Town Hall held against bills to ban some immigrants from buying Texas land

Congressman Al Green and other community leaders spoke out against two state bills that would ban immigrants from certain countries from buying Texas land.

Green was joined by California Congresswoman Judy Chu, the Stafford Mayor, and others at a town hall in Stafford on Saturday.

They spoke against two Senate bills that would prevent land purchases by immigrants who have not yet achieved U.S. citizenship, governments, or businesses based in four countries that are considered hostile to the U.S.: China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea.

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Speakers called the measures discriminatory, particularly to the high number of immigrants in Houston and Fort Bend County who contribute to the local economy.

"Because of the circumstances that exist in the State of Texas with a Governor and a state legislature that is bent on passing legislation that is going to discriminate against people based upon their country of origin, based upon something that, quite frankly many years ago, we thought we put to rest," said Congressman Green.

"This is a very critical time. We as Chinese Americans are very proud we have become part of this great country. But we must ask for equal opportunity. So this bill is very bad for our business community," said Wea Lee with the International Management District.

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The bill's author, Republican Senator Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham, has said it's aimed at stemming foreign influence in Texas agriculture and commerce.

Facing criticism, supporters recently softened the measure so that it would not apply to dual citizens or lawful permanent residents.