A group of Chinese citizens living and working in Florida have sued the state against a new law prohibiting them from buying property there.
The law applies to properties within 10 miles of military installations and critical infrastructure, affecting citizens from China, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Russia, and North Korea.
However, Chinese citizens and those selling property to them face the harshest penalties.
Read More: Disney cancels $900 million Florida campus plans as row with Ron DeSantis continues
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argues the law unfairly targets Chinese and Asian individuals, equating them with their government’s actions without evidence of national security risks.
The ACLU claims the law violates the Constitution and the Fair Housing Act, stating it will perpetuate housing discrimination against people of Asian descent.
The strained relations between the US and China and concerns over security and trade have fueled worries about foreign land ownership.
The bill’s signing by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to launch a presidential campaign, has amplified these concerns.
Read More: Disney seeks lawsuit dismissal in ongoing feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
The law, set to take effect on July 1, will make it a felony for Chinese people to purchase property in restricted areas.
Violators may face fines of up to $1,000 a day and the potential seizure of their properties.
But buyers and sellers from other targeted nations face misdemeanor charges.
The restrictions encompass military installations, airports, seaports, power plants, and other critical infrastructure.
The ACLU warns the law will create “Chinese exclusion zones” covering substantial parts of Florida, leading to the same impact as discriminatory laws from the past.
Need Career Advice? Get employment skills advice at all levels of your career
Foreign land ownership has become a contentious issue across the country, with many states enacting laws restricting foreign ownership or investments in private agricultural land.
This trend has emerged following high-profile cases of Chinese-linked companies purchasing land near military bases, raising national security concerns.
States such as Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia have recently implemented laws to address this issue.
The restrictions also affect existing property owners near critical infrastructure, requiring them to register with the state and prohibiting them from acquiring additional property.
Follow us on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.