February 22, 2023

Civil Rights Organizations Call Out Abbott & Texas House Over Legislation Banning Property Ownership

AUSTIN, Texas – Today, 26 national and Texas-based American advocacy and civil rights organizations released a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, the Texas State Senate, and the Texas State House, criticizing a Texas state legislature bill, SB 147, which would ban citizens of Iran, China, North Korea, and Russia from purchasing property in Texas. The passage of Texas SB 147 would also set an alarming precedent, as similar legislation is being considered in other states across the country.

The organizations called the bill discriminatory and a threat to the principles of equality and justice, stating in the letter: “This bill is both racist and unconstitutional and must not be signed into law. Our communities should not be discriminated against because of national origin. Our communities cannot be denied the ability to purchase property and live freely based on our heritage. This is a direct violation of protected constitutional rights, and a flagrant disregard for people’s humanity.

Donna Farvard, National Organizing Director for the National Iranian American Council said, “Immigrants and refugees from Iran deserve freedom in the United States, to have all rights that other citizens and residents have, and not be subjected to laws like this exclusionary and oppressive bill. We cannot allow the state of Texas to move our country back over 70 years to a time when alien land laws were last in place.” 

Sophia Armen, Co-Director of Armenian-American Action Network said, “Our communities deserve dignity, rights, and freedoms like all communities in the United States. Immigrants and refugees from Iran, which include many individuals of Armenian, Afghan, Assyrian, Kurdish descent and other ethnic communities, must not be subjected to this horrific bill. SB147 is fundamentally discriminatory and an ugly case of nativism and racism that should be beneath the values of the Lone Star State.”  

The signatories of this letter stand in solidarity with all those who may be affected by this legislation and reiterate their call on the Texas Governor and state legislators to withdraw support from and denounce SB 147. The fight for justice and equality must continue, and we will not rest until every person, regardless of their country of origin, is granted their full rights and freedoms under the law.

You can read the full letter here: 

TX SB 147 Sign-on Letter (Iran focus)

For more information, please contact Etan Mabourakh, Digital Associate at the National Iranian American Council at [email protected] 

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