Maxwell Frost says Congress must protect Floridians’ constitutional rights
Maxwell Frost at town hall. Image via Twitter.

Maxwell Frost
The Orlando Democrat at a town hall trashed laws targeting Chinese nationals, LGBTQ individuals and Latinos.

At his first general town hall, U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost said the federal government must better protect Floridians’ constitutional rights.

“We at the federal level need to pass legislation that works to protect people,” the Orlando Democrat said.

“That is one of the sole jobs of the federal government. I think about states like ours where I disagree with the way we are being run. I disagree with targeting vulnerable communities. And we need to pass legislation in Congress to protect people, no matter who you are.”

At an event held by Frost’s Office at Dr. Phillips High School, Frost fielded a question from a constituent voicing frustration that there isn’t faster action on dealing with rising xenophobia and anti-LGBTQ sentiment. The constituent referenced state laws passed in Florida cracking down on immigration and allowing medical professionals to deny health care on moral grounds.

Frost, who last week held his own ad hoc hearing on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “anti-democratic” policies, said he’s voted against bills already that he thinks feed anti-Chinese sentiment. He sees hate being stoked by Florida laws as well, and believes it is directly leading to violence and death.

“I’m not trying to be hyperbolic,” he said. “We’ve seen this in our country’s history, that power-hungry leaders will take a nonissue and make it an issue. They will target a group of vulnerable people, whether it’s our Asian families or LGBTQ+ community, Black folks, Black history, Latinos, immigrants, etc. They say ‘if you want me to deal with this problem, give me more power.’ That’s what we see going on in our state, tons of legislation that was passed to ostracize people and to say xenophobia is OK in business and the workplace. I’m 100% against that.”

Frost praised the Department of Justice (DOJ) for opposing a Florida law prohibiting Chinese nationals and those from several other hostile nations from buying land in the state. The DOJ submitted a statement of interest in federal court in Tallahassee that the law violates the federal Fair Housing Act, CBS News reported.

“That’s a good step forward. So we’ll continue to fight,” Frost said.

DeSantis, a candidate for President, publicly pushed back on the DOJ position and attacked President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“While the Biden-Garland DOJ sides with Communist China, I side with the American people,” he tweeted from his campaign account. “As Governor, I prohibited (Chinese Communist Party)-tied entities from buying land in Florida. As President, I’ll do the same.”

DeSantis’ administration last week dismissed Frost’s hearing in Washington as a “stunt.”

Frost said his office will continue to fight back on infringements of rights for marginalized communities. He urged constituents to have patience while promising urgency in his own action.

“In life we’ve got to hold multiple truths,” he said. “When we talk about steps, the steps are important. But the other truth we have to hold is, in the meanwhile, while we are taking steps, people are dying. Whether or not it’s xenophobia, or whether it’s gun violence, whether it’s people going bankrupt because of medical debt, etc.

“Please don’t take me saying it’s a step forward and that’s as good as me saying, ‘Everything’s OK, we don’t need to move any faster.’ It’s not. Just as a student of movements, I recognize that sometimes, those steps are the precursor to something bigger. But we can’t forget that in the meanwhile, people are suffering right now.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Todd

    June 30, 2023 at 11:21 am

    This guy is a joke! “fight back on infringements of rights for marginalized communities” ( what is he talking about?)
    He represents a district that is flush with jobs and opportunities.. Perhaps he should be concerned with building infrastructure and schools that are so needed in his district. His ideas would sit well in NY, but he is in Florida!

    • Elliott Offen

      June 30, 2023 at 1:42 pm

      He’s talking about actions by hate speakers like DeSantis and the far right… covert racists in government. Nasty right wing pigs who are merely lawyers for the rich and promote white supremacy.

    • Dont Say FLA

      June 30, 2023 at 3:49 pm

      He is talking about, as the story subtitle clearly indicates, “laws targeting Chinese nationals, LGBTQ individuals and Latinos.”

      Maybe try reading at least the first paragraph before asking already-answered questions next time.

      His ideas might work in NYC, but they must sit well in Orlando too seeing as how Orlando is where he got elected, durrrr.

  • Ed Slaveen Dot Com 👍

    June 30, 2023 at 1:41 pm

    The GOP is a far right hate group..their members steeped in religious and far right lies. The GOP is also an antigovernment group and supports domestic terrorism…they sabotage and obstruct government to benefit the rich. They should be declared an unconstitutional political entity and outlawed.

  • My Take

    July 3, 2023 at 6:25 pm

    “They should be declared an unconstitutional political entity and outlawed.”

    Whatever happened with the contingency plans for the mass-internment camp that Oliver North supported? At the Avon Park bombing range I believe.

Comments are closed.


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