Students sue Florida over law restricting research exchanges with China, Iran and other countries

Two Chinese graduate students whose studies were put on hold and a professor who said he was unable to recruit research assistants sued Florida education officials on Monday, seeking to block enforcement of a new state law limiting research exchanges between state universities and scholars from seven banned nation.

The law was passed by the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature last year and Governor Ron DeSantis Designed to prevent the Chinese Communist government and others from influencing the state’s public colleges and universities. Countries included on the banned list include China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Syria and Venezuela.

According to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Miami, the law is discriminatory, unconstitutional and reminiscent of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which banned Chinese laborers from immigrating to the United States for 10 years.

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The new law also usurps the authority of the federal government, which has exclusive authority over immigration, national security and foreign affairs, the lawsuit said.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis answers questions from the media at the State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida, March 7, 2023. A new Florida law restricting research exchanges between state universities and scholars from seven banned countries is being challenged in court. (AP Photo/Phil Sears, File)

The law forced two plaintiffs from China to suspend their graduate studies at Florida International University and denied them access to their research labs.this University of Florida The professor, also from China, said the law prevented him from recruiting the most qualified postdoctoral candidates to assist with his research, which reduced his publication efficiency and research projects, according to the lawsuit.

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The plaintiffs said in the lawsuit that they are not members of the Chinese government or the Communist Party.

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Under the law, international students from prohibited countries can be hired on a case-by-case basis with the approval of the board of trustees that oversees state universities or the state Board of Education, but the lawsuit says the law is “vague and lacks” adequate guidance to authorize and encourage all Florida Arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement by states. “

The law “is and will have a profound stigmatizing effect on Chinese and Asian individuals, including plaintiffs, seeking academic employment at Florida’s public universities and colleges because Florida Law They are now presumed to pose a threat to the United States,” the lawsuit states.

The governor’s office and the state Department of Education did not respond to emails seeking comment.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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