OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A measure that would stop non-U.S. citizens from buying land in Oklahoma has passed the Oklahoma Senate.

Sen. David Bullard, (R-Durant), worked with the attorney general’s office to craft Senate Bill 212.

Organizers say the bill would keep non-U.S. citizens from directly or indirectly, through a business entity or trust, owning land in the state unless otherwise authorized by law.

“Oklahoma land is as rich for growing crops as it is with the heritage of hard-working people.  It is no wonder a lot of people want land here, including those from other countries,” Bullard said. “It is not an excuse to allow foreign nationals to buy up one of our most valuable resources, especially when they are cartels and from communist parties. We cannot continue to auction our state off to the highest criminal bidder.”

Currently, it is illegal for non-U.S. citizens to acquire or own land in Oklahoma.

If they do acquire it by “devise or descent,” they must dispose of it within five years.

Bullard’s bill takes on the practice of ‘straw owners,’ which can be individuals, businesses, or trusts that fraudulently complete real estate transactions to get around the law.

Under SB 212, any land deed will have to include an affidavit saying the buyer is complying with Oklahoma law and that no funding source is being used in the sale that violates federal law.

The measure has passed the Oklahoma Senate and now heads to the Oklahoma House of Representatives.