On May 8, Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a series of bills that ban citizens from certain foreign countries from buying property in the state of Florida. DeSantis stated that these bills are meant to counteract what he called “the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party in the state of Florida.” These bills will also prohibit immigrants without American citizenship from Russia, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela from owning property in Florida.
As these bills progressed through Congress, over 100 people signed up to testify against them, and dozens more congregated outside Florida’s capitol building in Tallahassee to protest. Many people feel as though this new ban threatens the American dream, and that immigrants from China are being unfairly equated to their government.
“The reality will be that any seller, when they see a Chinese name… will think, ‘Too much trouble,’ and they’ll refuse to sell,” said Chinese American Echo King in an interview with Vox. King is an attorney from Orlando who has helped organize the protest against the passing of these bills as part of the Florida Asian American Justice Alliance.
“My community, lots of people are scared,” he said. Despite pushback from Floridians, the bills passed through the state’s congress, and are scheduled to go into effect on July 1.