A coalition of Asian American groups rallied outside the Florida state capitol today to oppose bills that would place restrictions on Chinese buying land in the state.
The proposal which has already passed the state senate unanimously is now moving its way through the assembly where it has already won the support of the Appropriations Committee, reports Florida Politics.
The protest held outside the House State Affairs Committee this morning declared the bills discriminatory and compared it to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Alien Land Laws of 1913, 1920 and 1923.
“These two bills, revived out of the coffins of the notorious “Alien Land Laws” and “Chinese Exclusion Act” in American history are unconstitutional and pose significant threats to the livelihoods of the AAPI community,” said the coalition in a statement. It compared SB264 and HB1355 to “what has happened during World War II to Japanese Americans and at the time of the McCarthyism.”
The coalition said the legislators failed to remember that many immigrants fled China to get away from communism. They suggested the bills will fuel more anti-Asian hate and lead to more violence against Asian Americans.
Similar measures have been proposed in Texas, Virginia and South Carolina.
Republican State Rep. David Borrero says the bill is a way to “protect United States interests, assets and land.”
“China is also now trying to buy up U.S. farmland to get a chokehold on our agricultural production,” said Marshall Billingslea to Florida Realtors. “Congress urgently needs to enact a prohibition on land purchases in the U.S. by Chinese entities.”
The coalition against includes a wide variety of groups from across the political spectrum including the Orlando Chinese Professional Association, Chinese Association of Tallahassee, Jacksonville Chinese Association, Chinese-American Association of Tampa Bay, APAPA-CFC (Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs – Central Florida Chapter),The Chinese Association of Science, Education and Culture of South Florida (CASEC), America China Enterprise Chamber of Commerce Florida, South Florida General Hometown Association, North American Economic Herald Media Group, Treasure Coast Chinese Association, Voice of Chinese American, Huagen Chinese School at Gainesville, Hubei Association of Florida, Florida Shandong Fellowship Association, and Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay.
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