May 7, 2024 - News

Chinese residents say Florida's homebuying ban fuels discrimination

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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Chinese residents in Florida are voicing frustration about a new law that prohibits many Chinese citizens from buying property in the state, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: Residents argue the new law, which went into effect last July, has fueled discrimination against them as they try to buy a home and raised fears among some existing homeowners that they unintentionally violated the law, the outlet reported.

  • Some have considered moving out of the state as a result.

The big picture: Dozens of states have passed or are considering laws to restrict land purchases by Chinese citizens and companies in an effort to thwart what lawmakers say is a growing threat to national security.

  • Florida's is among the most far reaching, per the Times.

State of play: The law applies to people who are "domiciled" in China and don't hold U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.

  • Lobbyists for the hedge fund Citadel successfully secured an exemption for its Chinese workers on visas to buy homes, though with size and location restrictions, the outlet reported.

Yes, but: Some Asian Americans say the law has led to profiling of anyone thought to be Chinese, no matter their citizenship or residency status, the Times reported.

  • Others say the law has also had a chilling effect on the real estate industry in the state.

What we're watching: The law is being challenged in federal court by civil rights groups and residents who claim it violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause and the Fair Housing Act.

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