Chinese Americans from North Texas are protesting against two Texas Senate bills that would ban specific communities from buying property in the state.
Bill 147, filed by Republican State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst in November 2022, will effectively prevent people with ties to four countries — China, Russia, North Korea and Iran — from purchasing Texas property or real estate if passed.
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Meanwhile, Bill 552 will hinder companies with links to the four countries from buying agricultural land.
"I will sign it,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted on Jan. 15 in support of Bill 147. “This follows a law I signed banning those countries from threatening our infrastructure.”
According to Kolkhorst, the bill seeks to address national security issues with the singled-out countries.
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A bill is filed in Texas legislature to ban citizens, governments & entities of China, Iran, North Korea & Russia from purchasing land in Texas.
I will sign it.
This follows a law I signed banning those countries from threatening our infrastructure.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 15, 2023
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Following Abbott’s expressed support, organizations backed by the local Chinese American community bared their plans to conduct a series of demonstrations in Texas' major cities.
The Sunday protest, which was hosted by DFW Chinese Alliance, included testimonies from community members who shared their concerns about the bills.
A Euless resident named Kuo Zhang lamented how Bill 147 would have a significant effect on their family.
“My husband and I are expecting a baby and we were planning to buy a house for our extended family, too,” Zhang was quoted by The Dallas Morning News as saying.
A recent Texas A&M University graduate named Wei Wu finds both bills “hateful and discriminatory.”
“We are here, we pay taxes, we’re here to seek our dreams; we should not be discriminated against,” she said.
Speaking to attendees, Plano City Council member Maria Tu urged Austin lawmakers to fight against the Senate bills on behalf of the Chinese Americans in their community.
Other local elected officials sought help from attendees to let Auston lawmakers know that they oppose the proposed legislation.
According to Jin, passing the bills poses a dangerous precedent, as “other states will follow and anti-Asian hate will increase in this country – definitely.”