Congressman Arrington on bill that would ban foreign entities from buying state land

This bill would ban North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran from purchasing land
A bill has been filed in the Texas Senate that would ban people or agencies with ties to four countries from purchasing state land.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 9:06 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 10:12 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A bill has been filed in the Texas Senate that would ban people or agencies with ties to four countries from purchasing state land.

Texas Senate Bill 147 would ban entities from China, North Korea, Iran and Russia from purchasing land in the state. Lubbock Congressman Jodey Arrington says it’s crucial to national security.

“They are buying land around military assets and installations that we don’t want them to be interfering with,” Congressman Arrington said.

Arrington says the government knows 200,000 acres of land have been purchased by foreign companies or citizens, but they have used shell companies to do it.

“I think it’s a lot more than what we have on the books today,” Congressman Arrington said. “So, we have to take an inventory of everything China has purchased, and all their investments and we need to work to unwind them.”

Congressman Arrington says 20 states have passed similar legislation, and he doesn’t see why the Texas legislature won’t.

This bill follows a long period of investigations with lawmakers deliberating about whether this is a national security issue. Congressman Arrington says it is, and this bill is something should have been done a long time ago.

“Why in the world? It defies any definition of common sense,” Congressman Arrington said.

Congressman Arrington says he previously sponsored legislation to put an end to it, but the senate had another idea.

“So, the senate, the United States Senate, the profile in courage by the way, wants to study the issue of whether the greatest adversary to the United States should or should not be purchasing land around military installations - the answer is no, never,” Congressman Arrington said.

One Lubbock producer, Walt Hagood, is uneasy about this. He says it’s the government’s job to keep Americans safe and what’s happening at the border makes him wary about what’s going on with farm and ranchland.

“I think that creates more suspicion among agriculture producers across the state as to what might be happening on some of this ag land. We don’t want to be a part of any of that, we’re here to support our country, and we’re here to make a living, and we’re here to feed the world,” Hagood said.