Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Ban Chinese Communist Party Members From Immigrating to US

Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Ban Chinese Communist Party Members From Immigrating to US
Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) questions Intelligence Committee Minority Counsel Stephen Castor and Intelligence Committee Majority Counsel Daniel Goldman during the House impeachment inquiry hearings, in Washington, on Dec. 9, 2019. (Dough Mills/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Frank Fang

U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) has introduced legislation that would prevent members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from obtaining green cards.

“The CCP continues to engage in aggressive and reckless behavior on the global stage, including stealing American intellectual property, violating international trade laws, committing heinous human rights abuses, and more recently, failing to act and responsibly share information that could have contained the deadly COVID-19 pandemic,” Reschenthaler said in a June 15 statement.

“It is clear members of the CCP do not share our American ideals and values,” he added. “We should not permit them to enjoy all of the privileges that come with being an American citizen.”

Currently, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) bans immigrants who have been “a member of or affiliated with the Communist or other totalitarian party” from receiving a green card. The INA also has inadmissibility provisions that bar those with such party membership from being granted immigrant visas.

But the language of such rules doesn’t clearly define which Communist party.

The proposal, named the End Chinese Communist Citizenship Act, would amend the INA’s inadmissibility provisions to include specific language to ban individuals with membership in the “Chinese Communist Party or its successor.”

Reschenthaler’s bill would also do away with two current exceptions: if an immigrant terminated their party membership prior to filing a U.S. visa application, or if they are relatives of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

In June 2019, China’s state-run media Xinhua reported that the CCP had more than 90 million members as of the end of 2018, based on a report by the regime’s organization department. China currently has a population of about 1.4 billion.

Among the more than 90 million, about 35 percent were workers and peasants, roughly 16 percent were professional and technical personnel, and almost 11 percent were business and management personnel.

The CCP isn’t the only Party organization in China. Hundreds of millions of people have joined the Party’s youth organizations in primary and secondary school—the Young Pioneers and the Communist Youth League. All who join those organizations declare an oath of faith to the Party.

Chinese individuals with Party membership have had brushes with the law in the United States.

Ye Yanqing, a former exchange student at Boston University, was charged with visa fraud for failing to disclose her Chinese military background on her application. She is a Party member and a lieutenant in China’s People’s Liberation Army. Federal prosecutors alleged that she retrieved U.S. military intelligence and sent U.S. documents to China while in the United States.
Recently, Chinese military officer Wang Xin was charged with visa fraud after being arrested in Los Angeles on June 7. The officer hid his military background to get a visa to work as a researcher at the University of California–San Francisco, and allegedly passed on research information back to his lab in China.

The Chinese military is under the direct command of a Party organ called the Central Military Commission; thus, Wang would have been under orders from the Party.