Chinese Americans from North Texas are protesting against two Texas Senate bills that would ban specific communities from buying property in the state.
Over 250 protesters flocked to John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza in downtown Dallas on Sunday to condemn Senate Bills 147 and 552, which they have denounced as discriminatory.
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.
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.
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.
Hailong Jin, DFW Chinese Alliance's board director, said the bills are akin to previous anti-Chinese legislation in the U.S., including the Chinese Exclusion Act and California's "Alien Land Law."
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."