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Tensions erupt during rally against SB 147 in Fort Bend County

The bill would ban governments, businesses and citizens of China, Iran, North Korea and Russia from buying land in Texas.

RICHMOND, Texas — Things got a tad tense Friday on the steps of the Fort Bend County Justice Center after protestors rallied against Senate Bill 147.

SB 147 is a proposed Texas law that would ban governments, businesses and citizens of China, Iran, North Korea and Russia from buying real estate in Texas.

"I don't even recognize this country anymore," said one protestor.

"This is discrimination, okay?" said another.

Fort Bend County Judge KP George even attended the rally, speaking out against the proposed bill. 

"If you see injustice happening, it is important to stand up and say this is not okay," George said.  "That’s what I’m doing.”

George, who leads one of the nation's most diverse counties, said they’re mostly concerned about residents who may still have green cards.

“Make it fair for all foreign people," said a rally attendee. 

The bill, authored by Republican State Senator Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham, piggybacks on a 2021 law banning so-called hostile nations from owning or controlling critical infrastructure projects in Texas.

"I’m very much in support of SB 147," said Fort Bend County Republican Party Chair Bobby Eberle. "We need to protect our homeland and this does it.”

Eberle said penalizing individuals isn’t the priority and natives of the countries in question who have become U.S. citizens have nothing to worry about. In fact, Eberle believes they may be supportive.

"Because they don’t want those countries that they have escaped from getting more of a stranglehold or foothold in America,” said Eberle.

Those against the bill said it's un-American. 

"This is about freedom and dignity in my opinion,” said George.

Sen. Kolkhorst said in a statement that this is a national security issue and that foreign entities could still lease land or other properties if SB 147 passes.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has already said he intends to sign it.

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