|For Immediate Release:
Date: May 25, 2023
|Contact: Rahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director for Policy
WASHINGTON – In response to the troubling rise in state legislative activity attacking an individual’s right to purchase real property based on the purchaser’s citizenship, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) endorses the Preemption of Real Property Discrimination Act. Introduced today in the United States House of Representatives by Rep. Judy Chu of California, who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Rep. Al Green of Texas, the bill would nullify any state law that prohibits or otherwise restricts an individual’s right to purchase real property based merely on that individual’s citizenship.
“NAPABA will not stand idly by when our community, especially those who trace their ancestry to China, becomes the target of ill-advised efforts by state policymakers to strip them of their fundamental rights to pursue a livelihood,” said Sandra Leung, the President of NAPABA.
“These efforts eerily recall ancient alien land laws, which were enacted over a hundred years ago, that barred Asian immigrants from owning land. Such laws belong in the dustbin of history, and they have no place in our nation today. While policymakers are free to address the legitimate national security concerns of the United States, they may not enact discriminatory laws on the backs of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community.”
NAPABA’s support today for the Preemption of Real Property Discrimination Act coincides with the leadership of NAPABA affiliates across the nation to combat state legislation targeting our community. This past week, the Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association (LAPABA), with NAPABA’s support, opposed legislation that, if enacted, would have barred innocent parties from purchasing or leasing real estate. Similarly, the Alabama Asian Bar Association (AABA), also with NAPABA’s support, led the opposition to a bill in Alabama that would prevent “any individual who is a citizen of China” from purchasing any real estate.
The actions of LAPABA and AABA build on NAPABA’s collaboration with our Florida affiliates – the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Tampa Bay (APABA-TB), the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida (APABA-SF), the Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association (GOAABA), and Jacksonville Asian American Bar Association (JAABA) – and our Texas affiliates – the Asian American Bar Association of Houston (AABA Houston), the Austin Asian American Bar Association (Austin AABA), and the Dallas Asian American Bar Association (DAABA) – in combatting similar efforts in Florida and Texas. NAPABA is grateful for their leadership.
NAPABA extends its thanks and appreciation to Chairperson Chu and Rep. Green for introducing the bill.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.