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Chinese citizens sue Florida over law that bans them from home, land ownership



A group of Chinese citizens are suing the state of Florida over a new law that bans them from buying property in parts of the state. 

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, argues the state law “stigmatizes them and their communities, and casts a cloud of suspicion over anyone of Chinese descent who seeks to buy property in Florida.”


The property law, which is set to take effect July 1, restricts people from a “foreign country of concern” — which is defined as China, Russia, Iran, Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria — from buying land and homes in Florida. 

The law prohibits citizens of the specified countries from owning property within 10 miles of military installations. Those that already own property as restricted by the new law must register with the state or face fines.

The four plaintiffs in the new suit argue the law is unconstitutional and a violation of the Fair Housing Act. 

The ACLU contends the law “will also cast an undue burden of suspicion on anyone seeking to buy property whose name sounds remotely Asian, Russian, Iranian, Cuban, Venezuelan, or Syrian” and that “there is no evidence of national security harm resulting from real estate ownership by Chinese people in Florida,” according to a release.


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — who is expected to launch a presidential campaign on Wednesday — signed the bill earlier this month, arguing the move was to “counteract the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party in the state of Florida.”

Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, its Acting Secretary of Economic Opportunity and the Chair of the Florida Real Estate Commission are named as defendants.

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