It was a late March evening. We were in Room E2.306, which is three floors underground at the Texas State Capitol. The room had been full for much of the day as they moved people from the overflow room to the main committee hearing room. We were before the House State Affairs Committee speaking on Senate Bill 4, the anti-immigrant bill (now law) that allows law enforcement officers to question a detained person's immigration status and blocks local governments from passing laws that would prohibit such question. I, along with many others, had already testified in opposition of the bill before the Senate State Affairs committee a month earlier.
Something was different. I recognized many of the folks testifying, but of course there were a few new faces. My entire demeanor (and testimony) changed when the next set of witnesses approached podium.
There were 11, 12, and 13-year-old children approaching the podium with tears in their eyes to speak to the House Members. They would start by saying their name, their age and “I am a US citizen.” The gist of the children’s testimony was that they have hard working parents and are afraid at any given day they could come home and their parents would be gone.
Those children spent their Spring Break speaking up and speaking out. Those children were speaking out to protect Texas families. Yet, most of our representatives passed SB4 and other bills like these that not only could tear apart families, but take away local control, legally discriminate, punish and isolate Texans.
That is why I am running for the Texas Senate. It is time to replace the leaders in Austin and re-shift the focus back to people-centered legislation, policy, and problem solving. When we put the People First, we build a better, stronger Texas for all.
Let’s get to work.