In an effort to deter Chinese influence in America, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) has co-sponsored a bill that would deny travel visas to members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Currently, CCP members are eligible for 10-year or multi-entry visas to vacation and to perform "non-official government business" in the U.S.
The goal of the new bill, introduced by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), is to "disincentivize Chinese nationals from joining the CCP and further restrict Chinese espionage and propaganda operations." According to a release from Rubio's office, the CCP currently boasts around 93 million members.
Chinese nationals may still apply for other visa categories, including diplomatic, student, athlete or artists, exchange visitors, intra-company, physicians and investors.
Tuberville, who has been critical of the Chinese government, said he hopes the bill will stop the "blatant theft" and interference of the CCP.
"Year after year, the Chinese Communist Party steals intellectual property worth trillions of dollars from companies around the world. This blatant theft should not be tolerated in the United States," Tuberville said in a statement. "We must do everything we can to stop harmful foreign interference in our society and economy, including banning members of the CCP from obtaining B-1 and B-2 nonimmigrant visas."
"China's increasingly hostile role on the world stage and willingness to orchestrate cyber and intellectual crime has made them our top adversary," he added. "It makes no sense to allow those who would harm the United States to lawfully enter our country for any reason."
U.S. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) are also sponsoring the bill.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.