In an overwhelming vote Friday, the Senate gave its final approval to Senate Bill 212 to strengthen the state’s fight against illegal purchases of Oklahoma land by aliens and non-U.S. citizens. Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, said with the proliferation of land grabs following the legalization of medical marijuana, the state must take swift, definitive action to preserve and protect Oklahoma and its citizens.
“I have been working to stop the foreign takeover of our state by means of illegally purchasing our land,” Bullard said. “To date, they have consumed over 380,000 acres of land. Senate Bill 212 closes the loopholes they are using and adds an affidavit to the process to create a paper trail for law enforcement to shut it down.”
SB 212 clarifies that no alien or any person who is not a U.S. citizen may directly or indirectly, through a business entity or trust, own land in Oklahoma unless otherwise authorized by current law. The measure requires any deed recorded with a county clerk to include an affidavit executed by the person or entity coming into title attesting that the person, business entity, or trust is lawfully obtaining the land and that no funding source is being used in the sale or transfer in violation of any states’ laws or federal law. The bill further requires an affidavit before a county clerk may record any deed. The attorney general would create a separate affidavit for individuals and for business entities or trusts to comply with this legislation. Businesses engaged in regulated interstate commerce in accordance with federal law would be exempt from this prohibition.
Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, is the bill’s principal House author, which now goes to the governor’s office.
“We know the grass is greener here in Oklahoma, but we don’t need the Red Chinese Communist Party, drug cartels or the mafia coming here to buy up our land to grow black market marijuana that will get shipped to other states or around the world,” Humphrey said. “This measure will help us crack down on this illegal foreign ownership of land in our state through straw purchasers and better protect our citizens. I’m glad to see it pass the Senate with our House amendments.”
If signed, the new law will go into effect Nov. 1, 2023.