Gov. Ron DeSantis reportedly signed legislation on Monday making it illegal for Chinese nationals to buy land in Florida unless they are also citizens of the United States or have a permanent residence status.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, China possessed 352,140 acres of U.S. land in 2020, or roughly 1% of all acres held by foreigners. In the same year, Canadian investors controlled 12.4 million acres, the largest of any foreign nation.
Additionally, Senate Bill 264 prohibits residents of the “countries of concern” Russia, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela from owning property within a 10-mile radius of military sites and vital infrastructure such as power plants and airports.
However, only Chinese citizens would be prohibited from owning land in Florida.
Sen. Tom Cotton has presented federal legislation asking for a complete prohibition on people connected to China from purchasing real estate on American territory. Other states, including Texas, are mulling similar restrictions.
Two other laws aimed at lessening China’s influence in Florida were signed by DeSantis.
Bipartisan backing helped the three laws pass both houses of the Republican-controlled Florida state.