A group of 15 young women headed to the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday wearing vibrant quinceañera gowns to protest the state's Senate Bill 4 (SB4), which bans sanctuary cities.
The bill, which was signed into law in May by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, won't go into affect until September 1, and thousands of concerned citizens aren't wasting a minute in trying to eradicate what many believe is a harmful, racist piece of legislation. If passed, SB4 will allow law enforcement agents, district attorneys, city council members, and other government employees to ask people about their immigration status, according to NBC News.
SB4 also allows police officers to ask victims and witnesses of crimes about their immigration statuses, as well as allows the firing of any law enforcement or local government official for not enforcing or cooperating with the law, NBC News reports.
Despite the very real fear of potential backlash, the brave teens embarked on the Capitol to fight for Latinx people who are threatened by the law. Thankfully, they weren't alone. The protest was organized by a non-profit in Texas called Jolt that works to provide Latinx people with resources and support.
Each of the teenagers spoke up about why they're dedicated to taking down SB4, stating family, human rights, racism, and employment opportunities as some of their primary motivations.
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"We are here to take a stand against Senate Bill 4, the most discriminatory and hateful law in recent history," one of the young women, who NPR identified as Magdalena Juarez, said. "When Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law on May 7, he disrespected my community. He put a lot of Texas in danger. SB4 is not only an attack on immigrant communities; it threatens the lives of all people of color."
Juarez continued: "The bottom line is, SB4 makes simply being brown illegal. This hateful law violates our human rights. It will create fear and distrust in our communities, and it will tear apart our families."
Following the speeches, the teenagers performed a series of choreographed dances to songs like Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)" — and their moves were just as impressive as their activism.