to the United States.

"Texas has more land owned by China than any other state in the nation. We are trying to catch the bad actors, but not snare those who are fleeing tyrannical governments or those that have come over, and they are contributing," said Kolkhorst, a Republican from Brenham.

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Kolkhorst's original proposal barred land ownership by any non-citizen immigrant from China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, drawing angry allegations of discrimination.

The Senator responded with a kinder, gentler version of the bill, restoring the right of lawful residents to own a homestead, investment property and commercial businesses.

"We are not trying to target people. We are trying to target nations that pose a security risk to this great nation of ours," said State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, a McAllen Democrat who voted in favor of the bill.


"We want to always be the nation where people have the opportunity to flee tyrannical rule and have the opportunity to live the American dream," said State Senator Tan Parker, a Republican from Flower Mound.

Despite Kolkhorst's effort to eliminate "unintended consequences", Houston State Senator John Whitmire claimed the proposal has had a deeply chilling effect on legal immigrants.

"You have already impacted them. They are scared to death of you. They are scared to death of this legislation because if you read your original bill, they can’t get over it, and then they are afraid of what is next," said Whitmire.

After a final procedural vote in the Texas Senate, SB-147 will move to the State House for consideration.