Washington, DC – Representative Judy Chu (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), provided a powerful statement for the record on how Congress can examine the issue of foreign ownership of land without spreading demonization of immigrant communities.
The letter was entered into the record by Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on foreign ownership of U.S. agricultural land held last week on September 27, 2023. Rep. Chu states, “I staunchly object to any legislation—at the federal, state, or local level—that bans an individual from land or property ownership solely based on their country of origin.” Rep. Chu goes on to note the many civil rights concerns with laws advancing throughout the country, including S.B.264 in Florida which Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed into law targeting nationals of seven nations on the basis of their national heritage. Civil rights groups, including NIAC, have also sounded the alarm on the Rounds amendment which is currently in the Senate-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act.
Rep. Chu critically notes there is no factual evidence behind the apparent fear that China and other countries are threatening the national food supply by acquiring U.S. farmland, which has spurred the introduction and passage of a wave of “alien land laws” that restrict the ability to purchase property on the basis of national origin. Rather than engage in these discriminatory actions, she suggests Congress instead target foreign governments and sanctioned entities, rather than restrict individuals. Second, Rep. Chu urges additional efforts to study the issue further. As we have seen, legislatures are instead drafting legislation before understanding the scope of the issues.
We are proud to be aligned with Representative Chu in this fight against xenophobic laws that seek to restrict the American Dream for immigrant communities like ours. We will continue to advocate against the Rounds Amendment and all alien land laws passed across the country.09_27_2023-capac-statement-for-the-record-senate-committee-on-ag-hearing-on-foreign-ownership-in-u.s.-agriculture
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