Text: S.4797 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (10/05/2020)


116th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 4797


To place restrictions on the issuance of nonimmigrant visas to Chinese journalists employed by a Chinese state-run media organization or effectively controlled by the Government of the People’s Republic of China or the Chinese Communist Party, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

October 5, 2020

Mr. Scott of Florida (for himself and Mrs. Blackburn) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To place restrictions on the issuance of nonimmigrant visas to Chinese journalists employed by a Chinese state-run media organization or effectively controlled by the Government of the People’s Republic of China or the Chinese Communist Party, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Chinese-Backed Media Accountability Act”.

SEC. 2. Restrictions on nonimmigrant visas for Chinese journalists.

(a) Defined term.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—In this section, the term “Chinese state-run media organization” includes—

(A) China Central Television;

(B) China News Service;

(C) the People’s Daily;

(D) the Global Times;

(E) Xinhua News Agency;

(F) China Global Television Network;

(G) China Radio International;

(H) China Daily Distribution Corporation; and

(I) Hai Tian Development USA.

(2) IDENTIFICATION OF ADDITIONAL CHINESE STATE-RUN MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS.—The Secretary of State shall determine whether any media organization not listed under paragraph (1)—

(A) is a Chinese state-run media organization; and

(B) is subject to the visa restrictions set forth in this section.

(b) Report on Chinese journalists in the United States.—Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to Congress that identifies the number of nationals of the People’s Republic of China—

(1) who are engaged in the journalism profession;

(2) (A) who are employed by a Chinese state-run media organization; or

(B) whose work product, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, is effectively controlled by the Government of the People’s Republic of China or the Chinese Communist Party;

(3) who, during the most recent 1-year period—

(A) were issued a nonimmigrant visa under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b)) (commonly known as an “H–1B visa”) or were granted an extension for such visa;

(B) were issued a nonimmigrant visa under section 101(a)(15)(I) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(I)) (commonly known as an “I–1 visa”) or were granted an extension for such visa; or

(C) were issued a nonimmigrant visa under section 101(a)(15)(L) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(L)) (commonly known as an “L–1 visa”) or were granted an extension for such visa; and

(4) who were physically present in the United States on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(c) Review of certain nonimmigrant visa holders.—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may not approve a petition for a nonimmigrant visa referred to in subsection (b)(3) to any journalist from the People’s Republic of China described in subsection (b)(2), and the Bureau of Consular Affairs may not issue such a visa to any such journalist, until after the Secretary of State submits the report required under subsection (b).

(d) Additional requirements for certain nonimmigrant visas.—Before issuing a nonimmigrant visa referred to in subsection (b)(3) to a journalist from the People’s Republic of China described in subsection (b)(2), the Bureau of Consular Affairs shall ensure that—

(1) the number of nonimmigrant visas issued to journalists from the People’s Republic of China described in subsection (b)(2) does not exceed the number of United States journalists in the People’s Republic of China; and

(2) such visa is valid for a period not to exceed 90 days.

(e) Renewals.—A nonimmigrant visa issued to a journalist from the People’s Republic of China described in subsection (b)(2) may be renewed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for an additional 90-day period if the number of valid nonimmigrant visas issued to Chinese journalists described in subsection (b)(2) is fewer than the number of United States journalists in the People’s Republic of China.

SEC. 3. Congressional reporting requirements.

(a) Report.—Not later than 45 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit a report to Congress regarding the ongoing monitoring of the number of Chinese journalists described in section 2(b).

(b) Biennial congressional briefings.—The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall ensure that appropriate staff are available to provide a biennial briefings to the appropriate congressional committees regarding—

(1) the number of Chinese journalists described in section 2(b);

(2) the number of United States journalists in the People’s Republic of China;

(3) the names of entities that are labeled, or considered to be labeled, as foreign missions of the People’s Republic of China.

(4) the extent to which the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security are complying with the visa restrictions under this Act; and

(5) recommendations for improving the accuracy of reporting from the People’s Republic of China—

(A) to prevent future pandemics originating from the People’s Republic of China; and

(B) to provide accurate information to the public regarding—

(i) the mistreatment by the Government of the People’s Republic of China of natives of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and followers of the Falun Gong religious movement; and

(ii) conditions affecting the political and civil rights of the people in Hong Kong.


Share This