Texas state representative Victoria Neave is going on a four-day hunger strike to protest a Texas House bill that targets sanctuary cities. On Sunday, the rookie Dallas lawmaker attended mass and accepted a Communion wafer. She will not eat again until Wednesday, after the legislature votes on Senate Bill 4. Neave told the Washington Post that she’s “praying for a miracle.”
If passed, the bill will prohibit counties, cities, and universities from enforcing policies that prevent law enforcement agents asking detained persons about their immigration status. Per Houston’s KHOU 11, this means officials will be able to ask a person about their immigration status even when pulled over at a traffic stop.
“We had more than 1,200 people come to an immigration informational and I could see the fear in their eyes,” Neave told KHOU. “I have teachers come into my office, telling me about the fear their second-grade students are having about their parents being deported. This is a real fear in the community and it doesn’t just impact immigrants, it impacts, those of us with my color of skin. Even citizens will be required to prove citizenship upon arrest.”
The fear is one that Neave understands intimately, as her father came to the US as an undocumented immigrant. “I feel like this is an attack on my dad and millions of other families across our state,” she told the The Washington Post.
The bill has already passed in the State Senate and is expected to pass in the House. “We know that we don’t have the votes to defeat this bill, the sanctuary cities bill,” Neave told KHOU. “And so I wanted to do something that would help bring attention to how bad this law will impact our families and our state. And so for me, that was doing it spiritually.”