Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC Applauds Florida Court Decision Indicating Land Law Ban Likely Unlawful

Decision is Welcomed News For Many Chinese Americans and Immigrants Who Were Barred From Buying Homes
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins (202) 296-2300, ext. 0144

WASHINGTON, DC — February 2, 2024 — Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian American Justice Center (Advancing Justice – AAJC) issues a statement on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision, made to stop SB264,  a Florida law barring many Chinese immigrants from purchasing property in the state of Florida. Though the order is temporary and limited to only two of the challengers to the law, the Court indicated that SB264 is likely unlawful. This law was enacted under the guise of national security by Governor Ron DeSantis and follows along the lines of other current discriminatory bills in conservative states across the country.

John C. Yang, president and executive director of Advancing Justice – AAJC issues this statement:

“The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision today is welcome news for so many Chinese Americans and Chinese immigrants in Florida who have faced housing discrimination since this Florida law SB264 was proposed and passed. Though today’s decision only affects two plaintiffs in the case who stand to immediately lose their purchase deposits, it makes clear that the Court looks skeptically at Florida’s discriminatory law, and rightfully so.

The profiling of the Asian American community in this country goes back in history from the removal and subsequent incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II to the Chinese exclusion Act of 1882. Historically, similar land laws in the U.S. which were explicitly intended to prohibit Asian immigrants from purchasing land were called ‘alien land laws,’ also helped to perpetuate the myth of Asian Americans being perpetual foreigners even if they are U.S. citizens.

Asian Americans have been unfairly targeted through land ownership prohibitions, anti-immigration laws, and other efforts that have sought to exclude members of our community from participating in or owning a piece of the American dream.

Today the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals took an important step toward addressing discrimination against people of Chinese descent under the guise of national security; it is up to courts throughout the United States to permanently block any discriminatory land laws in this country.”