Florida sued for blocking some foreigners from buying property

Florida sued for blocking some foreigners from buying property

By Douglas Jones

The American Civil Liberties Union says a group of Chinese citizens who call Florida home are suing the state over a new law restricting foreign nationals from a list of countries from buying property in a significant portion of the state.

The ACLU said in a statement on Monday that a real estate brokerage firm in Florida had also joined the suit. The firm largely serves Chinese clients in the state.

The property law, SB 264, was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, and proponents of the legislation call it discriminatory, saying it wrongly bans many Chinese citizens and others from countries like Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea and Russia from buying properties in Florida.

The law applies to properties and land located near “critical infrastructure” or military installations.

Ashley Gorski, an attorney with the ACLU, said, “Everyone in the United States is entitled to equal protection under our laws, including citizens of other countries. If SB 264 goes into effect, it will profoundly harm our clients and countless other immigrants in Florida.”

The ACLU said in a statement that the law would “cast an undue burden of suspicion on anyone seeking to buy property whose name sounds remotely Asian, Russian, Iranian, Cuban, Venezuelan, or Syrian.”

The position of the ACLU and the plaintiffs is that the law would equate people from the countries on SB 264’s banned list with the actions of their governments.


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