House Bill 379 making waves as discriminatory toward the Chinese community

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 12:51 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A bill making its way through the Alabama House would block Chinese born citizens from buying property in Alabama, and some people are calling the bill discriminatory.

Rep. Scott Stadthagen filed the Alabama Property Protection Act, or House Bill 379.

This bill would prohibit Chinese citizens, the Chinese government, or Chinese entities from buying property in the state of Alabama.

Alabama Representative Neil Rafferty said he understands protecting the state from the Chinese government, but he says right now this bill does not make a clear distinction between the government and a Chinese citizen.

“I think this is kind of reactionary to what’s been going on and the diplomatic tensions between the United States and China,” Rafferty said.

Representative Rafferty said the United States is a country of immigrants who live by freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and part of that is the pursuit of property.

“It will isolate the people who are escaping the communist party or who are just trying to immigrate here to create a better life for themselves and their children,” Rafferty said.

We spoke with John Higgins, whose wife is a Chinese born citizen, and she says members of the Chinese community here in Alabama are upset and worried about the bill.

“If anything were to happen to me, any of the properties that we have that’s not listed in both of our names, she would have to deal with the difficulty of me passing as well as making sure she would be able to retain possession of all those properties,” Higgins said. “So, we are going to have to see a lawyer to make sure my wife and son won’t lose any of that.”

Higgins said he understands protecting the country from espionage, but says striking out the Chinese citizen portion of the bill would be best.

Higgins went on to say that he has reached out to his state senators and the governor expressing his thoughts on the bill.

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