Texas

Tensions flare during a rally against SB 147 in Fort Bend County.

The bill would ban governments, businesses, and citizens from China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia from buying land in Texas.

RICHMOND, Texas. Things got a little tense on the steps of the Fort Bend County Justice Center on Friday after protesters rallied against Senate Bill 147.

SB 147 is a proposed Texas law that would prohibit governments, businesses, and citizens of China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia from buying property in Texas.

“I don’t recognize this country anymore,” said one of the protesters.

“This is discrimination, okay?” said the other.

Fort Bend County Judge C.P. George even attended the rally, speaking out against the proposed bill.

“If you see injustice happening, it’s important to stand up and say it’s not good,” George said. “That’s what I do.”

George, who heads one of the country’s most diverse counties, said their biggest concern is residents who may still have green cards.

“Make it fair for all foreigners,” said one of the rally participants.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Senator Lois Colkhorst of Brenham, amends a 2021 law that would bar so-called hostile nations from owning or controlling critical infrastructure projects in Texas.

“I fully support SB 147,” Fort Bend County GOP chairman Bobby Eberle said. “We need to protect our homeland and this does it.”

Eberle said punishing individuals is not a priority and natives of the countries in question who have become US citizens have nothing to worry about. In fact, Eberle believes they can provide support.

“Because they don’t want the countries they fled from to get more of a stranglehold or foothold in America,” Eberle said.

Opponents of the bill said it was un-American.

“I think it’s about freedom and dignity,” George said.

Senator Kolkhorst said in a statement that this is a matter of national security and that foreign entities can still lease land or other property if SB 147 is passed.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has already said he intends to sign it.

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