A Florida Governor has signed a series of bills banning Chinese citizens from buying land in the state.
Last Monday, a news release announced that Governor Ron DeSantis had signed bills into law to “counteract” what he described as “the malign influence of the Chinese Communist party in the state of Florida.”
DeSantis cited concerns over Chinese investors purchasing too much farmland in the state. One of the bills restricts Chinese nationals from buying land unless they are American citizens or permanent residents.
“Today, Florida makes it very clear we don’t want the CCP in the Sunshine State,” DeSantis said at a press conference.
However, lawmakers made an amendment that allows those with a non-tourist visa to purchase small pieces of land as long as it’s not within five miles of a military installation.
Aside from this, Russian, Cuban, Iranian, North Korean, Syrian, and Venezuelan citizens are also restricted from buying property within 10 miles of military bases.
Last month, more than 100 Chinese-Americans and green card holders protested this bill at the state’s Capitol. The group says that the language used in the new law is too broad and may lend to discrimination.
Still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese-American and other Asian communities fear that the legislation will incite more discrimination and violence against them.
“This is our first time getting united together and trying to protest a bill,” said Echo King, an Orlando immigration attorney. Many Chinese immigrants are worried that it could get in the way of them owning a home in the country and living the American Dream.
The bills are scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2023.
Banner image by DXR via Wikimedia Commons.