WCJB: Law that would restrict people from China from owning land headed to federal appeals court
By WCJB Staff
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A battle about a new Florida law that restricts people from China from owning property in the state is headed to a federal appeals court.
Attorneys for four Chinese people and a real-estate brokerage that serves Chinese clients will appeal a ruling last week by U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor that rejected a preliminary injunction against the law.
After last week’s ruling, attorneys issued statements indicating they would continue fighting the law, which they contend violates equal-protection rights and the federal Fair Housing Act.
Attorney Bethany Li, with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund is a co-counsel for the plaintiffs.
“It is just blatantly discriminatory against Chinese people, and the impact on the Asian American community goes much further than even the law itself.” — Bethany Li, Attorney, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Governor Ron DeSantis and the Republican-controlled Legislature approved the law this spring, pointing to a need to curb the influence of the Chinese government and Chinese Communist Party in Florida.
The overall law affects people from what Florida calls “foreign countries of concern” — China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Syria, but the lawsuit focuses on part of the measure that specifically puts restrictions on people from China who are not U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents.