A photo image of protestors at an SB 147 rally in Houston's Chinatown carrying signs that says Say No to SB 147
Protestors at a SB 147 rally in Houston’s Chinatown on February 11, 2023

I was born and raised in Houston. I am a third generation descendant of Houston’s Chinese immigrant grocery store owners, Wing Y Food (1960) and Parkway Food Market (1956). Texas is my home. I am also one of the advocacy managers at Chinese for Affirmative Action.

Last week, I was angered but not surprised as Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Republican legislators moved to ban immigrants from buying property in the state of Texas by exploiting anti-China xenophobia and fear.

The proposal SB 147 prohibits all citizens of China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia from purchasing real estate solely on the basis of nationality and immigration status. SB 147 is a racist bill, serves no national security purpose, and dehumanizes entire communities for political purposes. 

This past Saturday, I traveled to Texas to represent CAA and stand with local groups including Asian Americans Leadership Council and Asian Texans for Justice to protest SB 147. At a historic rally, elected officials including Texas State Representative Gene Wu, Congress Members Sheila Jackson Lee and Representative Al Green, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner spoke forcefully to condemn SB 147 and how these racist proposals impact all  communities by decimating our collective civil and human rights.  

A photo image of a young Chinese American holding up a sign that says Racism is the Virus Stop Asian Discrimination
Young protestor at SB 147 rally in Houston’s Chinatown
Texas State Representative Gene Wu and CAA's Nick Gee
Texas State Rep. Gene Wu and CAA’s Nick Gee

By stopping every Chinese immigrant, including green card holders, from buying a home, SB 147  is reminiscent of America’s racist “alien” land laws that once barred Chinese and Japanese from owning and inheriting property in California. The Supreme Court struck down these laws as unconstitutional in 1952, but Asian Americans continue to  be treated as inherently suspect and perpetually foreign. Unfortunately, Texas is not alone. Florida and Virginia are considering similar bans specifically targeting Chinese individuals and CAA is mobilizing to fight back. 

Right now, Texas needs your help. CAA has endorsed Asian Texans for Justice’s letter against SB 147 and we encourage you to sign their petition here. CAA’s Chinese Digital Engagement team is also organizing around SB 147 on the digital front and in Chinese language spaces. Together, we can push back on these racist and xenophobic policies across the country.

In solidarity,

Nick Gee

CAA Advocacy Manager