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US House introduces bill against laws restricting property ownership by citizens from China

Washington [US], May 29 (ANI): Two Democratic members of the United States Congress have introduced a federal bill that would pre-empt any American state or territory that impedes property purchase by Chinese nationals, according to the press statement released by the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC).

Last week, CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-28) and CAPAC Housing Task Force Chair Representative Al Green (TX-09) introduced the Preemption of Real Property Discrimination Act.

According to the press statement, the legislation would preempt at the federal level state laws, like Florida's S.B. 264, that prohibit or otherwise restrict the purchase of real property of an individual based on their country of citizenship, and tasks the Attorney General and Department of Justice with enforcement.

This comes weeks after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed multiple bills that prohibit Chinese citizens from purchasing land in the state.

The statement read that many states, driven by concerns about national security or commercial influence, have laws that place restrictions on the acquisition or possession of real property by foreign governments or entities. However, a recent law passed in Florida and legislation introduced elsewhere, including Texas and South Carolina, contain flat prohibitions on the purchase or acquisition of real property by individual citizens of foreign nations, including Russia, North Korea, Iran, and China.

"Buying real property - whether that's a new house to call home or a commercial property to run a business in - is a critical step for immigrant families, students, and refugees to pursue the American Dream," said Judy Chu.

"Unfortunately, lawmakers in Florida and state legislatures across the country are seeking to prohibit this right for nationals from the People's Republic of China, Iran, North Korea and other countries and implement a property-owning regime where Asian Americans and people of Asian descent will face undue suspicion and potential racial profiling by realtors, lenders, and others in the real estate industry. While there are specific, legitimate threats that these foreign governments and their state-owned enterprises pose to our national security, banning individuals from purchasing land or properties because of their citizenship, national origin, race, ethnicity, or immigration status is a flagrant assault on their civil rights and unconstitutional," she added.

Calling out the previous acts of America as "shameful chapters" Judy Chu said, "That is why Congressman Green and I are introducing the Preemption of Real Property Discrimination Act, so that state laws that discriminate against individuals based on their citizenship and encourage racial profiling will be preempted at the federal level. We must ensure that we allow everyone here a fair shot at building a life and achieving their American dream," the press statement read.

Earlier, last month, the North Carolina House passed a bill that would ban the governments of "foreign adversaries" from purchasing agricultural land as well as any land within 25 miles of a military installation.

Texas Senate passed a bill last month that would ban citizens of China from buying property, The Hill reported. (ANI)