On February 11th, 2023, a march will be held in Houston’s Chinatown in protest of two discriminatory pieces of legislation: Senate Bills 147 and 552.
These bills, opposed by the Asian American Leadership Council (AALC) and numerous other community organizations, categorize immigrants from four nations as security threats. The bills disregard the fact that affected individuals fled their own countries to embrace the American Dream, which includes the belief that all people deserve equal access to opportunities regardless of their background.
Senate Bill 147 is not the first discriminatory bill filed by Texas Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Victoria). Kolkhorst authored the “Bathroom Bill” in 2017 that would have prevented some transgender people from using bathrooms that corresponded to their gender identity in facilities run by local governments as well as erased aspects of local nondiscrimination regulations.
A spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Houston chapter warned on Friday that, if passed into law, the bill would make anti-Asian hatred a state policy. “It would violate the fundamental rights of not only citizens of other countries regardless of their relationship to their governments, but also Green Card holders and possibly dual citizens.” State Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston) further stated “no discernment about what type of land is being purchased or who is doing the purchasing” has been provided, and the bill “targets individuals indiscriminately”.
If passed, the Governor and Legislature of Texas would have unrestricted authority to label any immigrant group as a security threat, including the revocation of immigrants’ right to purchase real estate.
More than 30 community organizations determined to bring attention to the implications of these bills as well as voice the worries and opposition of the immigrant community to what’s been called the “New Chinese Exclusion Act” will participate in this march organized by the Asian American Leadership Council (AALC) and aforementioned Texas State Representative Gene Wu.
Multiple elected officials, leaders, and members of the Greater Houston community are expected to join over 500 people from the immigrant community to protest these racist bills, demanding that their rights be upheld and safeguarded.
What: March Against Senate Bills 147 & 552 sponsored by The Asian American Leadership Council (AALC)
When: Saturday, February 11, 2023 10 am – noon
Where: Sterling Plaza, 9888 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036