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Hartzler, Cruz Introduce Legislation to Block Chinese Espionage Efforts

May 20, 2021
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) reintroduced the bicameral Protecting America from Spies Act, which allows the U.S. Department of State to deny visas to individuals who have committed acts of espionage or intellectual property theft against the United States.
 
This legislation updates the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) to ensure past and present espionage and tech-transfer activity is considered inadmissible for entry into the United States. Under current law, only knowledge of future espionage intent disqualifies them from obtaining visas. The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) spies expelled from our nation due to past behavior and crimes can immediately reapply for visas.
 
“America is the holder of precious sensitive information and secrets which China will go to unimaginable lengths to obtain. When we catch these bad actors, America should be able to deny them access to our nation under any circumstances,” Hartzler said. “The threat of China and the prevalence of its spies warrant strict and steadfast action to limit their destructive espionage efforts -- which is why the Protecting America from Spies Act is urgently needed. I thank Sen. Cruz for his leadership and collaboration fighting the rise of China and its abusive actions.”
 
“The Chinese Communist Party takes a whole-of-state approach to espionage and intellectual property theft, and relentlessly seeks to infiltrate and steal from America and American institutions,” Cruz said. “There is no better example of this than the State Department’s closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston last year, which the Chinese government was exploiting for malign purposes. People who try to spy on the U.S. and their family members should not be granted access to our country.”
 
Specifically, the bill will:
  • Update the INA to ensure past, present, and future espionage and tech-transfer activity is considered inadmissible for entry into the United States.
  • Make spouses and children of aliens engaged in espionage or tech-transfer inadmissible if the activity making them inadmissible occurred with the past five years. This is modeled after the terrorism activity section of the INA.
 
Read the House version of this bill in its entirety
 here.