July 26, 2023

NIAC Press Statement on Passage of Rounds Amendment #813

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council issued the following statement deploring the Senate’s passage of an amendment, the Rounds Amendment #813, to the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would bar the sale of certain agricultural property to visa holders from Iran, Russia, China and North Korea:

“This is a dangerous step that endorses the concept of national origin discrimination inside the U.S. and treats Iranians and other people from countries with whom the U.S. government has serious differences as if they are the one and the same as their government. As a community that has been subjected to a travel ban against our families under the Trump Administration and other forms of discrimination through sanctions under the excuse of supposed national security, Iranian Americans cannot allow our rights to once again be put in the crosshairs to satisfy the xenophobic political agendas of some elected officials.” 

“While NIAC worked to secure exemptions for green card holders and U.S. citizens so they would not be directly targeted by this measure, this measure still risks encouraging discrimination by individuals and businesses against certain immigrant communities and opens the door for more radical discriminatory legislation that could directly target Iranian Americans, Chinese Americans, and others, as has been proposed in numerous state legislatures.”

The Rounds Amendment measure was strongly opposed by NIAC as well as by the ACLU and Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Once the Senate approves the underlying NDAA legislation, it will go to conference with the House before being sent to be signed into law. NIAC will continue to work to prevent this measure from moving forward. 

At the state level, over 30 bills have been introduced to impose restrictions on property purchases on certain nationals and immigrant communities in the U.S. NIAC and a multi-ethnic coalition of civil rights and immigrant community organizations have organized locally across the country to prevent these measures, most notably in Texas where SB147 was successfully stalled this legislative session. 

In Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed restrictions against certain nationals from purchasing property that are now being challenged in federal court, the DOJ has weighed in against the measure, stating that it violates equal housing law and the U.S. constitution. 

Read our full analysis on Amendment #813 and its dangerous impacts here and here.

Back to top