ACLU appeals controversial anti-Chinese property bill (includes video story)

Back in July, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 264, which prohibited sale of property in the state to Chinese immigrants without citizenship or permanent residency, as well as those considered to have domicile in mainland China. 

DeSantis cited national security to justify the measure. It also included restrictions on immigrants from Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria and Russia. 

The American Civil Liberties Union sued to overturn the measure in federal court last August and lost, then appealed the ruling. The ACLU argued this past Friday in an appellate hearing that the law blatantly violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to equal protection under law and discriminated against those of Asian descent who would like to buy homes. Prior to the hearing, a unanimous panel of three appellate judges barred the enforcement of the law against two of the plaintiffs.

Many Asian Americans believe that this law conflates all Chinese people with members of the Chinese Communist Party. Texas Congressional Representative and Chinese immigrant Gene Wu believes the law is the result of a racist trope that misrepresents the true values of Chinese immigrants. 

“What we’re saying is, ‘Look, Asian Americans are not the Chinese Communist Party,’ ” said Wu. “Those are very different things. In fact, my family, we fled here. We fled from the Chinese Communist Party to be Americans. To call us agents of China is not only just wrong, but its racist and insulting.”

Anthony Cruz is a freshmen majoring in Digital Media and Communications. He hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.