WASHINGTON, DC – ASPIRE PAC Chair Grace Meng released the following statement on Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida State Legislature’s bill that would prohibit individuals from certain countries from owning property, including Chinese Americans. Specifically, the Florida bill would prohibit land ownership by any member of the People’s Republic of China, which could potentially deny land ownership to anyone holding Chinese citizenship, even if they are also U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States.
“Our country has a shameful legacy of discriminating against Chinese Americans, dating back to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and all too recently with the countless attacks our community faced during the rise of anti-Asian hate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Desantis and Florida lawmakers’ bill to prohibit homeownership by Chinese Americans is the latest attack against the Chinese American community and will only lead to more racial discrimination. Their law also has many frightening parallels to how Jewish People and Japanese Americans were forced to register their property, and then eventually stripped of it leading up to the Holocaust and Japanese internment camps. This Florida bill is not only reactionary, but because it is so overly broad it is also both dangerous and damaging to our economy.
“This bill would impact current Chinese homeowners who would be required to complete special registration with the Florida government in order to keep their property. In addition, it would harm Chinese students whose parents are trying to find them a place to live while they complete their studies. Not least of all, this bill would lead to racial discrimination in the real estate market, which many AANHPI families experienced in the 1940s and 50s when similar land laws led to segregation and made it harder for Asian Americans to pursue the American Dream of owning a home and raising a family. Florida lawmakers should be ashamed of how this bill targets and harms Chinese Americans and take immediate steps to carefully amend its language.”
Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders Rising & Empowering Political Action Committee (ASPIRE PAC) is the political arm of the Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Members of Congress. ASPIRE PAC is committed to supporting candidates of AANHPI descent and incumbents who represent large communities of AANHPI voters. According to the 2020 census, the AANHPI community is the fastest-growing demographic in the country. In addition, in 2020 the AANHPI community increased its voter turnout more than any other community of color. There are currently 21 AANHPI Members of Congress, including two U.S. Senators, and two new Members of Congress – Shri Thanedar (MI-13) and Jill Tokuda (HI-02).