A group of Chinese citizens are suing Florida over a new law that prohibits them from buying property in certain parts of the state.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, argues that state law “stigmatizes them and their communities, and casts a cloud of suspicion on anyone of Chinese descent who seeks to buy property in Florida”.
The property law, which is due to come into force on July 1, prohibits people from a “foreign country of concern” – which is defined as China, Russia, Iran, Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria – to buy land and houses in Florida.
The law prohibits citizens of the specified countries from owning property within 10 miles of military installations. Those who already own property as restricted by the new law must register with the state or face fines.
All four plaintiffs in the new lawsuit argue that the law is unconstitutional and a violation of the Fair Housing Act.
The ACLU argues that the law “will also impose an excessive burden of suspicion on anyone seeking to purchase property whose name sounds remotely Asian, Russian, Iranian, Cuban, Venezuelan or Syrian” and that “there is no evidence of harm to national security resulting from Chinese ownership of real estate in Florida,” a statement said.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) – who is expected to launch a presidential campaign on Wednesday – signed the bill into law earlier this month, arguing the move was intended to “counteract the Chinese Communist Party’s evil influence in the world.” ‘State of Florida’.
Florida’s commissioner of agriculture, its acting secretary of economic opportunity, and the chairman of the Florida Real Estate Commission are named as defendants.
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