by JENNIE TAER at dailycaller.com
Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wants to also prevent foreign adversaries, like China, from using straw buyers, or agents who purchase something on behalf of someone with lesser or no buying power, to purchase land in his state, he told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an exclusive sit-down interview.
Republican Texas lawmakers have sought to ban associates of China, Iran, North Korea and Russia from purchasing state land via a bill under consideration in the state Senate. Paxton agrees with stopping foreign adversaries from making land purchases and believes straw buyers should also be targeted, he told the DCNF.
“Whether it’s the actual government or individuals or companies, who is sent over to sort of hide who they really are. If they’re connected to governments that seek our destruction, we have to protect ourselves and we shouldn’t be ashamed of that,” Paxton told the DCNF.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has also indicated he will sign such legislation.
Opponents of Texas’ effort have argued that the initiative is racist for targeting citizens of certain countries. The bill has been amended from its original version to exclude prohibitions on citizens or legal permanent residents of those countries.
“Look, you can always bring up race in this type of discussion. The fact is there are certain countries that are unfriendly to us, and they consider us enemies to be destroyed,” Paxton said.
“We have a duty to protect our citizens from bad things happening. Just because they’re from a different country doesn’t mean we shouldn’t defend ourselves. That is ridiculous, ludicrous, insane, and I think it would lead to the destruction of our country if we fell for that type of thinking,” Paxton said.
Chinese land ownership, for example, is the largest in the state of Texas when looking at the nation as a whole, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.