New Bill Would Bar Chinese Communist Party Members from Gaining Citizenship

On June 15, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Penn.) introduced H.R. 7724, the End Chinese Communist Citizenship Act. This important bill would tailor further provisions in U.S. immigration law preventing the naturalization of immigrants who possess membership in a totalitarian organization and specifically target members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Rep. Reschenthaler’s bill tightens the language in 8 USC §1182(a)(3)(D), which bars immigrants who were once or are currently members of a totalitarian party. This statute is broad and does not name any particular party by name. The only group named in the statute relates to those who participated in the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis in World War II. Rep. Reschenthaler’s bill suggests adding the Chinese Communist Party to the list of specific totalitarian parties.

His office notes that the bill

adds “Chinese Communist Party or its successor” to the list of immigrants prohibited from becoming U.S. citizens. This will provide necessary clarity for consular officers to ensure no members of the CCP obtain green cards. Additionally, the bill eliminates two current exemptions to the citizenship ban –  an exemption if an individual terminated membership with the party and an exemption if an individual is related to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

The latter two additions are crucial. Although the CCP controls every aspect of Chinese society, including access to business opportunities and commercial power, official membership in the CCP is not mandatory for all citizens. In fact, becoming a member in modern times is as difficult as earning admission to an Ivy League university. Membership in the CCP opens doors in politics, business, and across cultural life in China. Those fortunate enough to become members have spent their formative years pursuing entry and believing fervently in CCP’s ability to lay the path for their individual Chinese Dream.

Why would someone in the party – arguably the elite of the elite in Chinese society – give up such a sought-after membership? The elite in China do not need American citizenship to prosper or follow their dreams – they already hit the lottery in their country of origin by belonging to the most powerful political organization in Asia.

Note the increased use of espionage by China upon the United States. Their spying operation against the U.S. is vast and occupies embassies, universities, and the highest levels of American corporations. The U.S. is not alone as a target of China’s espionage. The People’s Republic built an extensive spy network in Africa, in European universities, among European Union staff, and even among Russian climate researchers.

Despite the clear antagonistic relationship between China and the United States and China’s hostility toward other countries in general, we still distributed 27,541 immigrant visas to Chinese nationals in FY 2019, outnumbering the total number of visas given to all of South America. The majority of Chinese arrived not because of any special skills, but because of their relationship to family members already in the United States. Just over 81 percent (22,525) of Chinese immigrants in 2019 entered the U.S. because of chain migration.

Rep. Reschenthaler’s bill ensures that CCP members could not enter the U.S. even if they had family members already living in the United States. This is a common sense solution. The CCP is diametrically opposed to the United States and considers the U.S. an enemy.

Rep. Reschenthaler’s bill could not come at a more opportune time for the United States as we begin to recover economically from the crisis of the Wuhan coronavirus. Remember that China initially refused to allow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) researchers into Wuhan until it became clear their own scientists could not handle the outbreak on their own. China also threatened to throw America into the “mighty sea of the coronavirus” due to the fact that they controlled most of our medical supply chain.

China is not a positive actor to the United States. The CCP and its membership have nothing positive to offer Americans. Instead of kowtowing to Chinese interests, the U.S. should take this small step towards protecting our national security by refusing to admit CCP members to the United States. Banning CCP members from becoming American citizens is hardly radical and long overdue.

Better yet, the U.S. should go further and use the existing 8 USC §1182(a)(3)(D) statute to ban the entrance of other nefarious individuals connected to rogue regimes. The list of state sponsors of terrorism would be a good place to start.

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