WASHINGTON – Last week, Senator Eric Schmitt cosponsored Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) Protecting America from Spies (SPIES) Act and the Protecting Military Installations and Ranges Act in order to prevent China and other foreign adversaries’ covert activities in the United States:
“China is undoubtedly our largest adversary when it comes to keeping Americans safe and promoting freedom globally. Under no circumstance should the United States be allowing foreign adversaries to conduct clandestine operations near our military bases or critical civilian infrastructure,” said Senator Eric Schmitt. “Both of these acts are a crucial step in safeguarding our military secrets and ensuring information is kept out of the hands of those who would seek to harm Americans.”
- The SPIES Act bill would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act.
- Under current law, the Act simply allows the U.S. government to deny a visa if an alien has the intention to engage in espionage, technology theft, or unlawful activity.
- This bill would expand the ability of the U.S. government to deny a visa if the alien has engaged in espionage or sabotage.
- The bill would also allow the U.S. government to deem a spouse or child of an alien inadmissible for espionage / sabotage, if the unlawful activity occurred within the last 5 years.
Protecting Military Installations and Ranges Act
This bill adds transactions under the following criteria for review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US:
- Within 100 miles of a military installation
- Within 50 miles of a military training route, special use airspace, controlled firing area, or a military operations area (as defined within the CFR)
- Owned by, controlled, receives subsidies, or acting on behalf of Russia, China, Iran, or North Korea.
- Under this bill, foreign adversary transactions essentially all across Missouri would be covered.
· For example, 100 miles from Whiteman Air Force Base would cover a square of Springfield, Jefferson City, Kansas City, and north of Chillicothe.