On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) signed a bill banning Chinese nationals from buying land in Florida. He hopes the bill will go toward “counteracting” the “malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party in Florida,” according to a recent press release.
“Today, it’s clear that we don’t want CCP in the Sunshine State,” said DeSantis at a press conference on Monday. “We want to maintain this as a free state of Florida.”
SB 264 was among several bills signed by DeSantis targeting “communist China.” The new law will prohibit Chinese nationals from buying land unless they are American citizens or permanent residents. The bill also imposes certain restrictions for Chinese citizens—and others, including Russians and Venezuelans—with nontourist visas when it comes to buying land near a military base.
“We believe that national security is of paramount importance,” wrote the Florida Asian American Justice Alliance in a release after the House State Affairs committee passed the bill in April. “However, the legislative overreach…is both unconstitutional and deeply discriminatory to the AAPI community, equating all Chinese citizens without a Green Card to agents of the Chinese Community Party.” There is concern the law will further facilitate the discrimination of Chinese people and other immigrants, especially those seeking homeownership.
DeSantis also signed off on two other bills: one restricting government desktops or servers from downloading TikTok, an app owned by a Chinese company; and another prohibiting Florida colleges and universities from engaging in a partnership with schools overseas without governmental approval. These bills are set to go into effect on July 1.