The newly formed Florida Asian American Justice Alliance (FAAJA) organized statewide rallies in six cities across Florida last weekend, to protest Senate Bill 264 and House Bill 1355. These bills are seen as discriminatory and harmful to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, and a threat to American values of inclusiveness, respect, and equal protection under the law.
The bills in question do not distinguish between foreign nationals and immigrants from their home country government, which opens the door for discrimination and legitimizes anti-Asian hate against any person who looks or seems Asian.
Moreover, they hold Floridian real property sellers and buyers criminally liable for violations and allow for forfeiture of private property ownership by the government. This potentially brings unnecessary burden, cost, and criminal liability to every homeowner in Florida and threatens their fundamental property rights.
As the founders of FAAJA point out, these bills target Asian and other immigrants, including those from China, by preventing them from owning homes and contributing to Florida’s economy through investment in their communities.
The need for citizens to stand up against discriminatory laws is critical. We join FAAJA in urging legislators to oppose these bills and to move the state forward, not backward.
The potential impact of these bills is not limited to Asian American communities in Florida.
Already, the state of Texas passed Senate Bill 147, which has sparked controversy and concern among Asian American communities. The bill restricts the sale of agricultural land, timberland, and oil and gas rights to entities associated with countries deemed a risk to U.S. national security, and it was a watered-down version of an earlier proposal that sought an outright ban on land sales to dual citizens and businesses associated with China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia.
Despite the amendments made to the bill, Asian Americans have expressed dismay, arguing that it unfairly targets people of certain ethnic backgrounds and could increase discrimination.
If these bills are passed as law, it may motivate more states to adopt similarly discriminatory legislation, which would impact millions more Asian American families across the nation. This is about protecting the rights of the AAPI community, not only in Florida and Texas, but also about defending American values of inclusiveness, respect, and equal protection under the law.
Troy West says
Americans are not allowed to own real estate in China, why should any Chinese national be allowed to own real estate in America? Same thing for Mexico! It’s a two way street and we as Americans need to stop letting any foreign nations buy up real estate in our nation. It’s time to start taking that land back!