Republican lawmaker wants US visa applicants screened for “communist” and other “totalitarian” links FILE PHOTO: Pins with the images of Mao Zedong are seen on the military uniform in central China’s Henan province, May 2, 2016 © AP / Ng Han Guan

A prominent US House Republican plans to introduce a bill calling for the State Department to require applicants for non-immigrant visas to declare whether they are affiliated with any communist or totalitarian party.

The legislation proposed by Representative Jim Banks (R-Indiana) largely aims to block “foreign propagandists” – particularly those linked to the governments of China and Russia – from exploiting America’s H-1B visa program for skilled workers to infiltrate the United States, media outlet Axios reported on Thursday.

“We all know that China has used our overly lax visa system to export its propaganda and malign influence,” Banks told Axios.

The bill, called the “Communist Visa Transparency Act,” would apply to visa applicants from all countries. Applicants from China would additionally be asked to declare whether they have any present or past affiliation with their country’s military, law enforcement or security forces.

Although the bill doesn’t spell out whether visa applications can be approved for self-declared communists, Banks said it would help law enforcement officers “track” Chinese Communist Party (CCP) activity and “prevent many of China’s abuses before they happen.” The legislation doesn’t specify what qualifies as a totalitarian party. (RT)