Chinese Americans Sue Florida Over Discriminatory Housing Law

( – Chinese citizens who reside and work in Florida have filed a lawsuit against the Florida government for a law that will bar foreigners from buying real estate, Fox News reported. The lawsuit filing Chinese citizens stated that, in their view, the State of Florida is discriminating against foreign nationals who live and work in the State. The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Florida’s new law restricts foreign nationals from buying property near military facilities. While the law will apply to nationals of the Latin Americans countries Cuba, Venezuela, as well as the Middle East and Asian countries of Syria, Iran, Russia, and North Korea, the restrictions it applies are the harshest toward Chinese nationals, Fox News reported.

Reportedly, Chinese citizens, and the people selling housing to them, will codify discrimination against Asian-descended home buyers, and will violate both the Constitution and the Fair Housing Act, CBS Miami reported.

In the lawsuit, the Chinese nationals living in Florida accused Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of taking the state of Florida back to the “anti-Asian” laws of a century ago, Fortune reported. The lawsuit refers to discriminatory measures taken against Japanese Americans during World War II. In World War II, the U.S. government compelled Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals residing and working within the United States to go to internment camps, following the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The American Civil Liberties Union claimed that the law would have a “chilling” effect on sales made to Chinese and Asian people within the state of Florida, Fortune reported. In the ACLU’s view, the law will impact willingness to sell to any person whose name sounds like it may be of Asian origin. This would, in the ACLU’s view, enforce discrimination toward all home buyers of Asian descent.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who was still expected to announce a presidential campaign in May at the time of this report, signed the law into effect on May 8, Fortune reported. The law will reportedly go into effect on July 1.

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