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Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) Responds to U.S. Court of Appeals Ruling on Florida Anti-Chinese Law

San Diego, Calif. (February 5, 2024) – The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has

temporarily halted the enforcement of Florida law (SB 264) that placed restrictions on Chinese immigrants, along with those from Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Syria, and their right to purchase property in Florida. The decision was announced late last week.


The ruling was made after an appeal by two Chinese immigrants who are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in response to a federal district judge refusing to block the law. The next step comes when the three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in April. In the ruling, Judge Nancy Abudu wrote, “The statute’s language, the anti-Chinese statements from Florida’s public officials, and SB 264’s impact establish that the law is a blanket ban against Chinese non-citizens from purchasing land within the state. This prohibition blatantly violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection against discrimination.”


STATEMENT FROM AREAA PRESIDENT JAMIE TIAN:

“On behalf of our 18,000 members, I am thrilled with the court’s action and all those who stand against discrimination applaud the decision,” said Jamie Tian, President of AREAA. “This is an important step in having the law overturned. Using national security as a misguided reason, Florida’s legislators and Governor wrongly targeted Chinese and other select groups of immigrants and their desire to purchase a home.


“Along with the impact on the Chinese community, AREAA strongly believes that this law will create another barrier of entry to homeownership for all AANHPIs (Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander). Sellers and their real estate agents, who are unable to discern a buyer’s nationality, may refrain from selling to anyone of Asian descent because they would be worried about committing a third-degree felony and its potential penalty of five years in prison.


“The Florida law hits home for me personally. My parents came to the U.S. from China as PhD candidates and they eventually bought a home in Irvine, California. That home – and the safety and security it provided – changed the course of my life. My love of that home led me to get my real estate license while at UCLA and to eventually own my own brokerage. I shudder to think about what my parents would’ve went through today if they had settled in Florida. It’s infuriating to realize we now live in a reality where homeownership is potentially out of arms reach for AANHPI people in Florida. This ruling is the first step in overturning the law.”


ABOUT AREAA

Founded in 2003, the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) is a national nonprofit trade organization with more than 18,000 members dedicated to improving the lives of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community through homeownership. Visit areaa.org for more information.

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