Texas discriminatory bills seen to spur anti-Asian hate

By Gilda P. Balan, Correspondent

DALLAS, Texas – In what many are calling blatantly discriminatory Senate bills that unfairly target Asian-Americans of Chinese descent, among others, a rally was held over the weekend to oppose the measures.

A crowd gathered in downtown Dallas to express their anger at Texas Senate bills 147 and 552, both authored by GOP lawmakers, which makes it practically impossible for people with ties to China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea from buying or owning property or real estate in the Lone Star state.

This can mean that no Chinese-American, Russian-American, or Iranian-American can have property in Texas, even if they are natural born US citizens or legal immigrants.

One of the bills bans the sale of agricultural land by companies with ties to the four countries.

It must be noted that Chinese-Americans are one of the fastest growing communities in the US, along with Filipino-Americans. Oddly enough, a good number of Filipinos and therefore FilAms have Chinese blood, and the bills do not distinguish one from the other.

Filipinos and Fil-Ams have such common family names as Lim, Tan, Lee and Co, among others. And two past Philippine presidents, Cory Aquino and Benigno Aquino III are of Chinese descent from the Cojuangco side of their family.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expressed his support for the bills, specifically Senate Bill 147, while Democrats denounced the same proposed law as being racist and unconstitutional.

“You pass this law, other states will follow and anti-Asian hate will increase in this country – definitely,” said Hailong Jin, board director of DFW Chinese Alliance.

He said the bills were a painful reminder of the country’s past anti-Chinese legislation such as California’s ‘Alien Land Law,’ and the Chinese Exclusion Act.

US citizen Jerry Pi of North Texas said he was disappointed that their governor supported the pending laws. As president of a software start-up, Pi believes SB 147 is not only unconstitutional but also bad for the Texas economy.

He said he previously believed that the governor was “a conservative leader with strong principles.”

Rafael Anchia of Dallas said at first he doubted that the bills, even if passed, would hold up in court. But when the governor voiced his support, Anchia said he realized that “we need to take this very, very seriously.”

He said the Senate bill was an attempt to “breed” hate against the Asian community.

Wei Wu, also a Dallas resident, said Senate bills 147 and 552 were “hateful and discriminatory.”