Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a series of bills Monday barring Chinese citizens from buying land in the state.
In a recent press release, the Republican announced the signing of that bill and two others aimed at “countering” what he described as “the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party in the state of Florida.”
A bill restricts Chinese citizens from buying land in Florida unless they are also US citizens or permanent residents.
Meanwhile, Chinese citizens on non-tourist visas would be limited to buying less than two acres of land that is at least five miles away from any military institution, Tampa Bay TV reported. WTVT reported.
The bill also restricts foreign citizens of other countries from purchasing land under certain circumstances. Russian, Iranian, Cuban, Syrian, North Korean and Venezuelan citizens cannot buy land within 10 miles of military bases under the measure, but can still buy property elsewhere in Florida. Inside information reported.
Critics have warned that the bill could make it easier to discriminate against Chinese homeowners in Florida while also hurting other immigrants. Axios reported.
Last month, before the bill was signed, more than 100 protesters testified against the legislation, adding that it would discriminate against Florida’s Chinese population. USA Today informed.
“My concern is that this bill will affect people like me who want to own a home,” Victoria Li, a Florida college student, said through tears. “We are afraid, we are terrified. That’s why we came here. We have the American dream. That’s why, at my age, I still go to school.”
Other legislation signed Monday includes a bill that prohibits colleges and universities, as well as their employees, from accepting gifts while “on their official duties of a college or university based in a foreign country of interest.” the hill reported.
Colleges and universities within Florida must also obtain the approval of the state board of governors or education board before entering into any agreement or partnership with a university in a foreign country.
An additional bill restricts those using government devices and servers from downloading apps like TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese company, Hill added.
“Florida is taking steps to confront America’s greatest geopolitical threat: the Chinese Communist Party,” DeSantis said.
The bills are collectively scheduled to take effect on July 1.