Florida Alien Land Law
Briefing Paper for
(Dr. Piyush C. Agrawal; Tel: 954 648 6494; email@example.com)
The original Naturalization Act of 1790 provided that “[a]ny alien being a free white person… may be admitted to become a citizen…” This was amended in 1870 to provide that naturalization was permitted only of “aliens, being free white persons and to aliens of African nativity and to persons of African descent.” Others were referred to as “aliens ineligible to citizenship.” i.e. all Asian Immigrants.
Florida enacted its Alien Land Law in 1926 with an innocuous-sounding phrase in the constitution guaranteeing “all natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights among which are the right to enjoy and defend life, and liberty, to pursue happiness, to be rewarded for industry and to acquire, possess and protect property, except that the ownership, inheritance, disposition and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship may be regulated or prohibited by law. ---“
Florida Legislature took a bold step in 2008 to put the amendment to the Constitution. As Senator Geller put it then “You don’t want to keep vestiges of racism in your constitution.” But, alas, due to a faulty language on the ballot and lack of proper education of voters about the amendment, it failed.
There is another
opportunity this year for the Florida Legislature to amend the constitution
by doing the right thing and removing the scar of “racism” from
Honorable Senators & Representatives of the House:
Please support SJR 84 & HJR 1553
Asian American Federation of
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