The state this week pushed back against a challenge to a new law that restricts people from China and six other countries from owning property in Florida, disputing arguments that it is unconstitutional and discriminates based on “race and national origin.”
In a 59-page court document filed Monday, attorneys for the state said the Legislature passed the law this spring to “address threats posed by hostile foreign nations.”
“They (the restrictions) are consistent with the long tradition in this country of restricting alien land ownership, rooted in concerns for public safety and state security,” the document said. “Many states have such laws even today, driven by avoiding landlord absenteeism and foreign influence in America. They combat malign foreign influence in areas close to military installations and critical infrastructure, which raise cybersecurity, espionage and other national security concerns.”
The document, a memorandum of law, urged U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor to reject a request for a preliminary injunction to block the law, which took effect Saturday. Winsor is scheduled to hear arguments July 18.
Four Chinese people and a real-estate brokerage that serves Chinese clients filed a lawsuit and sought a preliminary injunction after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the law (SB 264) in May. The lawsuit, which has been backed by the U.S. Department of Justice, contends that the restrictions violate constitutional rights and the federal Fair Housing Act.
Source : Orlando Weekly