Hundreds of people from North Texas gathered in downtown Dallas on Sunday to voice their opposition toward two Texas senate bills that they say are unjustly targeting Chinese-Americans. Texas Senate bills 147 and 552, both of which have been authored by Republican lawmakers, aim to add regulations that would ban people with ties to four countries (China, Iran, North Korea and Russia) from purchasing real estate or property in the state. The latter relates to the purchase of agricultural land by companies with ties to the four countries. Multiple organisations with ties to the Chinese-American community have planned rallies in major Texas cities to protest the proposed legislation after Governor Greg Abbott expressed his support for Senate Bill 147 on Twitter. Democrats in the state held a news conference last week to denounce Senate Bill 147, and described it as racist and unconstitutional. The Senate bills have elicited outrage from Chinese-Americans in North Texas, who have large enclaves in multiple cities, including Plano, Richardson, Irving and Allen. Wins for Asian-Americans a needed step in changing US politics More than 250 people showed up to the Sunday afternoon rally, which was held at John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza. Hailong Jin, board director of the DFW Chinese Alliance, which hosted the rally, said the bills are a painful reminder for the Chinese-American community of the country’s past anti-Chinese legislation, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act and California’s “Alien Land Law”. “You pass this law, other states will follow and anti-Asian hate will increase in this country – definitely,” Jin said. Allen resident Jerry Pi has lived in North Texas for 20 years and is the president of a software startup. Pi, who is a US citizen, said he thinks SB 147 is unconstitutional and bad for the state’s economy. Pi said he was disappointed to learn that Abbott supports the Senate bill. “I always viewed (Abbott) as a conservative leader with strong principles,” Pi said. “This is not something that a conservative should do.” Plano City Council member Maria Tu, who spoke to attendees of the rally, called on Austin lawmakers to do right by their Chinese-American constituents and to fight against the Senate bills. “I’m here today, not to represent any political position or stance,” Tu said. “I am here because I am Chinese, American, and I’m Texan.” Tu was joined by other local elected officials, including Democratic state representatives Carl Sherman, DeSoto, and Rafael Anchia, who urged attendees to continue speaking out against the bills and to make their voices heard by lawmakers in Austin. ‘Finally, they know her’: the first Asian-American on US currency Dallas’ Anchia said he initially doubted that the bill, even if passed, would hold up in court. “When the governor, on the eve of Lunar New Year, tweeted out his support for this bill, I said: ‘Oh, no. We need to take this very, very seriously’,” Anchia said. Anchia said the Senate bill is an attempt to “breed” hate against the Asian community, and told attendees at the Sunday event that he will join other Democrats in fighting the legislation. The Sunday event included testimonials from multiple Chinese-Americans from North Texas who expressed their pain, frustration and concern over the bills. Kuo Zhang, 31, who lives in Euless, said Senate Bill 147 would severely affect plans to grow her family. “My husband and I are expecting a baby and we were planning to buy a house for our extended family, too,” Zhang said. Wei Wu, 32, said she has lived in downtown Dallas for about two years and recently finished her law degree at Texas A&M University. She said Senate bills 147 and 552 are “hateful and discriminatory”. “We are here, we pay taxes, we’re here to seek our dreams; we should not be discriminated against,” Wu said.