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Rep. Norman Introduces Bill to Protect American Research and Intellectual Property

On Friday, Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) introduced the Safeguarding United States (SUS) Research Act in the House of Representatives. This legislation pertains to individuals who are granted nonimmigrant visas into the United States as well as their sponsors, who are typically academic institutions or other organizations.

The SUS Research Act will require that visa sponsors notify the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) whenever a visa recipient participates in federally funded research. Furthermore, this legislation grants DHS the ability to review and, if appropriate, revoke the visa of any nonimmigrant visa holder who participates in federally funded research if that individual has either:

(A) misrepresented his or her intention(s) while applying for a visa; or

(B) is deemed by the federal government to pose a risk to homeland security, national security, or the research integrity of his/her sponsor.

Additionally, the legislation would require that while applying for federal research dollars, academic institutions and other organizations would be required to report all sources of foreign funding as part of their application.

This legislation is needed because a troubling pattern is emerging whereby hostile foreign governments have systematically targeted high-yield programs to steal our federally funded research. For example, China has been identified by the State Department and Department of Justice as a significant threat in this arena.

Rep. Norman issued the following statement on the SUS Research Act:

"It is critical to strengthen the ties between DHS and visa sponsors, particularly where it pertains to federally-funded research and visa recipients who originate from nations known to be hostile to the United States. This bill will help repair a leak that facilitates the free flow of sensitive and classified research funded by American taxpayers into the possession of our global competitors and adversaries. It is a vital step to protect both our intellectual property and national security."