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July 21, 2023

NIAC Press Release on Senator Rounds Amendment to NDAA

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, July 25, 2023 the U.S. Senate will debate new restrictions on the purchase of agricultural land. A reckless amendment offered to the Senate National Defense Authorization Act (S. 2226) will receive a vote that would require the President to prohibit Iranian nationals here on visas – along with Chinese, Russians and North Koreans – from purchasing agricultural property or private real estate used in agriculture.

National Iranian American Council (NIAC) President Jamal Abdi issued the following statement:

“It is unbelievable that in the 21st century the U.S. Senate will debate an amendment that is a throwback to the racist, dangerous, and un-American alien land laws from more than a century ago. But that is exactly what will happen on Tuesday with Rounds amendment #813. If this amendment passes, the President will be forced to cancel purchases of property solely on the basis of national heritage. That is unacceptable and a slippery slope to more forms of discrimination.

“We are hardly a few weeks removed from the Department of Justice weighing in against a similar proposal signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, warning it ‘will cause serious harm to people simply because of their national origin, contravene federal civil rights laws, undermine constitutional rights, and will not advance the State’s purported goal of increasing public safety.’ But now the Senate risks taking a page right from the DeSantis playbook.

“This amendment would not only have dire implications for people to purchase property, but risks legitimizing discrimination against Iranians, Russians, and members of the AAPI community for years to come. The American dream belongs to everyone, regardless of their heritage. We urge Senators to be on the right side of history and reject this amendment when it’s up for a vote this Tuesday.” 


Read our memo on the amendment here.

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